A family trip to Bali should leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. Bali is such a fun family vacation destination that is rich in local culture from delicious food to ancient temples, adventure activities, and plenty to do to unwind. This Bali family travel guide covers everything you need to know to plan your Bali vacation. From what you should book before you fly to tips for creating the perfect family itinerary it’s all on this list.
How to Plan the Best Family Trip to Bali
Bali is the ideal family destination. It is a place that offers something for every member of the family.
Planning your Bali itinerary will be easy once you decide exactly which area you want to stay in as a family and which Bali activities you want to do.
We hope to help you plan the best family trip to Bali with this guide.
How to Get to Bali
Bali Indonesia is an island (one of the Sunda Islands) in Southeast Asia sitting between Lombok and Java.
Flights from Sydney to Bali take about 6.5 hours.
Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and Qantas are a few of the popular airlines that fly from Australia to Bali.
For those traveling to Bali from the UK, Emirates offers the fastest service flying via Dubai and direct from Dubai to Denpasar.
Jakarta to Bali takes just under 2 hours on a plane with many flights running during the day.
The Best Time to Visit Bali
The dry season in Bali is from April to October.
The best time to visit Bali is between May and August with the high season in Bali considered April to August.
The island gets particularly busy during the Australian school holidays in April and June/July, Christmas, and New Year.
The wet season in Bali is from November to March. January to March is the low season in Bali. If you can put up with late afternoon showers (or more) every day, this is definitely the cheapest time to visit the island.
Check that your travel dates don’t fall during any of the public holidays in Indonesia or you may be restricted in what you can do around the island.
How Long Should You Stay in Bali?
Ideally, a family trip to Bali should be 7 to 10 days, or longer.
This gives you enough time to stay in one or two different parts of Bali. It will also give you and your kids time to get over any jetlag from the journey over.
The great thing about Bali is you can get a feel for Bali in 3-4 days if you only have time for a short trip.
But I would highly recommend booking one, very central, family resort in Bali for that time.
Also, hire a driver or book Bali day tours so you can explore stress-free and get the most out of your family holiday.
If you are coming from the United States or Europe or somewhere a bit further away, try to give yourself time to spend a little longer as there are so many things to do in Bali.
Which Part of Bali is Best For Families?
The island of Bali has a destination that will appeal to every type of family. There are busy areas overflowing with crowds, restaurants, shopping, and tourist attractions.
But, there are also off-the-beaten-track villages or villa resorts where you can switch off and just spend your days on one of Bali’s beautiful beaches with your kids. Of course, there are also places in Bali with a little of both.
You simply need to decide the type of holiday you are planning, consider the age and interests of your kids, and book your Bali accommodation and tours accordingly.
There are a number of different main tourist areas in Bali that are good for families.
Each area offers something unique in terms of activities, setting, and entertainment. I have included a summary of each below.
The best places in Bali for families to stay are Nusa Dua, Kuta, Seminyak, Legian, Canggu, Jimbaran Bay, Ubud, Uluwatu, and Sanur.
If you are looking for a really relaxed Bali resort holiday, Nusa Dua is a great place.
Nusa Dua is on the southeastern tip of Bali, about 10 to 15 minutes from the airport.
You’ll find large luxury resorts in Nusa Dua that have everything from restaurants, spas, kids’ clubs, shopping, and a gorgeous beach area.
The best part is there’s no need to leave the area if you aren’t up for exploring.
Kuta is the busy part, suitable for those planning a family trip to Bali with a good dose of nightlife and daily activities.
The good thing about Kuta is that there are always plenty of things to do for kids and adults. But, be prepared for the crowds.
Legian is the stretch of the beach north of Kuta stretching to Seminyak. While more expensive than Kuta, Legian is generally more affordable than Seminyak.
Popular with families and surfers alike, it’s a great spot for those looking for a more low-key area than its noisy neighbors.
Legian has some good-value family resorts and great Bali beach clubs to keep you entertained during your stay.
With a good balance of buzz, beach clubs, and great shopping, Seminyak has a little of everything.
This is a great area to stay in on your first time in Bali as it’s right in the center of the action.
Book a hotel near the main road with Seminyak restaurants within reach so you can walk everywhere and avoid having to sit in infamously bad Bali traffic
The hipster hub of Bali, Canggu is a popular neighborhood for surfers, digital nomads, and families alike.
For those who still want to party down after a day spent coffee crawling or surfing during the day, there are some fun bars too.
Jimbaran Bay is on the west coast of Bali about 20 minutes south of Kuta Beach.
Jimbaran Beach is well-known for its seafood restaurants where guests can choose their own catch and have it cooked in front of them and dine with their toes in the sand.
This area is a bit of a blend of a small local fishing community with a few luxury hotels in the surrounding areas set overlooking the ocean.
Jimbaran is a good place to spend a few days if you want some peace and quiet and to unwind in a resort.
Escape to the jungle and the famous rice fields of Ubud.
Often touted as the spiritual center of Bali, nature lovers will also appreciate Ubud.
Ubud offers a calmer family trip to Bali with so many things to do from outdoor excursions to village visits and wildlife experiences.
Ubud also has some of the best hotels in Bali set amidst the trees and rice terraces.
For some of the best beaches in Bali, with private villa-style resort hotels, Uluwatu is the perfect place to stay in Bali.
If you’re back in Bali for the second time spending some time in the Bukit offers a lovely contrast to the often chaotic Kuta or Seminyak.
Spend your days in your villa pool, book in at one of the best beach clubs in Bali for the day, or enjoy dinner with your private chef with a view over the ocean.
For a much quieter family trip to Bali with some local experiences on your doorstep Sanur is a good option.
Sanur is located in southeast Bali. It is the oldest beach resort in Bali and still remains less developed than its busy counterparts on the west coast.
Or head out to the local markets, artisanal stores or try your hand at Balinese cooking.
Bali Family Resorts
There are so many family resorts in Bali that it can be overwhelming to choose one to suit all family members.
There are a few factors to take into account when deciding where to stay in Bali.
It is a good idea to answer a few questions to help you narrow down which area to stay at in Bali for your family trip.
Do you need a kids club? Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants and cafes? Do you want an all-inclusive resort in Bali and Do you need privacy or your own pool away from the crowds?
These questions should help you filter down the family resorts that suit your needs.
Some of the Bali family hotels with kids’ clubs are:
What to Pack for a Family Trip to Bali
Packing for a family trip to Bali is pretty simple.
You need summer clothes that are comfortable in the humidity like loose maxi dresses, cotton shorts and t-shirts for kids, and comfortable sandals or water shoes.
Here are a few other important things to throw in your suitcase:
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Reef-Safe Sunscreen (it can be very expensive on the island)
- Deet-free mosquito repellant and Mosquito Repellant patches. Most hotels should have mosquito nets provided too. Dengue fever is present in Bali.
- Pool floatation devices. If your child needs a safety vest for swimming, bring it from home.
- Medications in case the dreaded Bali belly hits (we carry Buscopan, Mintec, Imodium, Kids panadol, and broad-spectrum antibiotics – please seek your own medical advice as this is just our personal travel list.)
- If you are traveling in the rainy or shoulder season make sure you pack raincoats for the kids. Otherwise, you should be able to buy ponchos, umbrellas, or raincoats at the markets.
Is the Food in Bali Safe to Eat?
Bali is a food lover’s paradise. With some incredible fine dining, traditional Indonesian fare (like personal favorites Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng), a huge choice of healthy Bali cafes to high-end bars.
Bali food is great, until in some cases, it’s not. Once upon a time, ‘Bali belly’ was simply par for the course with a trip to Indonesia.
Bali belly can be caused by eating food or drinks contaminated by bacteria.
But, these days there are a few of the best things you can do to try to avoid getting Bali belly:
- Never drink tap water. Only drink from sealed bottles of water. This includes when brushing your teeth. Also beware of ordering smoothies, juices, and cold drinks that may have water added.
- There used to be a blanket rule to never order ice too. Most upmarket bars and beach clubs will serve clean ice. I personally still avoid having ice in my drinks.
- Ensure your food is hot, fresh, and cooked through.
- Beware street food that isn’t cooked fresh in front of you.
- Avoid buffets where food may not be fresh or may have been sitting in the heat for extended periods.
- Avoid any unpasteurized dairy products.
How Much Does a Family Trip to Bali Cost?
Bali has unfortunately become one of the more expensive destinations in South East Asia.
While there is no set cost for a family trip to Bali there are several factors that will impact how much a family trip to Bali will cost:
- Whether you are luxury travelers or budget travelers,
- Where you stay in Bali,
- What is included in your accommodation packages
- What activities you would like to do in Bali? Obviously, the more activities you do outside your resort, the more your Bali holiday will cost.
- Whether you need additional care for young children (always check the age minimum at kids clubs)
How to Save Money on Your Family Trip to Bali
Although Bali can be a more expensive family holiday pre-trip planning is key to keeping your Bali budget in check.
Here are 10 simple ways to save money on your family trip to Bali and eliminate some of the pre-holiday budgeting stress:
1 Choose a centrally located family resort in Bali
A great way to save you on the cost of drivers and you can easily walk to restaurants nearby.
2. Book a package that includes childcare
Although nannies in Bali are inexpensive, booking a Bali hotel with a kids club will save you money on one-off childcare fees and tips.
3. Book a half-board or all-inclusive Bali hotel
Booking a hotel that includes meals and some drinks will ensure you won’t be reaching for your wallet all the time or paying expensive ATM fees or exchange fees. It also means you don’t have to worry about your kids adding unexpected food and drink costs onto the bill.
4. Choose a hotel with a good entertainment offering
The more free entertainment you have at your Bali hotel, the less likely you are to need to take the kids out for additional shows and day trips.
5. Give your Kids a Budget
One of the best parts of a family trip to Bali is being able to go to local shops and the markets together.
If you are traveling with older children or teenagers, give them a budget for the trip, let them manage their own shopping spending, and do their own negotiating. You are giving them some independence, and responsibility and they will learn valuable negotiation and exchange skills.
6. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
The beauty of Bali is that it is still very much a place where you can negotiate.
Whether it is a room upgrade with your hotel, a “7 nights for 6” style packages, hotel extras, or a fixed price with your driver, you can negotiate a lot of things while in Bali.
7. Travel in the Shoulder Season
You can save a lot of money on a Bali holiday if you choose to travel in the low season and by avoiding school holiday surge times.
These are also times when you will be able to negotiate directly with hotels and tour operators for discounts.
The trade-off, of course, is that you may be faced with rainier or more humid days.
8. Eat locally
Eating at local warungs will not only allow your family to have a more authentic experience, but you will also save lots of money.
Bali restaurants are incredible. But, they aren’t cheap. So, if you don’t have the budget to take the whole family out to one of the fancy places, save that for a date night.
9. Use an App to Track Your Expenses
If you are good with spreadsheets, you can track your expenses by inputting each cost.
However, apps like TravelSpend or NomadWallet make it easy to track your expenses. Splitwise is a great app for splitting up trip costs within a group.
10. Choose a Bank Card without International Fees
We use WISE travel card as it has limited international transaction fees and reasonable conversion rates.
Things to do in Bali as a Family
There is a seemingly endless list of activities that make Bali family holidays fun.
You will absolutely not cover all of the wonderful family activities on offer on your first visit to Bali.
A few things you must do on your family trip to Bali are:
- The entire family will have a fun morning on the water slides at Waterbom Bali water park.
- Spend the Day at a Bali Beach Club
- Visit the Amazing Uluwatu Temple
- Go shopping at the local markets
- See Mount Batur (an active volcano) in a vintage VW
- Relax in some natural hot springs
- See the cheeky monkeys are the monkey forest
- Visit the famous water temple
- Try some white water rafting
- Experience Balinese culture at a Devdan Show
- Discover new bird species at Bali Bird Park
- Take some sunset photos at Tanah Lot
- Visit a beautiful waterfall or a few
Read our Complete Guide to Things to Do in Bali with Kids (coming soon)
Amazing Day Trips from Bali
If this is your first time in Indonesia, you will have an amazing time just exploring the island
But, if you have a little more time or this isn’t your first visit, I encourage you to consider at least a day trip from Bali to one of the neighboring islands.
A few destinations beyond the main island to add to your Bali family itinerary include Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and the Gili Islands.
Nusa Penida is an island off the southeast coast of Bali and a popular choice for a day trip from Bali.
This gorgeous island is the largest of the three “Nusa Islands” that are part of a protected marine park.
Nusa Penida is a lovely place to spend a few days or is an easy island hop for the day. Picture clear blue water, palm trees, and a lush green landscape.
How to Get to Nusa Penida
The easiest way to get to Nusa Penida in a day is to book a day tour. But, if you have more time, jump on a boat from Sanur.
The fast boat ride from Sanur to Nusa Penida takes about 40 minutes.
Book a private tour to take you around for the day.
The landscape on Nusa Penida can be rough with steep terrain. So, make sure you tell your tour guide if you are traveling with small children so they can adjust the itinerary accordingly.
Things to do in Nusa Penida
- See the famed Teletubbies Hill, a viewing point and photo opportunity. Best after the rainy season when it’s green and lush./
- See the Rumah Pohon Tree House
- Go snorkeling
- Visit one of the beautiful beaches in Nusa Penida. While the Insta-famous Kelingking Beach is popular the walk down is not suitable for small children.
- Go swimming with the Manta Rays in Manta Bay.
Nusa Lembongan is a small island next to Nusa Penida.
Nusa Lembongan is absolutely worth visiting, especially if you are a keen surfer, want to spend some time seeing the iconic coral reefs by snorkeling, or spend some beach time away from the crowds.
How to Get to Nusa Lembongan
Sanur to Nusa Lembongan takes about 40 minutes by fast boat.
Boat tickets generally include transfers to and from your hotel in Bali to the wharf.
Things to do on Nusa Lembongan
- Spend the day snorkeling in the stunning Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan next door.
- Relax at Sandy Bay Beach Club for the day
- Book a tour to see Devil’s Tear, Dream Beach, and Yellow Bridge.
- Enjoy some water sports in the stunning aquamarine waters.
The Gili Islands
The Gili Islands are an archipelago of three tiny islands, Gili Trawangan (Gili T), Gili Meno, and Gili Air.
While this cluster of islands is particularly popular with backpackers and travelers looking to party, it also has laid-back appeal for families too.
How to get to the Gili Islands
The trip from Bali to the Gili Islands takes anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours, depending on which type of boat your choose so it will be a full-day trip if you are just doing a day trip.
Speedboats go from Port Padangbai in southeast Bali direct to Gili Trawangan.
If you are traveling with small children you might prefer one of the larger, slower ferries as the seas can be quite rough on the journey. But, it can become a long journey that way so spend a few nights on the islands if you are able to.
Things to do in the Gili Islands
- Go on a snorkeling day trip. Read about our Gili Islands snorkeling trip here.
- Ride bicycles around the islands.
Incredible Destinations Beyond Bali
While Bali is such an easy and fun family destination there are some other incredible places to do in Indonesia to add to your bucket list.
These are a few other areas of Indonesia that are more off the beaten track you should consider for your next trip beyond Bali.
Sulawesi is an Indonesian island north of Bali and east of Java that offers so much for culturally curious travelers.
From incredible diving and snorkeling to small traditional villages, and authentic local cuisine, this island offers so much for families willing to travel a little deeper into Indonesia.
Komodo National Park
Ever dreamt of staying on a traditional Phinisi boat and spending your days diving, swimming, and snorkeling?
Komodo National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site and should be on your Indonesia travel hit list.
Komodo has some of the most incredible scenery in the country and offers the ultimate diving holiday for keen divers.
Don’t miss a visit to the stunning Pink Beach and Padar Island.
For a complete change of pace consider Jakarta.
This city has a frenetic pace and endless things to do to keep you and the family entertained during your visit.
From cultural activities to ritzy shopping malls, street food favorites, and fancy rooftop bars, there’s something for everyone in Jakarta.
Bali FAQs and Important Travel Information
There are a few really important things to do before you get on the plane to Bali.
From Bali visa requirements to travel insurance and which activities to book, here are a few things you should do before you leave including some common Bali FAQs.
Is Bali Safe For Families?
There’s no denying that Bali has a tragic past so it’s important to check any travel warnings before you leave for Bali.
I strongly recommend you register your travel details with your country’s government site.
In some instances, you may receive any travel warnings in the lead-up or during your trip. It will also make it easier to contact you in the event of an incident while you are in Indonesia.
Each country will have its own government agency with guidelines and up-to-date travel warnings for Indonesia:
- Australians can check Bali travel warnings here.
- Americans can check travel warnings here.
- Indonesia’s Department of Foreign Affairs lists travel requirements, warnings, and emergency contact information on its site here.
While we have personally never felt unsafe in Bali, you need to weigh up the risks and be vigilant and cautious.
There are risks with traveling to any destination, especially with the added responsibility of traveling with kids.
Tourism Statistics for Bali (2023)
While Bali saw a softening in tourist numbers in recent years. The island is very much a popular destination for tourists once again.
Here is a quick snapshot of Bali’s tourism numbers for this year:
- 370, 832 foreign tourists arrived in Bali in March 2023. That’s almost 15% up on the month prior.
- Most of Bali’s tourists come from Australia with Australians accounting for 24.21% of that number.
- Tourists from Australia dominated foreign tourist arrivals to Bali in March 2023 with a share of 24.21 percent
Tourists from 90 countries are permitted entry to Bali for up to 30 days for tourist purposes with a visa on arrival.
You can pre-pay your e-Visa on Arrival through the immigration website here.
Beware of the many fake Bali visa sites around.
Both adults and children must have visas for Bali.
Bali Fast Track Service
For those who have the budget consider the Visa Fast Track service in Bali.
A VIP service for an additional cost, passengers are greeted from the plane and fast-tracked through immigration, the Visa on arrival process, and customs.
This will save you valuable time, especially while dealing with tired children off the plane.
Denpasar Aiport also offers a free buggy car service if you don’t have a travel pram and need help transporting your children.
Respect for Indonesian Customs
Bali is cracking down on the behavior of foreign tourists, right now after several incidents of tourists behaving badly.
Bali authorities will soon hand out a ‘Dos’s and Don’ts Card’ for tourists arriving in the country as a reminder of what is acceptable on the island.
Vaccinations for Bali
Check which vaccines you might need before traveling to Indonesia, both to ensure your family trip to Bali goes as seamlessly as possible, but also to ensure you gain entry on arrival.
Currently, visitors to Bali 18 years and older need proof of Covid-19 vaccination (at least 14 days prior to your visit). You must also download the SATUSEHAT app before arrival.
If you are planning on spending time around the well-known stray Bali dogs or visiting the sacred monkey forest or other animal encounters in Bali, your doctor may advise you to consider additional vaccines.
There are some medications that it is not permitted to bring into Bali, including some ADHD medications. You will need to declare those medications on entry.
Get Comprehensive Travel Insurance for Bali
Buy a comprehensive travel insurance policy. You can buy family policies that cover everyone in the family and save you some money.
Make sure you choose coverage for anything you might want to do in Bali with your kids, particularly any adventure activities like white water rafting, quad biking, surfing, scuba diving or even riding a scooter.
You also want to make sure your insurance policy has substantial coverage for Covid-19.
Bali Airport Transfers
You can absolutely go to the desk at the airport and wait for a Bali taxi.
But, you may be split into two or more cars (to fit all your luggage), you will have to carry your own baby seats or boosters and there will definitely be a wait time.
Prebook private transfers from the airport. Why a private transfer?
The last thing you will want to do after getting off a flight into Bali (often late at night), is to wait for other people before getting in a shuttle to your hotel (and possibly stopping at others along the way).
Also, the humidity in Bali can be pretty overwhelming when you jump straight from the intense air conditioning of a plane. So, the faster you get into an air-conditioned van, the better.
So, if you are staying at a hotel there are a few things to check when it comes to Bali airport transfers for families:
- Do you have transfers included?
- Will your transfer be private?
- Are child seats and boosters included or will they cost extra?
If you are staying at a villa, it is likely that you will have a driver included as part of your package. But, don’t assume they will have car seats in the van. Make sure you request them (even at an additional cost).
We have used Bali Baby Hire before and found them to be efficient and good to work with.
We had a private car with a car seat collect us promptly for the transfer from the airport to the hotel and again on our return transfer to Denpasar airport.
Animal Experiences in Bali
It’s important to appreciate that regulations regarding animal tourism are different throughout the world.
The exploitation of animals for tourism is common around the world.
While I am not an expert, I encourage you to do your own research before engaging in any animal experiences (where they are removed from their natural habitats in particular), to ensure the best interests of all involved are being considered.
More Bali Travel Guides to Help You Plan Your Trip:
Epic Things to Do in Bali with Kids (coming soon)
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.