Travel was a big part of me and Brendan’s life before we had Archer, we were always saving up for the next trip overseas. So of course we really want to share our love of travel and adventuring to new places with him but the thought of being trapped on a long haul flight with a toddler who doesn’t like to sit still I honestly think is enough to make the most well-seasoned traveller slightly anxious. After my sister and husband visited Bali last year and couldn’t stop raving about it we decided that seemed like a close enough destination to dip our toes in the water of travelling with kids.
Where we stayed
We stayed at Villa Anguun which was absolute perfection for a toddler and for us of course. We paid extra to have the pool fenced and Archer could roam around the whole villa and we didn’t have to worry about any danger.
Places to eat
- For really scrumptious vegan food visit Kynd, I had the vegan Big Mac which was delicious andof course grabbed one of their ice creams from next door afterwards.
- Archer in particular was a big fan of the smoothie bowls from Nalu Bowls
- One of the best meal we had was at Kilo, an asian fusion restaurant, highly recommend the Korean chicken bulgogi, beef tongue tacos, black and white prawn ravioli and the soft shell crab!!
- It probably does not really need to be mentioned but Sisterfields is a great little taste of home
- We had a really fun night, with great Mexican food at Laca Laca
- Seminyak has lots of beach clubs to choose from, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon at Mano Beach House on recommendation of a friend. It was low key and kid friendly which was exactly what we wanted
- For coffee we enjoyed Revolver and another really cute place on Jalan Drupadi that I have spent half an hour looking for the name of and cannot find it, so annoying haha
- For the nights we wanted to have takeaway at the villa we downloaded the GoJek app, kind of the Indonesian equivalent of UberEats. We had delicious pizza from La Baracca and Balinese food from Hibiscus
Things to do
To be honest we did a whole lot of nothing, which was exactly what we wanted on this holiday. We mainly swam at the villa, ate and went for a few walks when it wasn’t too hot. Oh and got massages of course. The traffic is just insane in Bali and for us wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to get out and about. We tried to go on a day trip to Blue Point and Uluwatu temple but the traffic was so bad that after an hour and a half we had moved 10kms so we ended up just heading home. So unfortunately I am not a lot of help on this one.
Where we stayed
We stayed at Lodtunduh Sari about 2.5kms out of the centre of Ubud. This place appealed to me as it was actually located on the rice fields but when we arrived we soon realised it was a death trap for toddlers. There was a blind drop of about 2 metres at the edge of the property into the rice fields. We couldn’t take our eyes off Archer for a second while we were there. I would recommend this villa for adult guests especially if you want something slightly more authentic then what the larger hotels and villas offer but I really wouldn’t recommend taking young children. I did also get one of the best massages of my life here so there were lots of positives too.
Places to eat
- We had absolutely delicious vegetarian food overlooking the rice fields at The Elephant, and they actually had nice wine which was a pleasant surprise.
- The Melting Wok was one of my absolute favourite meals in Bali, a super simple curry menu that was just absolutely delicious. Wah just writing about it makes me want to eat there again. You need to book though as it is very popular!
- For a traditional Balinese restaurant we went to Ibu Rai which had nice casual dining.
- We had really good dim sum from the Golden Monkey.
- A refreshing coconut ice cream…every day from Tukies.
Things to do
Once again we were very good at doing nothing. We did go to the Monkey Sanctuary which Archer loved and well to be honest I did too. Brendan hired a scooter which he loved and I felt much safer scooting around Ubud then I think I would have felt doing the same thing in Seminyak. I really wish I had have done a cooking class while we were here but I guess I can save that for next time.
- I highly recommend taking a stroller or small enough pram (we had a mountain buggy and got it through) and checking it in at the gate. Archer already weighs 14 kilos so being able to push him around the airport was a godsend and we could use it to get him to sleep before our red eye flight. If your baby is happy in a carrier that’s great but Archer has never loved the carrier and I was a bit anxious about checking the pram in at the gate but it was a breeze and I would highly recommend.
- If your baby is formula fed you can take bottles of boiled water through customs/security. I see people worrying about this on forums a lot. I took four bottles and a drink bottle of water through. I just had it in one of those large resealable Ikea bags so that security could easily see it was for a baby.
- SNACKS ALL OF THE SNACKS. This was the best way to entertain Archer and I literally got down to the last pack of sultanas despite packing what I thought was ample amounts of snacks. Pack double what you think you need.
- A grab bag of toys – this worked for a limited amount of time to be honest but I don’t regret packing it, I had two small books, some blocks, a puzzle and two brand new hot wheel cars (these were most popular).
- The best entertainment to be honest was the other people on the plane – Archer took a real shine to the family sitting behind us and I am so grateful they were kind enough to talk to him and play peek a boo throughout the flight. But in all honesty even when he did cry etc I didn’t feel any negativity from other people on the plane, generally people are kind and know that you aren’t intentionally disrupting their flight so try not to let that worry you.
- Red eye flights are the bomb! Seriously, I think flying the red eye back was the best thing for us, Archer slept nearly the whole way compared to the hour nap he had on the way there. I think I would consider even longer flights in the future (think Hawaii not Italy haha) in the future if we could take overnight flights.
- If you plan to catch taxis, which you most likely will end up doing, you have to accept that you won’t be able to have a car seat, it is just the way things are there. For transfers from the airports and hotels just make sure you request a car seat, it will probably cost a little extra.
- Baby food pouches are available in Bali but they are expensive, about $3.50-$4 a pouch so if you are relying on them for food pack them from Australia. Archer generally just ate what we were eating over there with no problems so it just depends what your babies eating habits are like.
- Pamper brand nappies over there are pretty good, make sure you buy them from the bigger Bintang supermarkets as they are expensive at convenient stores. If I had my time again I would have just packed enough Huggies nappies to get us through.
- A few people told us not to bother taking a stroller but I am soooooo glad we did. We had no problems getting Archer around in the stroller despite the narrow footpaths. I do think it helped that we had a mountain buggy cheaper strollers might struggle on the rocky roads.
If you want any specific tips about travelling to Bali with a baby or just Bali in general feel free to get in touch, I will help as much as I can!