Bali, the stunning island province of Indonesia, is a dream destination for travellers of all ages and from all over the world. It is also one of my favourite places to take my children. So, what makes Bali great for kids?
If you haven’t yet visited this stunning and easily accessible holiday haven, now is the time to consider it.
In this article, I’ll talk you through why, as a single mum travelling with kids, Bali ticks all the boxes for our family.
1. It’s easy to get to
Getting to Bali is easy as the island has an international airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), which serves many airlines worldwide. For further ease, the airport is located in the southern part of the island, near popular tourist areas such as Kuta, Seminyak, and Nusa Dua.
Many airlines offer direct flights to Bali from major cities in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East and connecting flights from Europe and North America.
For us, the flying time is just over six hours, which is manageable. Flying with kids can be challenging so I always book daytime flights because we can’t get enough sleep on a night flight and arrive exhausted. Never a good start for a holiday!
2. It’s easy to get around
Another thing I love about Bali is that it’s accessible and easy to get around, even with kids in tow.
Most locals use mopeds to get around. It’s safe to say that they are popular around the island. Renting one is cheap, but not for the faint of heart. I wouldn’t recommend sticking your kids on one.
Bali doesn’t have Uber, but it has another rideshare app. Grab is practical, easy, and relatively cheap. Grab cars are nicer than taxis and most drivers speak English. They will chat with you and get to know you, which is nice. However, Grab is slower than mopeds due to the traffic on the island. So if your estimated arrival time says 15 minutes, allow more time during busy parts of the day. Traffic generally eases off in the evenings.
If hailing a taxi is a must, I recommend My Bluebird Taxi. Unlike rideshare, it goes by the metre but is moderated, safe and reliable. I use the app as it allows me to pay via credit/debit card, just like Grab.
Last, if you can put up with the kids whinging, there’s always walking. Some neighbourhoods are more pedestrian-friendly than others. Just avoid speeding mopeds, especially during rush hour.
3. Lots of family-friendly accommodation
With the popularity of Bali among families all over the globe, there now is plenty of family-friendly accommodation on the island. For a reasonable budget, I can filter through a beachfront property with five outdoor swimming pools (1 toddler pool, one kid’s pool, and three adults pool) and eight dining options with 24-hour room service.
Also, if you and/or your kids cannot live without connectivity, free Wi-Fi is now a priority in most hotels and hostels.
The kind of things I look for in accommodation when holidaying in Bali with kids are:
- Kids’ clubs
- Multiple swimming pools, including one safe for small children
- Family rooms or interconnecting options
- Child-friendly amenities at no extra cost including cots, high chairs etc
- Kids activities options such as craft workshops, dance lessons, mini golf
- Babysitting services
Bali is great for kids because you won’t have to look far for any of the above. They are usually part and parcel of most medium to large family-friendly resorts in Bali.
4. The Balinese love kids!
The Balinese people are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature towards tourists, especially kids. They deeply respect children and believe they bring joy and positive energy to their communities. This is something we feel on every visit.
Many Balinese people love interacting with kids and sharing their culture and traditions. They are often happy to answer questions, offer insights into local customs, and even teach kids a few words in the Balinese language.
Once, my children scored us a special invitation to participate in a temple ceremony, where they could learn about traditional Balinese dress, dance, and music. Magical.
5. Heaps of fun outdoor activities
Due to the climate in Bali, you’ll want to be outdoors most of the time enjoying the sun.
Not only does Bali have the world-famous beach for hours of fun swimming, surfing and snorkelling, but there is heaps more to do under their big blue, sunny sky.
Depending on the ages of your kids, you might want to try the following:
- Bike tours
- Elephant safaris
- The Tree Top Adventure Park
- Bali Zoo
- Ubad Monkey Forest
- Some of the best waterparks in Asia
6. A great cultural experience for kids
Balinese love it when kids appreciate their culture at a young age. These are their formative years, and such experiences can enrich their growth and development.
The majority of Balinese practice Hinduism. This makes for a vibrant place to visit with kids due to the daily offerings and ceremonies performed by locals.
We’ve enjoyed many cultural experiences in Bali, such as:
- Balinese cooking classes
- Learning to dance Balinese style
- Playing percussion in Gamelan music
- Batik textile painting
- Canang Sari – Balinese Offering Making
- Temple visits (yes, these can be fun!)
As for a dance show, the epic of Ramayana and the movements of the Kedak dance come to life in a sunset performance in the Uluwatu Temple. It was an unforgettable memory for my kids and me.
7. There are even educational opportunities
For me, there is no better education for children and adults than visiting different countries worldwide. And Bali doesn’t disappoint.
Bali is great for kids because it provides a beautifully enriching educational experience for them.
They can learn about Balinese culture, traditions, and values by visiting temples, attending cultural performances, and interacting with locals. Bali also offers opportunities to learn about biodiversity, conservation, sustainability, history, language, and social and emotional learning.
Exploring Bali’s natural wonders, observing wildlife, visiting historical sites, learning some Balinese words and phrases, and experiencing the island’s friendly culture are all educational experiences … disguised as fun!
8. They have babysitting services!
The locals understand that it is important to have a little help, especially for families with infants and toddlers. If you have a date night planned to immerse yourself in the island’s beauty sans kids, you can arrange a babysitting service.
It’s good to know that most nannies have worked with many tourist families and understand the needs of their children.
Arranging for babysitting services is very simple in Bali. All I had to do was book them online and provide a few details. The agency provides a quotation, and I pay through my chosen payment method, then the booking is confirmed. It’s easy.
Note: Always do your homework before choosing a babysitting service. Check for references and credentials in both childcare and first aid. And it goes without saying that they need excellent, recent, genuine reviews.
9. Good healthcare available for tourists
Bali understands tourists need peace of mind during their visit, especially when travelling with little ones.
Most clinics and hospitals in Bali have English-speaking doctors. It is best to remember that Bali is not a first-world country, so the standard of care may differ, particularly in the island’s more remote areas.
It’s crucial to have full travel insurance that covers emergency medical treatment, hospitalisation, and repatriation in case of a medical emergency. Many hospitals in Bali require payment upfront, so having adequate insurance is essential.
We’ve only experienced healthy, happy holidays in Bali but have spoken to other tourist who have had to utilise medical facilities and their experiences were positive.
10. The food is kiddy-friendly
One of the reasons that Balinese food is kid-friendly is because many dishes are mild in flavour, such as nasi goreng (fried rice), mie goreng (fried noodles), and gado-gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce). Plus, they are similar to dishes we eat at home or in our local restaurants.
Suppose your child likes to stick with what they know. In that case, Bali has many international restaurants catering to various tastes, including Western-style fast food, Italian, Japanese, and Thai cuisine. These restaurants often offer kid-friendly menus like pizza, pasta, burgers, and fries.
It’s also worth noting that Bali has many health-conscious cafes and restaurants that serve organic, vegetarian, and vegan food, smoothie bowls, fresh juices, and healthy snacks. These can be great options for families looking for healthy, nutritious meals.
A few of our favourite local dishes include:
- Fried rice (Nasi Goreng)
- Satay (Grilled Meat Skewers)
- Fried Noodles (Mie Goreng)
- Spring Rolls (Lumpia)
- Chicken Noodles
- Chicken Congee
- Banana fritters
What’s great is that these are easy to replicate at home. My kids can learn how to prepare these and relive our precious memories in Bali through food.