Full First Timer Guide to Bali. Sunset in Uluwatu, Bali

Full First Timer Guide to Bali For Female Solo Travellers

You’ve been thinking about this trip for a long time and now it’s finally happening! This will be the first of many times you will visit Bali, I always say this and it’s so true. However, as a fellow female solo traveller, I understand the mix of excitement and nerves that come with embarking on such a journey. But luckily for you, I’ve done the heavy lifting already and in this blog post, I will give you the full first-timer’s guide to Bali for female solo travellers like you. You will know exactly what you need to know and book for your trip to the Island of Gods. 

#1 Plan a Loose Itinerary

Full First Timer Guide to Bali. Female solo traveller by the beach in bali on a beach towel and book

As a first-timer in Bali, it’s helpful to have a loose itinerary to guide your adventures while still allowing for flexibility and spontaneity. I would suggest only planning 1 activity per day so that you can move things around. Bali is one of these places where you never know what you will get yourself to try. I’ll give you an example. when I went the first time, I saw 2 people on a scooter with a suitcase and 2 backpacks – I was amazed and shocked that was even a thing thinking I would never be in that situation. And then 3 days later, there I was on a scooter with a friend I met at the hotel taking me to my next accommodation on the scooter with my 2 backpacks and a suitcase. The same went for surfing, dancing salsa and so much more!

Anyway, you got my point! I’ll share some of my favourite itinerary suggestions, from exploring the cultural spots in Ubud to watching the most amazing sunsets in Uluwatu or Nusa Lembongan.

List of suggested Itineraries: 

  • 2 weeks in Bali and Gili Islands Itinerary here ðŸŒī
  • 10 Days Bali itinerary here 🌊
  • 4 days Ubud itinerary here 🐒
  • Make the most of 1 day in Ubud here ⭐
  • Best areas to visit based on your personality here ðŸ„ðŸ―â€â™€ïļ

#2 Explore Accommodation Types in Bali

Full First Timer Guide to Bali. Wooden house in Bali

Now that you have a rough idea about where you want to be, you need to think about what kind of accommodation you want to go for. Bali is super safe but I always suggest homestays for the first time because it’s like going to a new family. You will get help with anything you want to do, support if you’re not feeling well and you get to learn a lot about the local culture.

Here’s a list of accommodation options in Bali suitable for female solo travellers, along with the pros and cons. If you are reading this table on your mobile, scroll left and right for full visibility!

✅ Pros❌ Cons
HomestaySurf and yoga camps sometimes are more expensive than doing drop-in classes. However, the whole point is to meet like-minded people and improve your skills!It wouldn’t be anything super luxurious but still there are beautiful homestays with a pool, delicious breakfast and breathtaking views!
HotelProvides comfort, convenience, and amenities such as room service, housekeeping, and 24-hour reception for added security.A budget-friendly option with shared dormitory rooms, ideal for meeting fellow travellers and socialising.
HostelOffers an authentic local experience, often run by friendly hosts who provide insider tips on exploring Bali. It’s also very easy to meet other travellers here, maybe by the pool or at breakfasttime.Limited privacy and shared facilities, such as bathrooms and common areas, which may not suit everyone’s preferences.
VillaProvides privacy, space, and often luxurious amenities such as private pools and gardens, perfect for solo travellers looking to relax. I have been to villas before but I figured it wasn’t worth it because I was always out and I would rather talk to the locals from homestays.Generally more expensive than other accommodation options, especially for solo travellers who don’t require the extra space.
Boutique HotelCombines the personalised service of a guesthouse with the amenities and style of a hotel, offering a unique and memorable stay.May have limited availability or higher prices compared to standard hotels, depending on the location and season.
Eco-LodgeFocuses on sustainability and eco-friendly practices, providing a guilt-free stay for environmentally-conscious travellers.Facilities and amenities may be more basic compared to traditional hotels or resorts, catering to a niche market. This option is also more pricey compared to others.
Surf/Yoga CampsIdeal for solo travellers looking to learn or improve their surfing skills, with professional instructors and a laid-back atmosphere. The same goes for yoga. There are a few camps that combine both (see below). These camps are amazing as you get to connect with other travellers with similar interests as you.Surf and yoga camps sometimes are more expensive than doing drop-in classes. However the whole point is to meet like-minded people and improve your skills!
Glamping SiteOffers a unique and luxurious camping experience, combining the beauty of nature with the comforts of a hotel. Glamping sites are in expansion at the moment! You can find a few in Gili Trawangan or Kintamani.Typically located in remote or secluded areas, requiring transportation to access tourist attractions and amenities.
Co-Living SpaceProvides a community-oriented environment for solo travellers, with shared living and working spaces, ideal for digital nomads or remote workers.May have limited privacy and quiet time, as residents often socialise and collaborate in communal areas.

Useful links:

Best surf and yoga camps in Bali here 🌊

Where to learn how to surf in Bali here ðŸ„ðŸ―â€â™€ïļ

Best yoga retreats in Ubud here 🐒

Best yoga retreats in Nusa Lembongan here ðŸŒī

If you are looking for coworking spaces check out this blog post for places in Canggu and here for Ubud (some of them come with coliving options) ðŸ’ŧ

Now that you have an idea about what place to book, check out my recommendations below!

List of top accommodations in Bali for Female Solo Travellers

Best places to stay in Ubud for Female Solo Travellers here ðŸ›•

Best places to stay in Uluwatu here ðŸ›ïļ

Best places to stay in Nusa Lembongan here 🌊

Best places to stay in Lovina for Female solo travellers here 🐎

Top accommodations for solo travellers in Amed here 🐒

#3 Get Your Visa and Insurance Sorted

Now let’s address the boring things. Make sure you have a valid visa for Indonesia, depending on your nationality – check out this blog post for more information. Generally, all you have to do is get the “Visa on arrival” which is a 30 or 60-day permit starting from $74. You can get yours online (website here) or on arrival in Bali and that’s it! I would suggest getting it online as there might be a queue to buy it at the airport.

Injured solo traveller in Bali

While Bali is generally safe, make sure you get your travel insurance. I would recommend this one, I got mine through work and I’ve used it a lot! I had an accident surfing and got the “Bali belly” quite a few times!

#4 Book Your Driver For Your Arrival

Full First Timer Guide to Bali. Scooter driver in Bali.

Right, now that the boring things are done from step 3, make sure you book your driver! I always recommend securing it through your accommodation because they have the best prices! How would you know if the price is fair? Download the Grab or Gojek app (taxi apps like Uber) and check the prices – that would be your benchmark.

#5 It’s Time to Pack (Light!)

Full First Timer Guide to Bali. Things to pack for Bali.

The secret here is packing light because you might end up travelling on a scooter or boat with your suitcase. Plus you are the one carrying it so do yourself a favour and pack a carry-on! If you want some juicy tips on how to pack light and exactly what to pack for Bali check out these links below!

Tricks on how to pack light here ðŸŠķ

Blog post on what to pack for Bali here ðŸ§ģ

#6 Read Some Useful Local Information

Before heading to Bali, familiarise yourself with essential local information, I’ve included some here below if you want to give a quick glance.

Full First Timer Guide to Bali. Love yourself sign in Uluwatu

Religion in Bali

Religion plays a significant role in Balinese culture, with Hinduism being the predominant faith practised by the majority of the island’s population. Balinese Hinduism is a unique blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, and animism, characterised by elaborate rituals, colourful ceremonies, and a deep reverence for the natural world. Temples, or “pura,” dot the landscape, serving as spiritual and social hubs for local communities. Visitors to Bali will often notice intricately decorated temples, where they can witness traditional ceremonies and rituals, such as offerings, processions, and dance performances. Balinese Hinduism permeates every aspect of daily life, from family gatherings to agricultural practices, making it an integral part of the island’s identity and cultural heritage. Always remember to cover your shoulders and knees when visiting a temple!

Currency

The official currency of Indonesia, including Bali, is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). While some businesses in tourist areas may accept major foreign currencies like US dollars or euros, it’s generally more convenient to use the local currency for transactions. ATMs are widely available throughout Bali, particularly in popular tourist areas like Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud, allowing travellers to withdraw cash using international debit or credit cards. However, it’s advisable to notify your bank of your travel plans beforehand to avoid any issues with card usage abroad. Additionally, carrying a mix of cash and cards is recommended, as some smaller establishments may only accept cash payments. It’s also worth noting that currency exchange services are readily available at banks, money changers, and hotels, but rates may vary, so it’s wise to compare rates before exchanging money to get the best value for your currency.

International Plugs

When travelling to Bali from countries with different electrical socket standards, it’s essential to bring the appropriate plug adapters to ensure compatibility with local outlets. In Bali, the standard voltage is 230V, and the frequency is 50Hz, with power outlets typically accepting two-pin plugs. Most accommodations and public spaces offer a mix of socket types, including Type C (European), Type F (Schuko), and Type G (British), so it’s advisable to carry a universal adapter that can accommodate various plug types. Additionally, some hotels and coworking spaces may provide adapters upon request, but it’s always best to come prepared to avoid any inconvenience during your stay.

Extra tip: Getting your local SIM is cheaper than iSIM! If you are looking for tips on obtaining a local SIM card check out this blog post hereðŸ“ą

#7 Get Ready For Your Long Flight to Bali

Full First Timer Guide to Bali. plane in Bali.

Last but not least, be prepared for your long flight to Bali! It’s not going to be torture trust me! Remember to pick up your neck pillow, eye mask and a few face masks for a nice skincare routine on the flight! You can also choose special meals if you have any dietary requirements. Also, I’m the queen of long flights so I wrote my secret strategy to get through them and a list of things to do on board here!

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap girl! You are good to go now! I hope you enjoyed my full first-timer guide to Bali! If you are looking for one more read I would check out “Things you need to know before going to Bali” here.

Ciao for now,

Silvia x