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.
Here’s the ultimate Bali packing list and why we suggest each item mentioned.
What’s The Weather Like in Bali?
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
|Monsoon||You 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.|
|Dry||Bali’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.|
|Shoulder||October to December and March to May are considered the best seasons in Bali, a mix of warm temperatures, high humidity, and occasional showers. It’s a great season to visit Bali. Just be prepared for the hotter weather.|
Quick Tips on Packing for 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 Luggage To Bring To Bali?
Travel Duffel Bag
Before we jump into what to wear in Bali, let’s cover luggage. We have two bag recommendations for a trip to Bali. The Peak Design Travel Duffel and Osprey Farpoint/Fairview travel backpack. Any backpack or duffel bag will do, but we prefer these bag styles over traditional hardshell suitcases.
While you can easily use a traditional hardshell suitcase, you may want to stay away from a rolling bag, as most of the island is very hilly with dirt/sandy paths. A duffel or backpack is better for Bali outside the five-star resorts where bellhops will whisk away a suitcase. Although we’ve seen it done numerous times, a hardshell suitcase is not ideal on a motorbike. At resorts, we prefer a suitcase like the Delsey Helium Aero.
What To Wear in Bali
Bali is a super casual destination, and the island has no dress code. As it’s a tropical island, the usual outfit consists of shorts, a shirt/tank top, and sandals. If you plan to visit climb one of the island’s volcanoes like Batur or Agung, you’ll want to pack a light jacket and long pants. Most visitors wear clothes that relate to surf or yoga culture.
Balinese dress casually, but wear pants and Batik, Kebaya, or long sleeve shirts in public spaces. You’ll also see many Balinese in traditional dress on any given day of the week. They are proud of their culture and still wear it for business, special occasions, holidays, or celebrations.
This essentially has no impact on visitors to the island, but you are expected to be respectful around temples and religious sites. It’s also a good idea to be mindful of more rural regions of the island where culture is still more conservative.
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, 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.
Clothes To Pack For Bali
In destinations like Uluwatu and Canggu, it feels as if everyone is a surfer. You’ll find most tourists and ex-pats in t-shirts, tank tops, and bathing suits there. Women often wear bikinis, easy cover-ups, or shorts with a tank top. Men run around in tanks, tee shirts, surf shorts, and sandals.
Graphic tees perfectly intertwine with surfing culture and laid-back vibes, so throw a cool surf shirt in your bag. The technical Patagonia Capilene Cool T-shirts are a great option to keep you cool and comfortable in the heat.
If you want a classic shirt, we love the ease and quality of ordering classic cotton tees from Bombas. However, in recent travels, we have preferred to pack fewer garments and replace traditional cotton with quality merino wool t-shirts from Unbound Merino. They cope with travel much better.
Our recommendations for men’s shorts are the Western Rise Evolution, Quicksilver Amphibian, Vuori Kore Shorts, and Outlier OG Freeway. Recommendations for women include the prAna Elle Short, Vuori Dash, prAna Kanab, and Patagonia Baggies. We suggest whatever suits your style and recommend they do not involve cargo pockets.
When it comes to bathing suits, we have two great recommendations. For a fantastic women’s swimsuit brand, we recommend Londre. They make high-quality swimsuits that are stylish yet supportive.
Vuori makes fantastic lightweight Cruise Board Shorts in various prints and colors. They’re super comfortable, quickly dry, and the cut is perfect. We’re not a fan of board shorts that are too long or loose, as they look sloppy. We always recommend you pack two bathing suits for any beach destination. This way, travelers always have a dry swimsuit.
Pack a rashguard for an extra layer of sun protection and to save your chest. If it’s your first time and you want to try it once with a lesson, most surf schools supply a rash guard.
In the spiritual town of Ubud, yoga wear is the style. It’s all bohemian, with many locally produced clothes from organic fabrics such as hemp, linen, and cotton. We suggest you pack some clothes from home that can cope with the humidity, like technical travel clothing or natural materials like wool and linen.
Most of this clothing is for time off the yoga mat and relaxing in the open-air restaurants and cafes that dot the hillsides. This means loose cuts that are comfortable for lounging and handling the heat.
For a stylish look that’s also practical, women can wear a perfect travel romper like the Patagonia Fleetwidth. Another great combo is the prAna Cozy-Up Tank and Elle Shorts. Men can’t go wrong with Everlane’s Short Sleeve Linen Shirt and Western Rise Evolution shorts.
Of course, you’ll want clothes to practice yoga if you plan to spend time in Ubud. It’s easily one of the best things to do in Bali. Lululemon yoga leggings and sports bras live up to the hype for women. prAna’s Vaha shorts are excellent for men and are surprisingly versatile as travel shorts and loungewear.
While most studios provide a mat, having your own is excellent. We find it a bit more hygienic, and it’s nice to practice yoga anywhere on the road with our favorite travel yoga mat.
Manduka has a lightweight travel yoga that we now use for travel. It’s not as robust as a regular yoga mat and can be painful on hard surfaces. However, we like it on a soft carpet, on the beach, on a towel, or over a yoga studio’s public mats for a more hygienic experience.
There is a slew of outdoor activities in Bali. One of the classics on many travelers’ lists is a sunrise hike up Mount Batur. 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. Our favorite adventure activity is chasing waterfalls and hikes through the jungle.
If you plan any adventure activities, you’ll want to pack some athletic shoes and clothing. Athletic shorts and a top are suitable 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 or Hoka One One Speedgoat.
See Our Hiking Clothes Recommendations
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.
Right now, my favorite summer dresses come from Salty Crush. They make a bunch of quality bohemian-style summer dresses. If you’re after something more trendy, we love the styles and offers from Lulus.
Men can keep it simple with suitable resort staples and tropical wear. Try out the Western Rise Evolution pants and a linen shirt from Everlane. Sandals feel informal for men, so travel with a lightweight pair of loafers or sneakers that work with pants and shorts.
See Our Travel Clothes Recommendations
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. Any rain jacket will do, but the top-dollar ones will hold up and hold up in inclement weather.
We spend a lot of time hiking and mountaineering, so we have top-of-line Gore-Tex shell jackets. If you’re looking for a more affordable jacket, we’re big fans of Patagonia’s Torrentshell Jacket, as it’s a great value. We share our favorite packable rain jackets in this post if you want more recommendations.
Our Rain Jacket Recommendations
Bali Packing List
A stylish pair of sunglasses is an excellent addition to an outfit. Everyone owns at least one pair of sunglasses. It’s best to ensure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes. We travel with two pairs of sunglasses as we’re pretty active.
A pair of Smith Optics for outdoor adventures and a couple of stylish sunglasses to wear at the beach or around town for the day. Our two favorite stylish brands are Persol and Raybans, which have a timeless look.
Grayl GeoPress Water Filter & Purifier
We never advise drinking tap water in Southeast Asia. We travel with a water bottle that purifies water for safe drinking water. Our favorite is the Grayl GeoPress purifier bottle. It saves money, reduces plastic waste, and ensures that our water is safe and free of viruses and other waterborne illnesses.
The Grayl bottle is not only practical but also innovative in design. A press-like system effectively filters out sediment, bacteria, and heavy metals, leaving only clean and safe water. Its wide-mouth top makes it easy to drink and fill, and its sleek design fits comfortably in any bag or backpack.
Shop For Grayl GeoPress Water Purifier
Quick Dry Travel Towel
We always recommend you pack a travel towel for almost every destination. Quick-dry towels are great when you’re out exploring Bali. You can take an impromptu dip in the ocean, dry off, and head for a smoothie bowl.
A towel is also tremendous when you hike to one of Bali’s numerous waterfalls, as the towels are small enough to throw in your daypack and leave room for additional items. Most hotels don’t appreciate you taking their towels along for day trips.
The biggest complaint about travel towels is that they often feel nothing like the plush cotton towels we are accustomed to at home and in hotels. With PackTowl, you can forget that because they set out to create a towel that mimics its cotton counterparts with the technical features of a travel towel.
Bali has year-round warm weather and lots of rain, which is a breeding ground for mosquitos. They love to hand around forests, ponds, lagoons, or anywhere with still water. We recommend packing a bottle of insect repellant with DEET so you’ll scare away those annoying biting demons.
And in a worst-case scenario, it reduces the chances of Dengue Fever — although it’s rare in Bali. Remember that DEET can destroy plastics, so mind your sunglasses or camera when applying.
Shop For Insect Repellant
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Bali, as you’re close to the Equator. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house, as you will find much higher prices in Bali.
We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral-based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans. If you’re not going to swim in the ocean, go with a reliable name brand — granted, runoff often still ends in our oceans.
Shop For Natural Sunscreen
Walking around and participating in everyday activities in Bali can get pretty dirty. It became a reoccurring theme to find hand soap nowhere. You can’t go wrong bringing some hand sanitizer and baby wipes in your bag — consider it a travel essential anywhere.
After driving across Africa, we learned that a headlamp is never wrong to pack in your bags. Our BioLite headlamp came in handy when we did night walks in the jungle, searching for frogs and staying at a treehouse community off the grid and without power.
We almost always pack a headlamp in our bags as it’s always helpful to have a light. A great option is a rechargeable headlamp like the BioLite 330 or 150.
With all the water around Bali, bringing a dry bag is a great idea. They’re great for adventure activities on the water or in tropical forests. It’s also a wonderful item for the beach if you want to protect your electronics. We love this one from Sea Line, but they’re a bunch of cheap options on Amazon.
We chased a new waterfall daily, hiked through the rainforest, or enjoyed the beach. I love a versatile size around the 30L mark if you only have one pack. The size gives enough room for gear-heavy days when hiking in the mountains, but it’s light enough for light short treks in destinations like Bali.
Of course, any nice backpack will do the job if you don’t have plans for extensive hikes. You can also get a cheap foldable bag that will do an excellent job securing your things.
Bali Packing List Electronics
A smartwatch is often an overlooked travel staple, but having a watch on the road has become a must for me. It helps keep me on time when I’m out in the water, on a hike, or catching the next plane on a layover.
Bali is a vibrant destination, as two of the most popular activities are surfing and hiking. A smartwatch can track your fitness and help monitor your health vitals. We got our watches before a trip, which have become a part of everyday life. I use and love the Garmin Instinct.
A GoPro is a perfect camera to bring to Bali; you’ll see them everywhere. Bali has plenty of adventures, from surfing to hiking or ATV Tours to Snorkeling.
Don’t risk bringing a fancy camera to the beach. We love the GoPro Hero 11. The Hypersmooth motion capture is a total game-changer. Just attach it to a wrist strap, so it doesn’t get lost!
I love traveling with a power bank to ensure my electronics never die. I usually don’t need to use it on long flights as some new international flights provide entertainment systems with USB ports! (Always make sure your charging cable is handy when boarding the plane)
We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a significant pain. I recommend purchasing this power bank because it’s a great value with solid reviews.
Shop For Anker Power Bank
A Kindle is an essential travel accessory for travelers who love to read. As much as we love an actual book, they are too heavy and take up too much room in my suitcase. We recently upgraded to the Kindle Paperwhite and love it.
It’s small, has touchscreen functions, and has a backlight to read at night without a harsh glare. We can’t think of a better way to disconnect in nature than a good book.
Shop For Kindle Paperwhite
You Need This to Travel to Bali
We never travel without travel insurance with Heymondo. With all the risks of travel in a foreign country and insurance coverage, we never have to worry about a good health plan. Heymondo offers incredible flexibility and great plans!
You never know if the worse could happen while you’re abroad, and your insurance plan at home often will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having the peace of mind that we have a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.
Shop For Travel Insurance
Tips On What to wear in 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.
- 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.
- Shop Local: If you like shopping, you can find any clothes you need in Bali, especially in Ubud and Canggu. 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.
Skip This On Your Bali Packing List
- 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.