Travelling with a toddler to Bali

Bali is a toddler paradise (and for their parents as well)

Having a child doesn’t have to mean giving up on international travel, especially when there are great destinations like Bali so close to Australia.  I’ve already posted about my pick of the best places to stay and eat in Bali but given we travelled with our almost two year old daughter I thought it was useful to share some tips.

Bali is a toddler paradise (and for their parents as well)
Bali is a toddler paradise (and for parents as well!)

Getting there

  • We flew with Jetstar on a day time flight so were able to get our daughter’s seat for free as she hadn’t turned two yet. This turned out to be fine as it was a daytime flight so she napped but didn’t “need” to sleep.
  • There is a service you can use to get you more quickly through customs at Bali once you arrive which may be useful if you are arriving at a peak time or travelling alone with a child. We didn’t bother and it probably would only have saved us five minutes at the most.
  • It’s hard to get cars with baby/child seats in Bali so make sure you book a driver requesting this or use one of the specialist baby transfer companies

Where to stay

You need to consider whether you want to stay at a hotel/resort or villa.  We didn’t stay at any resorts as most of the kids programs there do not include toddlers so we preferred to stay at boutique hotels and at a villa we rented through AirBnb.  Some hotels are more child friendly than others.

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There’s a great beach for kids at Belmond Jimbaran Puri

My tips:

  • Belmond Jimbaran Puri.  A great first stop in Bali due to its proximity to the airport.  Great for kids as there’s a lovely beach and huge pool.  Staff are great with kids.  High chairs and cot supplied.  
  • Bambu Indah.  This spectacularly situated hotel overlooking a clifftop outside Ubud can be a bit stressful for parents of toddlers as you have to be vigilant that they don’t wander off the cliff or into the unfenced pool. A better choice for babies who are not mobile yet or older kids who will love the Tarzan rope. 
  • Amankila.  Staff here go above and beyond to make this luxury hotel as child friendly as possible while not sacrificing the tranquility for other guests. They completely baby proofed our room, provided a cot, high chair and age appropriate welcome pack including swimming nappies and plastic plates and cups.  Some babysitting also included in the rate.  
  • Anantara Ulawatu.  Another spectacular clifftop hotel but adequate fencing here means it’s not as stressful. The hotel is aimed more at honeymooners than families but they did provide a cot, high chair and there’s a kids menu on the room service menu. 
  • AirBnB Mister Zimi villa. Perfect with kids as the owner has young children herself. This villa comes complete with an Australian standard pool fence (rare in Bali), a cot, Mountain Buggy pram, high chair, steriliser and kids toys and books.  Toddler perfection! 

What not to bring

We didn’t bother bringing a pram because the footpaths are not great in Bali for walking on with prams.  Consider a baby carrier like the Ergo instead,  but if you have a young baby who still sleeps in the pram it may be worth bringing.  

We also didn’t bother with our portacot or portable high chair because we were able to request a cot and high chair everywhere we stayed – but we did check this before we left.

There are great baby hire companies in Bali which you can hire toys, prams, cots, high chairs and even portable pool fences through. Worth investigating if you don’t want to travel with lots of luggage. 

What to bring

  • It’s cheaper and easier to bring as many nappies, wipes and favourite kids foods as you can fit in your luggage;  
  • It’s also worthwhile packing sunscreen and child friendly mozzie repellant;   
  • But if you do run out of anything you can stock up at the supermarket like Bintang in Seminyak. 
You don't need to bring much if you hire a well equipped villa like the Mister Zimi one we stayed at.
You don’t need to bring much if you hire a well equipped villa like the Mister Zimi one we stayed at.

Babysitting

One of the great benefits of a trip to Bali is the babysitting.  The Balinese love kids and are great at looking after them.  Babysitters are cheap compared to Australia at the equivalent of $7 an hour so we took advantage of this and booked babysitters a lot to enable us to go out for dinner or even just go and get a massage.  There are lots of babysitter companies in Bali – we went with babysitters who had been recommended by friends and some recommended by the hotels we stayed at.  Leave a comment below if you would like details. 

Health and safety

Only let kids drink bottled/filtered water in Bali.  Some friends with younger kids also bathed them in bottled/filtered water as well but given our daughter is a bit older we just tried to discourage her from drinking the bath water (easier said than done). 

We were also liberal with the use of hand sanitiser and managed to avoid the dreaded Bali belly.  

Things to do with toddlers

We mainly entertained our daughter by going to the beach or swimming in the pool, both of which she loved.  There are a few toddler friendly activities to keep in mind as well:

  • Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest. Pretty amazing to get up close to so many monkeys in such a beautiful setting.  Tip: don’t bring any food in your bags. The monkeys will try and steal it! 
  • The Westin and Ku De Ta both do brunches which you can bring kids to if you want.  Quite a few people had kids along at Potato Head during the day but bear in mind they are not supposed to be in the main pool. We preferred to head there child free and enjoy the cocktails! 
  • Bali Water Park.  Better for older kids so we didn’t bother this time.  
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The Sacred Monkey Forest at Ubud

We loved our trip to Bali with our daughter and I’d highly recommend it for a holiday with kids. 

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