High degree of caution
1 July 2019 | Read more
A developing country sitting in one of the most active volcanic regions in the world, it's common for travellers to have reservations about their holiday plans to Indonesia. But the good news is that yes, Bali is still safe to travel to for all kinds of travellers if you take the right precautions.
We dive into more details and get down to the nitty gritty, letting you know how you can travel around Bali safely and how travel insurance can help you in all types of emergencies.
If you're adventurous with street food or may forget not to drink tap water, make sure you have emergency medical expenses in your travel insurance plan.
If you're planning on scooting around, make sure you have a valid motorcycle licence. Get Bali travel insurance with scooter cover and check your plan to see the engine size limits - some many be as low as 50cc.
Historically Bali has experienced natural disasters, as well as terrorism. While these are not common, it is always a risk when travelling to Bali. The active volcano, Mount Agung, has shown signs of activity and erupted in 2017. The threat of terrorism is constant but more common in Java. The last major threat was in 2002 during the Bali bombings.
Parts of Indonesia have a travel advisory but not Bali as it is relatively safe. Like all destinations, petty theft, sexual assault and taxi scams can occur. Pedestrians are sometimes the target of criminals on motorbikes driving past so always wear your purse on the opposite side to the road. The most common scam in Bali is ATM skimming, so be sure to check the machine before using it to see if a skimming device is present.
While Bali is safe for most tourists, travel insurance can give you extra peace of mind. Handy benefits to have in Bali would be, emergency medical expenses, luggage and personal effects, theft of cash, credit card fraud and replacement, special events, resumption of journey and alternative travel expenses. You can look for your travel insurance options in the engine below and find a policy suitable for you.
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While most restaurants in Bali are perfectly safe, it doesn't hurt to take these precautions.
If you do get food poisoning and it doesn't stop within three days, then see a doctor. Your travel insurance should be able to help you with this.
Water in Bali isn't safe to drink unless it's boiled so it's worth following these tips when you travel:
A drink to avoid in Bali is arak, a distilled rice spirit that can be deadly if you drink from a bad batch. Arak has killed travellers in the past so if you're planning on drinking alcohol in Bali, stick to commercially produced drinks.
Yes, Bali is safe to travel alone, even as a female traveller. It’s very common for travellers to make their way around the island solo. Take care of your safety as you would in Australia and exercise a degree a caution when it comes to your personal safety.
Some tips to follow are to
If you're travelling to Bali while pregnant it is safest to travel during your second trimester so long as you are not having any pregnancy concerns.
Travel insurance should cover you for any unforeseen pregnancy complications that may arise. Most plans will not include a normal childbirth and some will not cover you if you're travelling after 28 weeks (it's also not recommended to travel if more than 28 weeks pregnant).
If you choose to travel to Bali while pregnant just be aware of the risks. Many immunisations that are recommended for travel are not safe for pregnant women to take and some medications, such as ones used to prevent or stop diarrhea or food poisoning, are also unsafe. Food poisoning is a risk for pregnant women and is common in Bali.
Hospitals are available in Bali specifically for western travellers with western standards and doctors who can speak English.
Yes, Bali is safe for families and is a popular tourist destination for them because of its well-established tourist facilities and attractions for all ages. Taxis and private drivers are the safest ways to get around and they’re affordable. Babysitting services are available and baby equipment can be rented.
Streets can be very busy so be aware of your kids when you’re walking around. The beaches, though a popular attraction, can be quite dirty with a lot of garbage washing up onto shore, including items such as needles. Keep an eye on your kids while at the beach and wear shoes.
Before travelling to Bali all travellers should make sure routine vaccinations are up to date and speak to a doctor about other travel vaccinations.
Smartraveller.gov.au and a doctor can advise the risks of any other diseases/viruses, which can include:
While malaria doesn't have a vaccination and isn't prominent in Bali, some mosquitoes may carry the disease. Nearby islands do have a higher risk of malaria, so if you're travelling beyond Bali you should take precaution.
Speak to a doctor at least eight weeks before your departure to find out what vaccines you will need, and always protect yourself from mosquitoes.
Remember, if you do not get the recommended vaccines and fall ill while abroad your travel insurance may not cover you, which could leave you with high medical bills.
Accidents in Indonesia are common, especially for motorbike drivers, and it is three times more likely for Australians to be involved in an accident in Indonesia than in Australia. It is recommended to drive defensively.
Hiring a car in Indonesia isn't quite as strict as it is here in Australia. It's common for companies to hire out vehicles without the required international driving licence. If this is the case and you're involved in an accident, your travel insurance won't cover you.
If you're planning on hiring a motorbike to explore the island, make sure, first, that your insurance covers motorbike rental in case anything goes wrong, and that the bike you're hiring fits within the engine size requirements. Many companies limit the engine size of motorbikes hired while overseas to as low as 50cc. Renting one outside of the limits can also void your insurance.
If you are involved in an accident in Bali you will be blamed for it but your top priority will be to find medical assistance first, if needed. Gather as much evidence as possible about the accident and contact your travel insurance company with the information. The Smart Traveller site provides contact information in case of an accident.
It is common for travellers to use Uber, Grab and GoJek, and other driving apps that provide a low cost method of transportation.
The official taxis to use in Bali are Blue Bird, which are known for their good reputation for fare prices and safety. These taxis are light blue and have blue bird symbols. Other taxis can be corrupt and may try to charge you more.
Aside from the known Aussie carriers, the Australian Government has approved Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia Air Asia and Batik Air for flights between Australia and Bali. Following the 2018 crash involving a Lion Air flight, travellers are not recommended to use the airline.
Living in Bali is safe as long as you take the same precautions that you would back home in Australia such as not walking down dark streets by yourself, locking your doors and being aware of your surroundings and personal belongings.
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