Dreaming about a Bali getaway? We have a few quick tips to help make the most of your vacation.
When to Go: Tourism thrives in Bali year round, but the crowds come out en masse from May to August and again in December, especially around the Christmas and New Year holidays. Plan to book your airfare and Citadines serviced apartment well in advance if traveling to Bali during these times.
There’s a brief lull in November, but January to April is the best time to score lower rates and find (comparatively) smaller crowds. This four-month window coincides with Bali’s rainy season, but rain rarely lasts long and the weather is otherwise warm and agreeable.
Visas: In 2015 the compulsory US$35 fee for a visa on arrival was waived for residents of more than 140 countries, which not only saves travellers money but also time spent waiting in Denpasar International Airport’s notorious immigration queues on arrival.
The visa is valid for stays of up to 30 days. If you plan to stay longer, you can either apply for a 60-day visa from abroad (fees apply), or pay the $35 fee for a visa on arrival, then apply for a one-time 30-day extension at the immigration office.
Safety: The biggest problem most travellers encounter in Bali is traffic congestion. This is a generally safe island, and taking basic precautions should help avoid any unpleasant encounters.
Women should sling purses and other bags around their neck and shoulder, while men should consider carrying wallets in their front pocket in busy areas. Do not leave your possessions unattended in restaurants or on the beach. Speaking of beaches, watch for areas marked with red flags—these indicate strong currents and swimming should be avoided.
Finally, avoid illegal drugs under all circumstances. Steep fines, imprisonment, and even the death penalty are among the punishments for possession of drugs in Indonesia.