Travelling with a toddler is part of being a parent, and taking them overseas with you on your Bali holiday is something you’ll cherish forever.
The island of Bali is jam-packed with exciting things for parents to do.
With magical temples, delicious food, great beach clubs, fantastic surf, stunning views, friendly locals, gorgeous sunny beaches, and lovely private Bali villas, but with a toddler, it does change the dynamics, and you need to know what it’s like travelling to Bali with a toddler.
Is it safe to travel to Bali with a baby? What do I need to bring? Where do we stay? How to get baby food? What about nappy supplies and baby formulas? The list is endless, and countless questions are racing around in your head, but this article is a comprehensive guide to travel to Bali with a toddler, hopefully answering all of your questions and taking the stress out of travelling with your baby.
At Bali Villa Escapes, we know Bali is a fantastic holiday destination and a great place to take a small infant/toddler – the island is relatively small, so it’s easy to get to your villa or hotel from the airport, and prices compared to back home in Australia, New Zealand or the USA are soooo much cheaper, and if you want to go on a tour, it can easily be arranged by the villa manager. Plus, most villas provide in-house nanny services and babysitters, freeing the parents for a romantic dinner or day trip.
Is it safe to travel to Bali with a toddler?
OMG, it’s super-safe, and the Balinese people love children. They are kind and welcoming, and when they see children, their faces light up. Unlike other destinations where crime rates are high and you don’t feel safe walking at night, Bali is exceptionally safe and an excellent environment for toddlers to travel. And, if you are staying in a villa, there is security, modern kitchens to prepare meals, comfy bedrooms with cots that can be arranged, and most are near large supermarkets where you can buy all your baby supplies – precisely what you need to keep a toddler safe, happy and well-fed. One thing we will say is that it’s not safe to drink tap water, even for rinsing their mouths after brushing. And if you want them to have some fresh fruit, make sure it’s unpeeled, and never wash the fruit in the tap water. Use bottled water provided at all times. You can buy purified water in 20/25 litre large containers, and if you want to be extra cautious, you can also boil the water before usage for formula.
Bali is generally safe to travel with a toddler. But you must remember that Bali is part of Indonesia, a third-world country; as with all overseas destinations, you must take precautions, especially if you are travelling with a toddler. For example, the traffic in Bali can be chaotic, so you must be super careful when crossing streets, as traffic conditions are far different from those back in Australia. The one good thing about the roads is that they drive on the same side as us. Also, if you are at a beach, you have to keep an eye on your child as the waves can be treacherous here, and they have a different lifeguard set up than back home. Drownings, unfortunately, do happen. And, swimming pools don’t have fences around them, making them extremely dangerous for wandering toddlers, so always keep an eye on your child near a hotel or villa pool. One other thing to note is insect bites. Bali is a tropical island with many mosquitos, and dengue fever is an issue, so always take repellent for the toddler and cover them up at night.
Safety precautions and tips for travelling in Bali with a toddler
- Have you taken all the necessary vaccinations to travel overseas, and are there any vaccinations your toddler needs for Bali? There are good doctors in Bali, but it’s best to get these done in your home country before making the trip. After all, you don’t want to waste precious holiday time seeing doctors, etc.
- Family travel insurance is a must – check Medibank as an option in Australia.
- Bring any baby formulas in your luggage. They do have these in Bali, but if you are not near a supermarket, you won’t be panicking. Also, extra baby food, as the baby food in Indonesia differs from back in Australia, and they tend to load it all up with sugar.
- Take your child-friendly sunblock, as it’s super-expensive (for some odd reason) in Bali.
- Take a sun hat and long-sleeved clothes to protect the little ones’ arms against the Bali sun. You really want to cover and protect as much of their skin as possible.
- Any necessary Baby formula in case you’re not breastfeeding. You might not have your brand in the shops in Bali. By the way, breastfeeding in public is accepted in Bali.
- Any favourite toys as they might not have toys in the villa. Again, when booking, see if some baby toys can be arranged.
- A valid passport of the toddler. You must have at least six months left if they are on your passport.
- Be cautious when buying food and drink from local street vendors or in small restaurants (warungs), and make sure that food is cooked thoroughly and served hot in front of you.
- Stay well-hydrated, and make sure your toddler drinks plenty of water throughout the day. You can also buy other drinks from the many convenience stores around Bali (e.g. Indomaret, Circle K and AlfaMart).
- Stay away from the local dogs in the street. They are wild, and they tend to hang around restaurants and local shops. Avoid patting or going near them.
Flying to Bali with your baby: Arriving in Bali
Qantas tells us that a collapsible stroller, collapsible cot, bassinet, car seat or baby capsule is permitted on all Qantas flights. Take the toddler all the way to the departure gate, and once in Bali, it will be there for you to wait. From Denpasar airport, you can take it through immigration and to the transport and driver waiting for you (if you booked the holiday villa with us).
Arriving in Bali with a toddler is probably one of the hardest parts of the whole trip and will depend on the crowds at immigration. If your plane has arrived with a few others, be prepared for long delays with getting through immigration and getting your bags, strollers and any oversized items.
But before you can clear the airport, you’ll need to get a visa, and if you are coming from Australia, this will cost around AUD$55 per person, so be prepared with cash, or you can pay via credit card. You will also have had to previously complete a customs declaration form, which should have been done online in Australia before you leave. Here’s the link in case you need it. Your airline should email you a reminder about this roughly three days before travel. You must present the QR Code supplied after you finish the document before leaving the Denpasar airport. The best way to do it is to screenshot it, save it in your photos on your phone, and let them scan it in Bali.
The standard tourist visa is for 30 days, which should cover most families, but an extra 30 days can be extended if required (which you must do while in Bali).
Once you have cleared the crowds and mayhem in Bali airport, the real fun starts when you have to get transport to your hotel or villa. Most villas will have pre-arranged transport and a driver with a sign with your name waiting for you. But, if you have to get a make your way, there are loads of taxi drivers all looking for a fare. But watch out for scams and excessive charges. The rule of thumb is to halve what they’re asking for. It can be stressful bargaining, especially with a toddler after a long flight. Alternatively, there is also a Grab taxi lounge in the airport. They can help you arrange a Grab taxi.
Hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets
Bali has decent international medical clinics and hospitals on the island. Near Canggu and Seminyak, there’s the massive Siloam Hospital, and they are building a new massive hospital in Sanur. Pharmacies are all over the main tourist areas where you can get all your medical supplies for the kids, and the supermarkets are excellent with everything you could want – pretty much the same as a Coles or Woolworths in Australia. In Seminyak, look out for Bintang Supermarket (Jl. Raya Seminyak No.17, Seminyak), Frestive in Canggu (Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong) and in Sanur, there’s Grand Lucky. In terms of supplies, food and medical supplies, Bali is super child-friendly. And, just in case of an emergency, your villa manager can call an in-house doctor to make a house/villa call.
What things can you quickly buy in Bali for toddlers?
Bali has loads of small convenience stores absolutely everywhere Circle K, Indomaret and AlfaMart). In Seminyak, Canggu, Legian and Uluwatu, there are every 50 metres, and they all stock water, soft drinks, snacks (chips, chocolates – basically loads of junk food), toiletries, wet wipes and milk. Several large supermarkets (similar to Coles and Woolies) are located in Canggu and Seminyak, where you can get almost anything you need for a toddler. The most popular one is called Peptio. Sometimes, a pharmacy will be next door to these supermarkets if you need medical supplies.
Baby Equipment Hire
If you can’t be bothered taking all your baby equipment, there are good baby equipment hire options in Bali. The best thing to do is ask us when booking what you need so we can point you in the right direction. And in some cases, many villas will have baby equipment, saving you the hassle.
What are the challenges of travelling in Bali with a toddler?
We love Bali and have been coming here for years. But having a ta=oddler with you now changes the dynamic. It’s no longer you and your partner, but you have a baby to deal with, and there are some challenges you should be aware of listed below.
- Bali is hot and humid, and your toddler can get very dehydrated, so make sure they drink frequently throughout the day and give them naps as they will get tired in the heart. Stay inside between 1 and 4 p.m. as this is the hottest. Hang in the villa, hotel or by the pool under some shade.
- Lack of family-friendly facilities. Most of the island is rural, and if you are travelling outside the main tourist areas, there probably won’t be any high chairs in cafes or changing rooms, or if you are staying somewhere remote, there won’t be any costs or pharmacies nearby where you can buy any medical supplies.
- There are no baby seats in taxis or Go Jek cars, making it challenging for parents. If you stay in Seminyak or Canggu, traffic jams and lengthy delays, getting anywhere can be difficult with a tired toddler in the car.
- The beaches are great, but the conditions are not ideal for swimming with a toddler in the main tourist areas on the west coast.
- Bali’s local food is very spicy, and WILL BE unfamiliar with their delicate palettes and stomaches. So take some snacks and foods from home that they are used. Never give your toddler any food from local markets or warungs (local restaurants), unpeeled fruit, tap water, or food from mobile vendors.
- Bali’s healthcare system is good but nowhere near like back home in Australia. But in case of any emergency, there are hospitals all around the island.
Childcare options in Bali with a toddler
If you’re staying in Bali for more than a week and want some time, then arranging some childcare options is a good option for parents. If you staying in a large hotel, they might have kids clubs or a nanny service where the toddler can be dropped off and looked after individually by a nanny. Obviously, you would have to pay for this, but at least it’s an option. For a fun day out, there are places like Parklife in Canggu with loads of activities for the kids. a kids club where they’ll hang out with other children under strict supervision. The supervised kids club drop is available 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekly. The kids club includes engaging activities such as art sessions, crafts, games, water play and science investigations. It costs 175,000IDR (around AUD$18) for 2 hours and 55,000IDR (around AUD$6) for each additional hour – available for kids over three years. If you are staying in a villa, ask the villa manager to arrange a nanny, which is very easy.
What is the best way to travel around Bali with a toddler?
1. Take a taxi
Bali is full of taxis. The most common taxi is a Blue Bird taxi, and they are everywhere in Seminyak, Legian and Kuta looking for customers. Taxis are a very convenient way to get around Bali with a toddler if you are travelling a short distance from Seminyak to Legian or want to go out for dinner at night to a restaurant near your hotel or villa. Grab or Go Jek are other taxis, and you can download the app before leaving for Bali. These ride-sharing are the same as Uber and work out much cheaper than metred taxis. Short 5-minute trips cost around 20,000 IDR (around AUD 2). Baby car seats are unavailable in Bali, so you should bring your own. Most tourist areas in Bali are crowded with traffic so you won’t be going too fast, so it’s generally safe without a baby seat.
2. Book a private car
Get your villa manager or hotel concierge to book a car and driver for the day, one of the most popular ways to get around Bali with a toddler. It’s relatively cheap, and you’ll pay around AUD 60 daily. If you are in a big group, you can hire a minivan or for a small family, you’ll get a standard car. And, yes, it’s a good idea to tip the driver at the end of the day.
3. Rent a car and drive
Renting a car is always a great idea, but the road rules in Bali differ from back home. The traffic is chaotic, and road rules are not always obeyed, so be warned. Cars can be rented from AUD 50 to AUD 100 per day, and you’ll also have to pay for petrol. Car seats are not provided as standard, so ask your car rental company. if they can include these. A far better option is to go on a tour, as you can let the tour operator handle all the driving and negotiate the traffic and road directions.
Best areas in Bali to visit with a toddler
Lots of beach walks (bring the baby sling), family-friendly cafes with kiddies’ play areas, lovely holiday villas, yummy fruit and food and warm-hearted locals; Bali is a tropical paradise and a great place to bring a baby. Following is an easy-to-understand list of things to do with babies on this fantastic island.
Kuta is the original tourist hotspot and the birthplace of Bali holidaymakers dating back to the ’70s. It’s near the airport, so it’s quick to get to, and here, you will mostly be staying in 3 to 4-star hotels either by the beach or in many of the little alleyways like Poppies Lane. For parents with toddlers, there’s a fair bit to do, such as:
Waterbom Bali is Bali’s premier water theme park, and while the water rides can be a bit excessive for toddlers, it’s a good day out for the parents, and there are a few mellow rides that are safe for the Mum, Dad and babies.
Address: Jl. Kartika Plaza, Tuban, Bali
Beachwalk Shopping Centre
Take the baby for a day strolling the upmarket shops at Beachwalk in Kuta. There are cafes, fast food restaurants and even a cinema to get out of the midday heat. You might wonder who wants to go to a shopping centre on holiday, but it’s cool fun with well-known brands.
Address: Jl. Pantai Kuta, Kuta, Kec. Kuta, Bali
Sunset cocktails is an institution in Bali, and one of the best places to watch the sunset is on Kuta Beach. Go to one of the many pop-up beach bars (they supply beer cafes as seats – just to add to the fun) and enjoy a few icy Bintangs. Afterwards, grab a cheap meal at the local warungs or head to popular places like the Hard Rock Cafe for a treat.
Kuta Beach can have some big waves, so be careful, but it’s a beginner’s paradise when small. So rent a board and instructor and start paddling out. Forget about taking little Bubba out in the ocean, but for the adults, it’s a chance to get into some warm tropical water and enjoy a healthy activity. For some serious fun, get the boat out to Kuta Reef and surf with the beginners at a place called Airport Lefts. So many beginners come out here, and it’s not as hard as it looks – give it a go!
Bargaining with locals
Enjoy the many local markets and stalls where vendors sell sarongs, t-shirts, jewellery, and souvenirs. Kuta is a shopper’s heaven, and you’ll easily snap up a bargain (well, at least you might think you have) to take back home.
Seminyak is a super-popular destination for families with kids, small children, teenagers and basically everyone who loves the beach, shopping, nightlife, cheap places for a massage and going to great cafes. And all those family-friendly holiday villas to rent. Some of our favourite child-friendly things to do in the Seminyak area:
Seminyak’s Eat Street is the shopping heart of Bali with its many boutiques, clothing stores, homewares, side alleys selling souvenirs and hand-crafted jewellery. You can spend days here wandering around and buying up big time. The footpaths are OK, and you can push the little one on a stroller, but always be aware of that odd typical Bali pothole if you get tired of shopping; there are many fabulous cafes along Jalan Kayu Aya to refuel & energise, such as Sistefields and Kim Soo. Make sure you check out Candylicious – the video below says it all!!
Beach bars on Double Six, Seminyak & Petitenget Beach
The whole Beach Club phenomenon started in Seminyak, and it’s only become bigger and better! Places like KU DE TA, Potato Head, Mrs Sippy, and Mano Beach House are all child-friendly, where the adults can have a few sundowners while enjoying great vibes and beach views. If the kids are a bit older, there’s a swimming pool and menus with the usual burgers, fries and pizzas to keep them fed and happy. KU DE TA hosts special family Sundays every week. Check it out on their events page. The kids can enjoy arts & crafts, face painting and other exciting activities.
Hang in the villa.
You don’t have to be on the move the whole time, and just being in a private villa with a sunny garden and swimming pool with your toddler is enough fun. Most pools will have a shallow end where you can dip the baby in the cool, refreshing water, and there’s usually a garden area where you can all play with toys. You might also like to hire an in-house nanny for the day to take care of the infant while the two of you head out for that special romantic dinner.
There are some great cafes in Seminyak where you can take a toddler or child under 5 years of age, as they have menus for kids. Some of the most family-friendly restaurants in Seminyak are Sisterfields and Sea Circus, and for tasty burgers and fries, there’s Jonhhy Rockets, Grill’d or BossMan. For a treat, take them to Nook, where the kids can eat from the children’s menu, and the whole family can enjoy their food with sensational rice field views.
For recent travellers to Bali, you would have noticed a seismic shift in tourists from the likes of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak as Canggu is now taking over as the most popular tourist area in Southern Bali. Canggu is seriously buzzing with beach clubs, new cafes, incredible gyms, shops and family-friendly Canggu villas. From the outskirts of Canggu in Batu Belig and Berawa, it passes through Batu Bolong, the exceptionally popular Pererenan, to Seseh and Cemagi. The whole area is exciting, attracting many families with young children and babies. But with all this activity there are a few downsides: traffic. It’s chaotic here, so you must stay near the beach or main tourist hubs to avoid lengthy travel times with toddlers – especially in the midday or afternoon heat. Many people think Canggu is just for the hip Instagram models and nomadic digital backpackers, but there are many fun things for the parents to do with the little ones.
Finn’s Recreation Club
Finn’s Recreation Club is where you can take the kids and toddlers and relax by the pool. For family fun, there’s ten-pin bowling, a massive indoor trampoline centre, a fully equipped gym, and a tennis centre. Lots of expats hang out here, and it’s got a very country club vibe, so mix it up with people who live in Bali and live like a local for a few hours.
Parklife is terrific and is one of the best places for toddlers to run wild while the adults kick back at the cafe. The whole place is geared up for young toddlers, where they can run, play and exhaust themselves on all the outdoor fun stuff. It’s great for birthdays or families wanting to see their kids spend time with other children of the same age.
Canggu has some great surf. It’s a mecca for surfers at breaks like Echo, Rivermouth, Berawa and Old Man’s. While not ideal for children, Mum or Dad can have an early morning paddle or late arvo session while the kids are at the villa or hotel. If you’re really not into surfing, there are some cool little beach cafes at Echo Beach for brekkie, lunch or sundowners.
The beach club scene in Canggu has exploded with clubs like Atlas Beach Fest opening up and established beach clubs like Finns, The Lawn, Old Man’s and La Brisa (which has a kiddie’s play area) becoming more popular. Most parents come for the vibe, music, food and great beach views.
Yes, Canggu has its own equestrian centre in Berawa, where the kids can ride ponies and enjoy seeing horses. There are piny camps and riding lessons for fun, which are paid for by the hour.
Sanur is one of the most popular places in Bali to visit with small kids! Why? Because it has a quieter, more laid-back feel than other areas of Bali like Seminyak and Canggu. People come to Sanur because it’s far less noisy and hectic, and the traffic isn’t too bad (for now). Families come to Sanur to hand by the beach and slowly walk the main street (Jalan Danau Tamblingan), browse the shops and cafes, and maybe even grab the odd massage. If you’re with toddlers, make sure you do some of these fun activities.
Ride or walk the beach path.
The beach area has a long pathway with local vendors dotted along the path, and it’s great for early morning walks and watching the gorgeous sunrise. Every morning, you’ll find walkers, runners, riders, photographers, locals and tourists all making their way to the beaches of Sanur to catch a gorgeous sunrise.
Who doesn’t like to start the day with an early morning stretch? Well, in Sanur, starting at 7:30 a.m. every morning, there is a free yoga class on the beach. The yoga session is about an hour, and it’s conducted in Indonesian, but follow what the others are doing, and you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
Sindhu Night Market
Enjoy the culinary delights, sights and sounds of a local Indonesian market. Try some freshly cooked Nasi Goreng or perhaps fried bananas. So yummy!
Canoe or paddle
Sanur has very calm waters (unlike other beach areas in Bali), making it the perfect place to hit the water and do some wholesome exercise by hiring a canoe and paddling around. Life jackets are provided for everyone, including the toddler. Stay close to shore, enjoy beautiful clear water along the beach, and admire the sea life below.
Make a trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida
Take the fast boat to Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida for a fun day trip and spend the day on the beach. There are also many cafes and restaurants dotted along the beach, which makes it a perfect place for lunch or a cool coconut.
Have a beach massage.
There are ample places to grab a massage on the beach by the old Ibu’s or mothers. You’ll hear them asking you for a massage, and it’s a great experience having a Bali-style massage under a tree on the beach; how blissful!