Travelling to bali with young kids – is it a good idea?

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From the moment we mentioned we were travelling to Bali with young kids we’ve had a mixed bag of reactions, ranging from ‘how wonderful!’ to (dead silence) ‘….. why?’. Many of you asked me to write up my tips when I returned and so this post is an attempt to do just that.

 

But before I get started I’d like to address the elephant in the room…

Is travelling to Bali with young kids a good idea?

 

Yes…. and No.

 

Yes because…

 

It’s inexpensive and you can’t beat that when you have a young family and likely less than two full time wages.

The balinese people LOVE children and will often offer to take them for a few minutes whilst you eat your meal in peace.

It’s only a 4 1/2 hour flight from Australia – easily doable with young kids.

There’s lots of kid friendly activities to do.  We easily kept busy the whole time.

 

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No because…

 

Children under 3 are walking accidents and there are pretty much NO regulations for anything in Bali. Which means no pool fences + no barriers between you and the drop on second story balcony in resorts = no sitting down and relaxing. (And yes I understand I could have hired a nanny I guess – but I don’t know – I never really felt comfortable enough to do that).

 

We vaccinated for typhoid and Hep A before we left but there was one of those that Rory was unable to get (I can’t remember which) because of his age. We avoided the monkeys because that was the biggest risk but there are dogs and cats EVERYWHERE and Rory inevitably still puts everything in his mouth so it was fairly stressful trying to manage this.

 

If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday – this is not it.  Instead can I suggest inviting the grandparents around and holidaying in your own home? Maybe even shipping the kids off the grandparents for a few days?

 

With that said I know I promised tips but I don’t know that after one trip I’m overly qualified to give them.

 

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What worked.

 

We flew both trips at night which meant that both boys slept for the majority of both and were no problem at all.  We flew the red-eye home which was a little crazy because we don’t really sleep with them on us but my parents SAVED THE DAY and took the boys that day to let us sleep. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. (thanks Mum!)

 

Staying away from the main tourist areas.  Our trip consisted of Sanur, Ubud, Lovina, West Bali and then Uluwatu.  The busiest was Ubud (but worth it) and other than that we were often the only Australians.

 

Just going with it. Things we embraced whilst away – the dummy, late bedtimes, long midday naps, Eamon ordering toasted sandwiches for dinner as often as he pleased, his obsession with watermelon juice, the nightly bed-wrestling ritual by the two boys as they burnt off over-tired, over-sugared energy, etc etc. Basically anything that made our lives easier was adopted for the two weeks.

 

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What I’d do differently.

 

We moved around a lot. Every three days we moved to a new place. Which sounded good in theory because when you look at the distances in Bali things are not that far apart. BUT the roads are this crazy winding roundabout that take 20 times longer to get anywhere than you expect.  Next time I’d stay in only one or two spots and do day trips to see the place instead.

 

Leave the kids at home. HA! No in all honesty I don’t think I’ll be rushing back to Bali with anyone under 3 anytime soon.  Once they can swim and know enough not to put everything in their mouths I think you’re on to a winner but before that it’s a NO GO for us.

 

So that’s pretty much it.  We’re still trying to get back into the swing of regular life over here and are slowwwly breaking some of those ‘bad habits’ we created whilst on holidays.

 

Have you been to Bali with young kids? Would you go back?

One Response to “Travelling to bali with young kids – is it a good idea?

  • We went with Jarvis last year…he was 3. I, we would go back in the blink of an eye. Jarvis still asks when we can go to Bali on another holiday almost a year later. Bar for the rat episode in Ubud, we loved every minute of it.

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