9 tips for how to pack and plan for a holiday in Bali | Styling You

9 tips for how to pack and plan for a holiday in Bali

Nikki ParkinsonHow to, Travel 14 Comments

Sponsored by Allianz Travel Insurance

My favourite getaway is hands-down going somewhere warm – and somewhere near the water. Such a location and climate gives you the option of doing very little (sitting poolside or on the beach) or doing sightseeing. Or ticking off both options in one day. Because I have these options, a sub-tropical or tropical destination ends up being most relaxing holiday for me.

One of my favourite places to visit for such a holiday (if not venturing to the Northern Hemisphere) is Bali. It’s just a six-hour flight from Brisbane, making it possible to be in holiday mode super quickly. And the beauty of going to a destination like Bali is that all year round the weather will be similar – warm, hot and humid. I know this doesn’t excite everyone but from a packing and planning perspective, your suitcase will be filled with lightweight pieces.

My 9 tips for how to pack and plan for a trip to Bali are similar to those if you’re having Australian summer beach holiday but with a longer flight on top. The aim with your travel capsule is to feel cool and comfortable, to consider sun-safe options.

{If you’re after tips on what to do when in Bali, check out this post and this post}

9 tips for how to pack and plan for a holiday in Bali | Styling You

9 tips for how to pack and plan for a trip to Bali

1. Think about what your daily activities will involve. Maybe you’re going to take out time share on a beachside umbrella and plant yourself there for the duration. No judgement here. You’ll need swimsuits, thongs and cover-ups as your mainstays. If you’re doing some day trips or shopping, then consider adding in shorts and sneakers.

2. Think about what your nightly activities will involve. We love eating out on holidays so I take a mix of evening options that work. We’re not talking cocktail attire, dressier beach holiday style. Think minimalist shifts or maximalist kaftans. Or both.

3. Take more than one swimsuit. I always pack at least two swimsuits if I’m heading on a dedicated beach holiday. This always means you have one dry and available for a quick change from a morning at the beach to an afternoon poolside. Pack rash vests – particularly if you’re planning any water activities.

4. Take outfits that work back with your swimsuits. This can include cotton frocks and cover-ups as well as shorts and tunic tops. A swimsuit can become a bottom layer of an outfit so make it all work together and you’ll extend your holiday wardrobe. Ideal for that elusive beach-to-bar concept that only seems to happen if holidaying sans kids.

5. Pack a beach bag and towels. Often I’ll make the beach bag my carry-on bag or I’ll pack a flat one in my case. Make it a bag that is a neutral or something that can work back with your capsule. We also take our Turkish towels with us – ideal for any day-tripping that might happen as these towels take up next to no room.

6. Pack a hat. And sunscreen. I do pack a broad-rimmed hat in my suitcase for a beach holiday. See HERE for how. Coupled with sunscreen, these are my must-haves. I love the beach but my skin is fair and I don’t take any chances.

7. Pack a couple of different pairs of sunglasses. I keep my holiday accessories to a minimum (mostly my everyday jewellery and one statement necklace and/or ring/bangle/earrings) and prefer instead to mix up my look with a different pair of sunglasses. You have them on all day and for sunset cocktails, so why not take a couple of options?

8. Wear an in-flight outfit that won’t have you sweltering on arrival. This is the tricky thing as you have to dress for the day/evening you depart and the cold on-board situation but be able to adapt that outfit for arrival. A lightweight pant, tee and sneakers with layers I can easily take off and pop in my carry-on on arrival usually works for me.

9. Don’t rely on shopping while in Bali to complete your travel wardrobe. I say this with a word of warning. Relying totally on holiday purchases to make the bulk of your travel wardrobe can be fraught with danger. You might arrive at a time when stock is low in stores – or you can’t find pieces that suit your shape or style. Go shopping and if you find pieces that need to be trotted out with a cocktail in hand, then consider them a bonus.

15-piece Bali travel capsule wardrobe

The following travel capsule is a guide for you when planning your own trip – items featured may no longer be available. It’s the base from which you might want to add more to. With the hot and humid conditions, keep in mind that you might want to change at least twice each day/night. I would double the number of clothing pieces in the capsule, making sure that any separates work back with each other and that any additions work with the existing shoe edit you’re planning on taking. Check your accommodation (or nearby your accommodation) for laundry facilities. If you have laundry access and feel inclined to wash while on holidays, then the less you’ll need to pack.

What to pack for a holiday in Bali | Styling You

Clothing images are suggestions only and meant as a guide – some pieces may still be available – details HERE

So tell me, is Bali a fave destination of yours? Are you heading back there in the near future? Planning your first trip? When are you going and where are you visiting?

Why travel insurance is as essential as your passport

I want to take off knowing that if someone in my family needs it, then I’m backed up with help from my travel insurance company. For my last three trips – to EuropeHawaii and to Bali – I’ve chosen Allianz travel insurance. 

What I found was insurance that was not only simple and easy to obtain – I selected and purchased my cover online – but also insurance that was competitive in price for the inclusions.

For me, it’s about having peace of mind when you travel. I want to know that if anything goes wrong that my family is backed up through medical help or simply help with extra accommodation or replacement belongings should something be stolen.

When our son was sick almost five years ago while in New York, we weren’t concerned by the potential expense should we need hospital treatment. When I was in Bali last year, I wasn’t concerned about being potentially out of pocket should any delays occur because of the unforeseen ash cloud. And when I book holidays in advance, I do so with the knowledge that if unexpected cancellations occur, I’m covered.^

In short, I don’t leave home – or book a holiday – without it.

Book with Allianz Travel Insurance online HEREEnter  STYLINGYOU to receive up to 10% off International Comprehensive Travel Insurance*

Allianz has more information HERE and HERE – please read if you’re travelling to Bali. 


*Discount based on standard premium rates and applies to International Comprehensive policies only. Please note some discounts may have already been applied to premiums when a product is purchased through a certain channel (for example, online) (Original Discount). In such a case, the greater of the discount offered under this voucher and the Original Discount will be applied. Discount applies to standard premiums only. No discount will be applied to other premium components such as pre-existing medical condition cover.

Allianz Travel insurance is issued and managed by AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFS Licence No. 245631, trading as Allianz Global Assistance, on behalf of the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement available at allianz.com.au before buying this product.

^Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. Any information or advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. If you purchase a policy, Allianz Global Assistance receives a commission which is a percentage of your premium – ask them for more details before they provide you with any services on this product.   

Want my tried and true packing formula?

My e-book, Confessions of a Reformed Over-Packer, has all the tips and tricks you need to plan and pack for ANY holiday or escape.



Comments 14

  1. Hi Nikki, we went to Bali for the first time last year. I absolutely loved it. The food, the shopping, the people. Hope to go again one day. My tip is to take another suitcase, for the homewares shopping. Bungalow Living Bali at Canngu – my nirvana. x

  2. I bought the cross body/clutch [Wanderers] in black for a recent 4 week holiday in Europe. My entire experience with this company was exceptional (I selected the wrong colour – doh!,), and the bag carried all my essentials from day to night in a variety of climates and situations! Highly, highly recommend!

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  3. I too am a Bali fan. Love the people, the climate and the food.
    And of course the shopping.
    My tip is take or buy a sarong. You can use it as a coverup at the beach,a shawl and is essential for visiting temples.

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  4. Hi Nikki.
    I am travelling to Bali on Friday for probably my 30th time. I have been going there since 1980 and have seen many changes.
    I usually visit there for work/pleasure a couple of times a year now as I have 2 retail stores Beyond the Beach Lifestyle Stores in Jervis Bay and Gerringong on the NSW south coast so I clothing made and homewares.
    I am an avid SY follower and really enjoy your blog.
    I stay in a private villa in Seminyak these days just near Jl Oberon (eat street) and I love The W, Potato Head, Da Maria (same owners as Bondi Icebergs and the new Mrs Sippy in
    Pettetinget) and the Alila hotel is a favourite.

    Bali is truly my happy place.

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  5. Perfect timing, we head there in Dec – a delayed trip due to me having very unplanned spine surgery in May and not being able to go on our original date in June.
    My challenge is shoes! Since my injury, my right leg doesn’t quite play the game properly so good shoes are a must! But planning outfits around shoes so back to front for me!
    This has given me some great ideas. Thank you.

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  6. Thank you Nikki this is a very timely post for me.I am going to Bali in February with my son James his fiancé Brooke and her Mum who is another Leesa who I get on well with.Their wedding is in October next year.
    Very exciting and and I feel very honoured that they want some input from me as well.
    I will be coming back to all your Bali posts and reading them when I have time Xx

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