Bali: Family Travel

If you want to stay in Bali as a tourist for 30 to 60 days (maximum) you should get your visa from the Indonesian Embassy overseas -- tourist visas issued outside the country are valid for visits up to 60 days.

The visa-on-arrival most visitors can obtain at the airport is valid for 30 days.  Under new (2010) rules, a 30-day tourist visa can be extended one time only for another 30 days, but this must be done at an immigration office, requires one week for processing, and can require up to 3 separate visits.  The cost for a 60-day tourist visa or a 30-day visa on arrival is the same:  USD25.00.

Traveling with children is sometimes a challenge, and Bali has many of the same challenges you will find anywhere.  But many people find the Balinese to be exceptionally welcoming of babies and young children.  Booking a villa can make your holiday more pleasant -- there are a number of good internet sites providing villa rentals.  Day maids are usually provided and you can easily strike a deal with them to stay longer hours or Saturdays and Sundays.  A cook can also be helpful, as they will do the shopping, cooking, serving, and -- best of all -- the clean up.  Talk with your cook to ensure that all cooking is done with bottled water, and ice, too.  Never use tap water, as Bali has typhus and people do get sick -- that will make your family holiday memorable for all the wrong reasons.

A villa with a pool of its own will provide your kids fun-on-demand and avoid possible conflicts with other guests.  Check the location of supermarkets nearby your villa.  Children can be picky eaters, and you will find many familiar brands available at the larger supermarkets.  The most popular areas for villa rentals are Seminyak, Jimbaran, Canggu and the Bukit. All have excellent shopping, dining, and entertainment options nearby.

There are several Bali guidebooks available tailored to the needs of traveling families.  Get one before you travel, or they are usually available at Periplus Book Shops found at various locations around Bali.

Never leave home without good and adequate travel insurance.  You do not want to take the risk of needing a doctor when traveling with babies or children.  Bali has two 24-hour international clinics, both located near the large traffic circle on the edge of Kuta:

International SOS Clinic Bali
KLINIK SOS Medika Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai 505X Kuta 80361, Bali, Indonesia
24 Hours Alarm Centre: (+62 361) 710 505 | Clinic (+62 361) 720 100

Bali International Medical Clinic (BIMC) and Hospital

Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai 100 X, Kuta 80361, Bali, Indonesia
T: (+62 361) 761263 | F: (+62 361) 764345

ALL dog (and monkey) bites -- even just a scratch -- should be addressed IMMEDIATELY by a physician. Bali is combatting a rabies problem now, and any exposure must be treated immediately. 

Pharmacies are very well equiped and stock all international medicines, and many are open 24 hours. Insect repellent is a MUST, Dengue is a problem  in Bali.  Malaria is limited to Lombok and the islands further east.  There is no prevention against dengue except to avoid to be bitten by the mosquito.  A hat and sun protection is also a must.

It can rain heavily for extended periods during the rain season (Nov-Mar), so be prepared with DVDs, and have plenty of toys or other types of child-friendly enterainment.

There is no need to rent a car, taxi's are available round the clock, on the street or on call (5 minutes) and the price is minimal.  Bluebird taxis are the most reliable, and can be ordered by phone at (0361) 701 111.

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