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Heading to Bali and wondering what to wear? I’ve got you covered!

It seems everyone’s heading to Bali at the moment. And, having spent a month there this year, it’s easy to see why! 

Bali has a little bit of everything: incredible beaches, impressive temples and heaps of healthy food. I mean, what’s not to love?

While Bali’s variety is one of its biggest selling points, it also makes it slightly tricky to pack for. Add in the humid weather and often conservative local customs, and knowing what to wear in Bali becomes pretty challenging.

Luckily, packing for Bali isn’t as hard as it first seems. Keep scrolling to find out exactly what to wear in Bali based on the time of year, where you’re going and what you plan to do when you arrive.

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WHAT TO WEAR IN BALI

 

 

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Packing for the Bali climate

When you’re considering what to wear in Bali, you’ll need to keep the weather in mind above all else. 

Located just below the equator, the weather in Bali is hot and humid all year round. That means that heavy jeans, tight tops and other bulky clothing is out of the question. Instead, you’ll want to be wearing loose clothing that keeps you cool while protecting you from the harsh equatorial sun. 

Bali has two seasons: wet and dry. If you’re travelling during the latter, you won’t need to worry much about the rain. If you’re travelling between October and March, though, you’ll need to come prepared for tropical storms and heavy showers.

During the rainy season, the inland areas of Bali can get a little chilly and the coast can get windy. At this time of year, make sure you have plenty of layers and a rain jacket!
 

 

People wearing sarongs at Tirta Empul Temple in Bali


Choosing what to wear in Bali

Seasonal considerations aside, what you pack for Bali will depend very much on the type of trip you’re planning. 

If you’re going to spend your time on Bali hiking volcanoes and exploring rice paddies, you’re going to be wearing very different clothing to someone on an island-hopping break.

When in doubt, it’s best to arrive prepared for everything. Even if you’re not usually a beach person, you don’t want to miss out because thought you wouldn’t need a swimsuit. Similarly, you don’t want to turn down an epic hike because you only packed for the beach.

 

 

 

There are four main types of clothing you’ll want to wear in Bali:

Beach wear: As an island, Bali is a fantastic destination to go snorkelling, diving or swimming. Many water activities require specialist equipment, but make sure you come prepared with all the essentials. At the very least, you’ll need a swimsuit and flip flops (or sandals). You may also want to pack a pair of water shoes or clothing to wear on the beach or boat when you get out of the water. It’s not always as warm as you might think!



Active wear: Bali is a yogi mecca, but it’s not the only way to stay fit on the island. Hiking, walking, climbing and canyoning are all popular activities on Bali. If you plan on getting active, make sure you pack suitable attire. I usually travel with at least two pairs of gym leggings and they came in super handy in Bali!



Conservative clothing: While you don’t need to cover up as much as you would in other countries, it’s usually a good idea to do so. Longer sleeves, skirts and trousers will protect you from the sun as well as showing respect when visiting temples and sacred sites.



Everything else: Once you have all of these, you can fill in the gaps with your regular clothing. I like to travel with a minimalist mix of t-shirts, shorts and cropped trousers that work for most occasions. 


Wearing a pair of shorts and a crop top in my Bali villa
At home in the villa, I usually wore a pair of gym shorts and a summery top during the daytime.

Things to pack for Bali

If you’re still struggling to figure out what you should wear in Bali, don’t overthink it too much. Instead, start by packing some Bali essentials and add in anything else you want or need afterwards.

Whatever your reasoning for visiting Bali, here are some things that should be on every Bali packing list.

Swimwear 

It’s a good idea to pack at least two swimsuits so you always have a dry one to change into.

If you’re planning on getting active and going surfing or snorkelling, make sure you have something suited to getting active. Choose something comfortable that won’t slip off or get caught on things. I like to take a bikini and a one-piece so I’m covered for all occasions. 

 

 

 

Long, loose clothing

Loose clothing will be your best friend in the humid Bali heat! It’ll keep you cool in the daytime and provide a little warmth when things cool down in the evening. 

A sarong

It’s not essential to pack a sarong, but it’s certainly nice to have your own when visiting temples and beaches. As well as the added convenience, you can choose one that will look good in all your Instagram photos!


BOOK IT: This Instagram tour of Bali will make sure you get all the shots you’ve been dreaming of.


Good sunglasses

Cheap sunglasses just don’t cut it in Bali. Make sure you protect your eyes with a pair of good quality sunglasses. I always travel with a pair of Raybans because I know they won’t let me down.

Walking shoes 

Bali is full of rice terraces, waterfalls and volcanoes, and it’s almost impossible to visit without exploring some of them. Even if you’re not planning on hiking, you’ll want to have a good pairs of walking shoes.

A waterproof jacket

A lightweight waterproof jacket is pretty much essential in South East Asia, and Bali is no different. A light, foldable option like this one won’t add any weight to your suitcase or day pack.
 

 

 

A secure backpack 

As with any popular tourist destination, theft does occur in Bali. Protect your belongings and explore worry-free with a secure theft-proof backpack like this one

A hat 

Even with a good pair of sunglasses, you’ll be grateful you packed a hat for Bali. Whether you’re sun hat person or prefer a sporty cap, make sure you have something to protect your head.

Workout clothes

Bali is one of the yoga capitals of the world. Even if you’re not usually an avid yogi, it’s hard to visit Bali without giving it a try. Pack some comfy workout clothes so you can enjoy a spontaneous (or not so spontaneous) yoga session.


Wearing a sarong at Tirta Empul Temple in Bali


Buying clothes in Bali

Bali has a buzzing fashion scene, so my biggest tip of all would be to not over pack. Instead, leave plenty of room in your suitcase so you can pick up some new clothes while you’re there. 

All over Bali, there are plenty of independent clothing shops run by local designers (or designers who have moved to Bali). 

Inside these stores, you’ll find everything from sustainable t-shirts and flattering swimsuits, to hand-crafted jewellery and one-off bags. Prices aren’t always as cheap as you might expect, but you can be sure the quality will be great. 

Best of all, you’ll be able to support independent designers and upcoming brands, and remember your trip to Bali every time you wear whatever you buy.
 

 

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