What to Wear in Bali • The Ultimate Bali Packing List!

Wondering what to wear in Bali and don’t know where to start? Bali is a vibe. Most importantly, it’s an island of many contrasts. Bali, a Hindu island, contrasts with Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation and conservative in values. So traditional Balinese culture is starkly different from their neighbors.

While still conservative by western standards, they’ve fostered the culture of Western tourists and ex-pats that brought with them current trends, surf, and yoga. The heady mix altogether makes for a relaxed environment. Typical outfits are light and relaxed to cope with the heat and humidity.

Bali packing list

Here’s the ultimate Bali packing list and why we suggest each item mentioned.


Quick Tips on Packing for Bali

ubud - what to wear in bali

Bali is a relatively easy destination to pack for, thanks to the islands’ reliable climate. The only sticking point can be the high humidity and the frequent rain showers. Island life here is laid back, and you’ll find most tourists in swimsuits, sandals, and relaxed t-shirts.

  • Don’t forget a rain jacket or umbrella. You never know when a rainstorm may pop up.
  • Pack your mask and fins if you plan to free-dive or snorkel.
  • Reef-safe sunscreen is a great idea to bring and protect the reefs.
  • Mesh/breathable packing cubes help separate damp and dirty clothes from clean ones.
  • You’re more likely to regret packing too much than too little.
  • Pack a headlamp if you plan a sunrise hike on one of Bali’s volcanoes.
  • Sun protection is always a good idea, whether sunblock, hats or UPF clothing.
  • Adventure clothes such as hiking shoes, sandals, and athletic wear are great for island activities.

What’s The Weather Like in Bali?

Bali Sideman Rice Terraces

Bali enjoys warm weather all year. It’s a tropical climate with daytime temperatures ranging from 20-33°C / 68-91°F. Bali has two seasons which are monsoon and dry season.

Heavy rain showers and high humidity from the west dump lots of rain on the island from October to March. Most days are still sunny during the monsoon season, but afternoon thunderstorms are frequent.

The dry season runs from June to September and offers low humidity with cooler evenings. It’s rare to see rain in the popular coastal lowlands, but rain in Central Bali can happen any time of year.

If you have plans to hike and of the volcanos for sunrise or spend time in the highlands, it’s a good idea to bring a warm jacket. Temperatures on the summit of Mount Batur can range from 12-18C, which can feel very chilly without a jacket in the wind.

Seasons in Bali

MonsoonYou don’t get a tropical island without plenty of rainfall, and the monsoon season can see torrential downpours with high humidity. Most days are sunny with afternoon thunderstorms.
DryBali’s dry season is the same as summer in the Northern Hemisphere, from June to September. The dry weather and lower humidity lead to cooler temperatures. It’s easily the best time of year to visit Bali.
ShoulderOctober to December and March to May are considered the should seasons in Bali, a mix of warm temperatures, high humidity, and the occasional shower. It’s a great season to visit Bali just be prepared for the hotter weather.

What To Wear in Bali


sunglasses

You’ll spend a lot of time outside in Bali, so it’s best to protect your eyes with sunglasses. Cheap sunnies will do, but it’s best to ensure they at least have UV protection for the health of your eyes. Sunglasses not only protect your eyes from the sun, but double as protective eyewear on the classic mode of transport around the island, motorbikes.

bali packing list

We love quality polarized sunglasses like the Smith Optics Lowdown 2 which feel perfect for the beach. They’re also linked with surf culture, so they feel at home in Bali. If you want more affordable sunglasses that still look great, check out Knockaround Sunglasses.

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Sandals

what to wear in bali

You cannot come to Bali without sandals. The culture here is very much like the rest of Southeast Asia, where the footwear of choice is sandals. Sandals are great in Southeast Asia as it’s customary to remove your shoes when entering many stores, homes, and restaurants. You’ll even see all across the island various cafes with a pile of sandals at the entryway.

We both recommend a pair of Rainbow Sandals or Birkenstocks as they last forever and are super comfortable once the leather/cork forms to your foot. For women’s sandals, another cheap and stylish option is Plaka sandals. One last random tip, we suggest you bring your flip-flops inside at night since stray dogs have stolen ours before.

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Surf Wear

Bali Surfer Girl

Bali is very informal, and you’ll find most western tourists in t-shirts or tank tops, and bathing suits. Women often wear bikinis, easy cover-ups, or shorts with a tank top. You won’t find many Balinese women in tank tops as they dress more conservatively, but they’re widely accepted across the island, especially in tourist hubs.

Graphic tees are big on the island due to the surf culture. In destinations like Uluwatu and Canggu, it feels as if everyone is a surfer, and you’ll see plenty of tanned ex-pats working remotely in trendy cafes between surf sessions. If you’re looking for the latest trends, check out EVO, an online surf, skate, and snow shop. I also love Body Glove for surf apparel and wetsuits, not that you’ll need one in Bali.

If you’re not into the surf culture, lean more towards the resort vibes with a trendy cover-up and swimsuit. Pair that with a hat and sunglasses to complete your beach look. Men can opt for a solid color swim shorts with a clean linen shirt. Short shorts are an easy choice for both sexes when not at the beach. Women can also opt for a long skirt that works well for sightseeing as it’s comfortable and appropriate at religious sites.

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Yoga Wear

Yoga In Bali

Just like surf wear, yoga has a significant impact on the clothing in Bali. In Ubud, yoga wear takes on a more bohemian look with organic fabrics. Loose hemp, linen, and cotton clothes can cope with Bali’s humidity well. It’s also super trendy with long tank tops, loose cuffed pants, and natural-dye dresses.

All of this is clothing inspired for time off the mat and relaxing in any of the open-air restaurants and cafes that dot the hillsides. prAna is the closest retailer we’ve found to the style, but much of the clothing is locally produced. Just avoid the classic cliche elephant pants worn by many backpackers.

Yoga in Bali

Of course, if you plan to spend time practicing yoga in Bali, you’ll want to bring some clothes for that. We practice a lot of yoga and can confidently say that for women, Lululemon yoga pants and sports bras live up to the hype. I practice a lot of yoga in the prAna’s men’s Vaha shorts and typically skip a shirt.

Most studios will provide you with a mat. However, we now like to travel with a travel yoga mat so that I can always stretch and practice. You can also see all our favorite travel yoga mats here!

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Active Wear

bali

There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in Bali, with a sunrise hike up Mount Batur being one of the most popular. You can also enjoy just about every other adventure activity you can think of on the island. There are ziplining, quad tours, horseback rides, biking, and even guided runs.

If you plan any adventure activities, you’ll want to pack some athletic shoes and clothing. Athletic shorts and a top are a good idea for a trip to any destination. We love to travel with trail running shoes as they work in the gym and on the trail. Our favorites are the Salomon Speedcross.

See Our Hiking Clothes Recommendations


Balinese Dress

Balinese Woman In Kebaya

If you’re after a great souvenir or to blend in a bit with the locals, try some of the Balinese clothing. The most common shirt for men is a batik print, and you’ll find them for sale all over the island. They’re even popular with ex-pats who wear a more modern version of the shirt.

Balinese women wear a kebaya which is a gorgeous long sleeve shirt, often with intricate lace work. They will pair this top with a batik kamben similar to a long sarong. It’s not as common to see western women in traditional Balinese clothing. However, the lace work and batik prints make for a great souvenir.


Nice Clothes

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Women will get plenty of wear out of a dress in Bali. They look great and can cope with the heat. A maxi dress works well as they are long enough to be appropriate at temples and works as a beach cover-up. I love this convertible maxi dress from Free People.

Another option is to try Salty Crush. They sell beautiful Bohemian dresses for women of all shapes and sizes. Their prints are adorable, and I almost always get compliments when I wear their dresses. With no shortage of restaurants, bars, and resorts, you’ll get plenty of wear out of a nice outfit in Bali.

Men can keep it simple with suitable resort staples and tropical wear. Try out some travel chinos from Bluffworks and a linen shirt from Everlane. Sandals feel informal for men, so travel with a lightweight pair of loafers that work with pants and shorts.

See Our Travel Clothes Recommendations


swimsuit

Best Bali Waterfalls

Bali is a tropical island with a healthy dose of beaches, hidden waterfalls, day clubs, and dreamy resorts. Any visitor needs to pack at least one swimsuit, if not multiple. There are a plethora of ways to get wet on the island. Choose between waterfall diving, whitewater rafting, poolside clubs, surfing, and hot springs.

We suggest you pack at least two suits to always have a dry one on hand. Andie Swimwear is incredible as it is both stylish and great for swimming or surfing. Their diverse range has a style for every body type. When it comes to men’s board shorts, the major surf brands all do a fantastic job, but I’m partial to Body Glove.

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Rain Jacket

Bali Forest

In case you didn’t know, tropical islands receive a lot of rain. If you travel in the shoulder seasons, chances are high that you will experience one of the islands’ thunderstorms. For that, we recommend a packable rain jacket.

We both have rain jackets made by Arc’teryx and Patagonia. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof. Any rain jacket will do, but the top-dollar ones will hold up and help in inclement weather.

See Our Recommendations


What To Pack For Bali?


What Luggage To Bring To Bali?

Hardshell Suitcase

Travel Backpack

Before we discuss what to pack for Bali, let’s chat about luggage. I have two bag recommendations for a trip to Bali. You can opt for a traditional hardshell suitcase with four wheels or a travel backpack. Suitcases with four wheels are best as the ability to roll sideways down the aisle of a plane or a sidewalk makes life a lot easier. We prefer hardshell as it does a better job at protection and security.

Our favorite hardshell suitcase is the Delsey Helium Aero 25″. However, if you plan to travel around Bali with a motorbike, you may want to stay away from a rolling suitcase, as it’s nearly impossible to get around with a hard suitcase.

Travel backpacks are great for young backpackers, digital nomads, or minimalists! They are also great if you want to save on any checked bag fees your air carrier might charge you. Our favorites are the Peak Design Travel Backpack and the NOMATIC Backpack.

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Hardside Suitcase
Travel Backpack

Water Shoes

Best Bali Waterfalls

One thing that might not come to mind when thinking about what to wear in Bali is water shoes! Cameron laughed at me a few times when we were exploring the Bali waterfalls, but I got the last laugh with my beautiful feet protected by water shoes.

If you plan on hiking around the waterfalls in Bali and going in the water, it’s worth picking up a pair of cheap water shoes. They’re essential when considering what to take to Bali and will help you grip the slippery rocks and protect your feet from sharp rocks. The better alternative would be to pack a pair of hiking sandals such as Tevas or Chacos.


Sunblock

what to wear in bali

Once you get to Bali, it will be hard to find your favorite sunscreen, and when you do, you will pay a premium for it. We suggest you pack an eco-friendly sunscreen to protect the island’s fragile coral reef ecosystems.

Cheap sunblocks are loaded with several chemicals that have been proven to cause harm to coral. If you are packing for Bali in just a carry-on, consider bringing a travel-sized bottle with you.


Beach Towel

Nusa Penida

We always travel with a microfiber towel just in case we find ourselves without a towel. Unless you are in hostels, most accommodation providers will provide you with bath towels, but they won’t want you to take them to the beach and ruin them.

The Youphoria travel towel is quick to dry, antibacterial, and doesn’t hold on to sand like a regular bath towel. Plus, it packs up light and small! Of course, many resorts do provide you with beach towels!


Dry Bag

Things to do in Nusa Lembognan

Dry bags are great if you spend time at the beach or go on boat trips. They will protect your phone and any other electronics from the ocean or rain if caught in a storm.

We found them helpful when we were getting dive certified on Nusa Lembongan. You can check out our favorite dry bags for travel here.


Camera Gear

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Chances are you’ll want a camera for your trip to Bali. Our favorite pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera for quick trips is the Sony RX100V. It takes fantastic photos and videos and is the size of your palm.

We bought this camera specifically for our trip to Hawaii as we could easily add on underwater housing for an affordable price. It came in handy when we went snorkeling on Nusa Penida! Check out our other travel cameras here.


Daypack

Things to do in Nusa ceningan

Every day we chase a new waterfall, enjoy the beach, or go to the nearest cafe to catch up on work. For all our excursions, we had the Osprey Daylite carry our essentials for the day.

You can also get a cheap foldable backpack that will do an excellent job of securing your things too. Here’s a review of all of our favorite daypacks.


Water Bottle

Bali Packing List

The tap water in Bali is not drinkable, but most hotels will provide large water tanks for their guests to fill up their water bottles.

Indonesia has a huge plastic waste problem, so I can’t stress how important it is for visitors to refill their travel water bottles. We’ve recently fallen in love with Hydro Flask bottles as they keep water cool for a long time. See more of our favorite travel water bottles here.


Kindle Paperwhite

How Travel Bloggers Make Money - Tasha in Bali

Check out some of the best-sellers right now and pick up a copy. I like to read on days when I feel like sunbathing and relaxing. Cameron is impatient, so having a book on the beach provides much-needed entertainment.

I’ve recently upgraded to the Kindle Paperwhite and love it. It’s small, has touch screen functions, and has a backlight so I can read at night without a harsh glare.


Snorkel Gear

Maafushivaru - Beach Packing List

If you plan on snorkeling a few times, it may be worth purchasing fins and a mask before you go. We bought ours in the US a few months before this trip and now bring them worldwide.

It beats paying for snorkel rental equipment everywhere we go!  (My fins even fit perfectly in my suitcase).


Buff Headwear

Nusa Penida

It can get dusty riding around Bali on a motorbike. Wearing a Buff will protect your face from all the dirt.


Travel Insurance

Bali packing list

We don’t travel without travel insurance, and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country, and it’s best to be prepared. Heymondo offers excellent short and long-term travel insurance policies.

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Travel Adapter

Travel-Adaptor

Indonesia uses the Europlug. Pick up a good universal travel adaptor before you arrive.

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What to wear in Bali Tips

Overtourism Bali
  • Type of Traveler: Determine if you are traveling to Bali for a relaxing beach vacation or a rugged and adventurous vacation (or both!). It helps you know your necessities and how to style your Bali outfits.
  • Weather: The climate is tropical, given its proximity to the equator. While temperatures stay stable, the season can significantly affect what is on your Bali packing list.
  • Season: Bali has two distinct seasons: dry and wet. The dry season runs between May to September, and the wet season is between October and April. May to September brings the best weather, but it is also the most touristy time of the year and when you will find the highest prices. The best time to visit Bali.
  • Laundry: When thinking about what to take to Bali, be aware that you can get your laundry services in Bali are incredibly affordable.  I wouldn’t worry about packing an absurd amount of clothes as a local laundromat will wash, dry, and iron your clothes for less than $5.
  • Surf Essentials: Bali is one of the great surf destinations in the world. If you’re a surfer, remember your surf essentials. On top of that, consider a board rental as the island’s popularity means there is an excellent selection of boards on the island.
  • Natural Sunscreen: Please be conscious of the environment when you apply sunscreen and utilize eco-friendly sunscreen when you are going into the ocean. Respect the environment you will enjoy for vacation, and only wear eco-friendly sunscreens.
  • Shop Local: If you like shopping, you can find any clothes you need in Bali, especially in Ubud and Kuta. You have two great options cheap street stalls for backpacker wear and fashionable boutique shops.
  • Pack Less: The less you pack, the better, especially if traveling between islands. Stick to one checked bag and carry-on to make your life easier. It’s much easier when navigating the Bali and the ferries if you plan to island-hop.

What Not to Put on Your Bali Packing List

Bali
  • Expensive Jewelry: You won’t need it in Bali as you can get artisan jewelry everywhere. Expensive jewelry makes you a target for thieves.
  • Jeans: It gets hot in Bali, and the last thing you will want to wear is jeans that cling to your skin.
  • Dark clothing: The same thing goes for dark clothing. Hot sun mixed with black shirts is no good.
  • Drugs: Don’t ever mess with drugs, especially in Indonesia. You could face serious prison time in an Indonesian jail or even death.
  • Too many clothes: Like I mentioned getting your laundry done is a great deal in Bali. A huge basket of clothes costs us less than $8 to wash, dry, and fold. I would rather pay for that any day than have too many clothes on me.
  • An international data plan: Data is very cheap in Bali. Don’t pay for an international data plan or roaming. Instead, ask your hotel or guesthouse where to pick up a sim card and put data on that. We paid about $10 for 20 GB of data.

Plan For Your Trip

About Cameron

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

3 thoughts on “What to Wear in Bali • The Ultimate Bali Packing List!”

  1. We never had any problem with them in July and August, but having some all natural bug spray with you can’t hurt!

  2. This was super helpful and comprehensive and made me realize a couple things that I hadn’t thought yet to bring. Thank you!

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