1. Dress For The Weather
Bali is a tropical island, and it has dry and rainy seasons. In Bali, clothing follows the weather, and knowing what to pack for the time of year could make the difference between a great time and a miserable experience.
The rainy season in Bali occurs between October to the end of March, so prepare for rain if your trip falls during this period by bringing some raincoats. A simple lightweight rain jacket can keep you dry during sudden downpours, especially if you are getting around by motorbike. They also don’t take up much space when folded up.
During the dry season, the sun can get pretty hot, so dress in loose, breathable clothing. Fabrics like cotton or linen are lightweight and breezy, as are flowy garments like saris or maxi dresses. Bali street fashion is casual and cool, perfect for just hanging out by the beach with your friends drinking some ice-cold Bintang.
Up in the highlands of Bali, however, the temperature drops dramatically in the evenings, so if you’re planning to hike up Mount Batur or Gunung Agung, remember to bring a jacket and some warm clothes.
2. Wear The Right Footwear For Every Occasion
Flip-flops are always in fashion in Bali and are great for hanging out by the beach. Also, some temples and restaurants ask you to remove your footwear before entering, and flip-flops are a snap to wear and remove. Sandals are also a popular type of footwear on the island, because they’re easy to strap on and take off as well.
If you are going hiking, your feet will thank you for packing a pair of sneakers or good hiking boots. Flip-flops are just not sturdy enough for jungle or mountain treks.
Hot tip: pack extra socks in case you get your feet wet!
Water shoes are also a good idea if you’re planning to explore some coral reefs or other surfaces that could injure the soles of your feet.
Footwear for clubbing is another story. Many clubs have dress codes that prohibit sandals and flip-flops, so put on a good pair of shoes before checking out the many clubs in Seminyak, Kuta, or Canggu.
3. Respect Bali’s Culture
Speaking of dress codes, Bali’s numerous Hindu temples are sacred places, and travellers can’t just turn up at their doors in bathing suits. Balinese society is also more conservative than Western society, especially in temple or rural areas.
Fortunately, there’s no need to mimic the locals to respect their culture. A good rule of thumb when visiting these places is just to dress modestly. Although flip-flops are allowed in temples, visitors are expected to cover their shoulders, upper arms, and legs.
Both men and women are required to cover their legs with a sarong (or kain kamben) and wrap a temple scarf (or selendang) around their waist before entering. Most temples rent them out at the entrance, but visitors can bring their own.
If you’re planning to travel around Bali on a motorcycle, then take a cue from the locals, who wear jackets and long pants when they ride around the island. This is because the long clothing protects from both sunburn and scratches.
On dusty roads, a scarf or mask can help keep dust from getting into your mouth. And of course, always remember to wear a helmet!
5. Dress For Fitness
Bali has become a hot destination lately for health-conscious travellers, with fitness retreat and holiday packages that cater to men and women of all ages. Many hotels and resorts in Bali have fitness centres, gyms, and spas, so no one has to skip leg day if they don’t want to!
Remember to pack some activewear if you’re going to enrol in some yoga, snorkelling, or whitewater rafting classes. You may also find some quality local activewear labels on display, so be sure to check those out as well.
6. Dress Like A Local, Not A Tourist
It’s not complicated to pack for Bali. You’ll probably find that you won’t need to pack as much as you think, and you can always buy whatever you don’t have. If you’re on an extended stay, look for places to do your laundry instead of packing more clothes.
You can even round out your wardrobe with clothes from the local boutique shops. You might find yourself blending in with the locals as you soak up the island vibe. Follow these tips and you can avoid being the guy/gal wearing jeans and sneakers on the beach!