Just to be clear, I’m hardly an expert on Bali. I mean, it’s not like I live here or frequent it for vast months of the year, etc. To be honest I still consider myself quite the novice but, novice schmovice, this time around I have learnt a few tricks and, well, don’t we all love a hot tip?
Hot Tip #1: forget international roaming and pick up some data here.
Last time we came I organised international roaming and hooked into wifi everywhere we went which was good, but not great because obvs I had no access to data if I was out exploring and in need of Google maps or other important points of reference, like Instagram.
This time I wandered down the road until I found a warung that sold SIM cards. Honestly, I half resigned myself to the fact that I was probably going to get ripped off but I need not have worried. The lady who helped me was lovely and set me up with 7GB of data for $6.50AUD. (NZ, you could learn a thing or two about data pricing!) She inserted the SIM card to my phone and in the blink of an eye had programmed everything in. Five minutes flat and I was on my way, 7GB of data richer. It’s made communicating with everyone so much easier, and if Matt & I want to do difference activities, it’s nice knowing we can reach each other quickly.
For those of you wanting exact details (I always do…who needs a bloody hot tip if it’s vague AF?!), I went to Happy Cell in Berawa, on Jalan Raya Semat and got a 7GB 4G Telkomsel SIM card.
Hot Tip #2: Go-Jek
This app is everything and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have discovered it.
Anyone with kids will tell you that sometimes, going out for dinner – with the kids – is bloody hard work. Often they’ve had a big day and are ready for bed; not to mention you’re tired and ready for them to go to bed. The fight to get them out of the pool, dressed and into a restaurant is an exercise on how to turn a perfectly nice day to shit.
Enter Go-Jek…and I can tell you we haven’t eaten out in the evening since discovering it. Basically, you create an account with the app (use the number that you get with your local Bali cell-phone data as the driver calls you to confirm your order), then sift through the hundreds of menus listed. You can sort by cuisine (eg Italian, French, Indonesian, Mexican, etc) or distance to you. Place your order and have your cash ready for delivery. Delivery is only a couple of dollars, although we always round up to the nearest fiver for them because frankly I think their service is invaluable!
Hot Tip #3: find your restaurants in Google maps
I did think I was heading a bit in OTT territory doing this, but last time we were in Bali we had such a challenging time getting the kids to eat. Actually, getting them to eat has always got its challenges (fussy Flossies), but I really do find that when we’re hungry and tired, walking around aimlessly trying to find a restaurant that we’re all happy with is as enjoyable as having a root canal.
This time I thought I’d do a little pre-trip research, if you will, as to what cafes and restaurants would be around the areas that we were staying or visiting so I’d have a handy little reference point for times of hunger. This was so great on our first morning when everyone was recovering from a bit of jetlag and just wanted something good, easy and close by. I had created a map in my google drive that flagged all the cafes I had selected (I checked out a lot of menus in NZ, let me tell you!), synced it to by phone and in a flash was able to bring up everything I had researched prior.
Some days we wing it, other days I am so thankful to have all this research done and at my finger tips.
Hot tip #4: bring a powerboard
Yes, you read right. See, you need an adaptor in Bali, and these days most of us travel with a lot of electronics. Phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, etc; and don’t you always find that they need to be charged up all at the same time?
This trip, we brought along a power board. The best $2.50 we ever spent at Kmart! (Make sure it has an electrical safety switch.)
Now, we have one adaptor plugged into the wall, our power board into the adaptor and the ability to charge up to 4 devices at once. Lifesaver!
Hot tip #5: keep plenty of ‘small money’ handy
We have found that you’ll often have to pay entrance fees or parking fees to places. They’re not much, 6000 rupiah (60 cents AUD) here, 10000 rupiah ($1 AUD) there. What we have found, however, is that money is dispensed from the ATM in 100,000 rupiah notes and as such, getting change can be an issue. Our tip? Break big notes when you’re at a cafe paying for breakfast, or grabbing a beer, and squirrel away your smaller notes in a separate money pouch for cab fares, entrance fees, etc.
I love hearing people’s tips. Got one? Share away!!