Have you been asking yourself what to pack and what to wear in Bali (as a guy)? This list is for you! Here are 33 essential items to make sure you have everything you need for your trip, from clothes and toiletries to your passport and cash.
We’ve visited Indonesia several times in different capacities (to work, volunteer, travel)—and have found that packing LIGHT, only carrying on when possible, and leaving certain items to buy upon arrival works best for us.
Everyone is different and the nature of your trip and the activities you want to do will determine your precise packing list.
For men traveling to BALI, INDONESIA, we offer the following quick list of ESSENTIAL PACKING ITEMS (a printable PDF is also available at the bottom of this post):
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1. Underwear – Bring enough for the duration of your trip or plan on doing laundry there (it’s cheap).
2. Bathing suit – When not on the beach, be sure to cover up and wear a T-shirt out of respect for local customs. It’s not great to walk around town with no shirt on, even though some tourists do this.
3. T-shirts and shorts – Don’t overdo it. You only need a few pairs of each and you can wash them. Bali is very casual. For visiting temples, men are expected to have their shoulders and knees covered and wear a sarong, which can be purchased or rented cheaply in Bali and serves as a cool souvenir or backup towel later.
4. Flip flops/sandals/crocs to wear at the beach and around town. You will live in these.
5. Water shoes or Teva sandals if you plan on doing any light hiking or exploring caves
6. Socks and a hoodie or sweater for the plane. Once you land, you won’t even be able to look at these items because it will be so hot and beachy. But planes and airports can be freezing so good to have these items for those occasions.
7. Sunglasses (Link to Ray Bans if you’re feelin’ fancy)– Bring a pair of cheap sunglasses so you’re prepared when you land. Better not to bring expensive sunglasses, jewelry, etc. and draw unwanted attention to yourself
8. Sunscreen (travel size)– Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Crazy! And sunscreen is expensive in Bali. If you’re only carrying on, you’ll have to bring a travel-size sunscreen with you and reload in Bali.
9. Lip balm – Keep those lips smooth for romantic encounters 😉
10. 40-55 liter backpack and a rain cover for it – We would suggest something between 40-55 liters that you can carry on the plane. This will serve as your “main” backpack.
11. Day bag – it’s ideal if you can keep your valuables always stored in this day bag on travel days and keep it close to you, and store the rest of your less-valuable stuff (clothes, toiletries, etc.) in your larger backpack. A small day bag will come in handy for day trips and other short explorations – it’s a bonus if your day bag is waterproof or has a rain cover
12. Head lamp/torch and extra batteries – For caves, jungle walks, reading in your hotel or hostel at night, finding the way to a shared bathroom at night, any sort of night time explorations… this is useful!
13. Biodegradable soap/shampoo – (travel size) Skip all the excessive toiletries and just get yourself a travel-size bottle of environmentally friendly shampoo/soap. It doubles as a product to clean your clothes in the sink during your travels and saves so much precious space in your bag!
14. Reusable water bottle or platypus (2-liter) – You can’t safely drink the tap water in Bali but that doesn’t mean we have to purchase plastic bottles every day. We all know our oceans are FULL of plastic and trash – disturbingly so.
Let’s make it less bad by not buying plastic bottles and bringing one of these reusable water bottles or a platypus with us on our travel adventures instead.
You can refill water at any hostels, hotels, coffee shops, or restaurants for free and bring your own disinfecting drops/tablets for long hikes and day trips if you want.
15. Insect repellent – important!
16. Travel towel – A good travel towel that is quick dry and small is worth bringing.
17. Small padlock – Something that many people don’t think of but there have been times traveling around Southeast Asia when it was super useful to be able to lock up our valuables in our hostel or hotel with a little, lightweight padlock.
18. Phone and underwater camera (with extra batteries and memory card)
19. Any necessary chargers and a plug/outlet adaptor – Sockets are type C and F, standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
20. Toothbrush and floss
21. Hand sanitizer – Useful in general in Southeast Asia and in traveling in remote places. Taking precautions to not get sick can save you a lot of grief, heartache, and money.
22. Indonesian phrasebook – For the keen ones interested in getting to know more than the “touristy” side of Bali and Indonesia, and getting to know some locals. Knowing a bit of the language is a guaranteed way to make your travel experience richer.
23. Mask, snorkel, and fins (if you have space) – The equipment that you rent is likely to be crappy, broken, and it will have been used by hundreds of tourists before you, so the sanitary situation is questionable. It’s also going to add up quickly, price-wise.
Spending around 5-10 dollars to rent equipment every day is rough (and you may really want to snorkel every day because it’s SO awesome and much cheaper than diving). You’re soooo much better off bringing your own stuff with you, even though it seems like a pain to carry it around. It’s worth it, in our experience.
24: First aid kit and your personal prescriptions – Bring the basics, plus Dramamine if you’re prone to motion sickness (for the bumpy car and boat rides) and both laxatives and diarrhea medication in case you happen upon the infamous “bali belly.”
25. Books, podcasts, music – duh!
26. Hammock – If you have a small one, it’s fun to be able to throw it up wherever you are while traveling in Indonesia and chill with a book.
27. Passport and photocopy of passport (kept in separate places)
28. Printed copy of your flight itineraries – Just in case
29. Printed copies of your insurance information – Don’t skimp on insurance. Just suck it up and buy some travel insurance. Weird things happen all the time, and you don’t want your fun trip to have the potential to put yourself or your family in financial ruin.
30: Indonesian cash (Indonesian Rupiah) – Take it out at ATMs when you arrive to get a better exchange rate. Money exchange places are such a rip off!
31. Silica gel packets – These are so good to stick in zip lock baggies with your camera or phone. We also put them in our lap top bags. They absorb the humidity in the air that kills on our devices.
If you do happen to notice your devices acting weirdly and think it might be the humidity, turn them off immediately and submerge them in a bag of dry rice for 24 hours!
32. Waterproof plastic/zip lock bags – Not environmentally friendly but incredibly useful when dealing with electronics in the humidity, on the beach, and on boats!
33. Dive certification cards and log books if you plan on diving while in Indonesia
And that’s it! Now you’re ready to enjoy your stay! Did we forget to mention anything you think is important for guys to bring to Bali? Let us know 🙂