This year my friends and I decided to head back to Southeast Asia to spend one week in Bali. We loved the weather and food on our trip to Thailand and knew Bali would be just as nice (and affordable). With the help of Ashley’s Travel Adventures, we curated an independent trip for the 7 of us. I’ve gotten so many questions via Instagram so today I’m sharing a 1 week Bali itinerary with lodging options and suggestions for activities. If you’re planning a trip to Bali and want a mix of relaxation and adventure, read more on how we spent a week in Bali.
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Imagine being a happily solo traveler and randomly inviting yourself to a 30th birthday celebration around the globe with people you’ve known for more than half your life, but never even took a day trip with…well that was me back in 2016. 😅 . . . I’ve heard so many horror stories about girls trips and mentioned I thought I’d hate my friends after our trip to Thailand, but we’re 3 trips down with one on the way! Everything isn’t roses and Lillie’s, I’m always looking forward to learning, laughing and spending quality time with our travel crew. . . . Sharing how we spent an adventurous week in Bali curated by @ashleytraveladventures, hotel and Airbnb options, some tips on getting around, nightlife, safety and more tonight 😊. ⠀⠀ What’s your take on girls/group trips? #girrrlweinbali #joannaetravels #seacircus
Things to Know Before Traveling to Bali, Indonesia
If you’re still in the planning phases, here are some things to know before traveling to Bali.
Indonesia Visa Requirements
Great news, Bali has a free visa for more than 140 countries. American citizens are not required to have a visa to enter Indonesia if staying for tourism for 30 days or less. The Indonesian government also requires a passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in Indonesia to enter the country.
How much money do you need for a week in Bali?
A bonus for traveling to Bali is it’s affordable! No wonder so many digital nomads, students, and ex-pats travel there. The amount of money you bring for your trip to Bali is based on your personal travel style. We chose a mix of budget-luxury accommodations and activities based on what we wanted to do. For a week in Bali and Singapore, I brought along $500 with a travel credit card for cushion, and STILL came home with extra cash. Below are the current exchange rates at the time of posting:
$1 USD = 14150.18 Indonesian Rupiah £1 GBP = 18269.18 Indonesian Rupiah €1 EUR = 15795.92 Indonesian Rupiah $1 AUS = 9936.14 Indonesian Rupiah $1 CAD = 10499.29 Indonesian Rupiah
Traveling to Bali from NYC
The biggest expense for our girls trip to Bali was the flight. We got a flight deal on our girls trip to Morocco and wanted the same luck, but it didn’t happen. Everyone instead left the same day from NYC to Denpasar with stops in Frankfurt and Singapore and split up coming home. Choosing Singapore Airlines was great because we were able to take advantage of a stopover in Singapore at the end of the trip.
Bali Safety + Tips for Getting Around Bali
One of the most popular questions I received on Instagram was about safety in Bali. I only spent one week in Bali, but I honestly felt safe. Our Airbnb hosts were very helpful in getting us taxis when needed and I rarely felt “scammed”. If you don’t have a driver, traveling around Bali is cheap via taxi and taking a motor taxi is even cheaper. When entering a metered taxi, make sure it is running or negotiate a fixed price that is reasonable for your budget. If you plan on being on the go, I highly recommend downloading an offline version of Google maps to familiarize yourself with whereabouts.
Where to stay in Bali
An important part of planning a trip to Bali is where to stay. We initially planned to stay in hotels in Seminyak and Ubud, but the ones we were interested in had no availability. Since it was such a large group, I suggested staying at an Airbnb instead. The villa rentals worked out well since our lodging costs for the week ended up being around the same nightly price for the hotels. Below are links to the original hotels in Seminyak and Ubud as well as the Airbnb rentals we stayed in for our week in Bali.
One Week Bali Itinerary
Bali Itinerary Day 1 – Airbnb Check-in + Exploring the Area
Our week in Bali started after being greeted at the airport by our drivers and being split into two groups to drive to our villa. The airport pickup can get very crowded especially with porters offering to carry your luggage to your taxi. Unless you want them to carry your bags, politely decline. If you do use their services, make sure to agree with a price beforehand. Once we arrived at our first Airbnb in Seminyak, we showered and changed before heading out to explore the area and beach. The villa is walking distance to tons of restaurants, Seminyak Square, and the beach. Although the main road was crowded most of the time, it was easy to catch a taxi when needed.
Bali Itinerary Day 2 – Brunch, Shopping, + Dinner with a View
Still feeling a bit jetlagged, most of the second day in Bali was pretty chill as we only stepped out for brunch and dinner. Our villa had a pool big enough for our three float rentals and in between pics of “living our best lives”, we spent most of the time lounging poolside.
When we did leave the house, we walked over to meet up with Tara and Zach from League Travels for brunch at Sea Circus. Tara used to work with one of my friends and was also a big help in planning the trip to Bali since she and her husband now live there. After brunch, we walked over to Seminyak Square to purchase some bags, clothes, and other gifts for friends and family. For dinner, we took a taxi to La Laguna which is a fusion tapas bar and restaurant with a variety of food and drink choices and awesome sunset views.
Bali Itinerary Day 3 – Water Tour + Bali Nightlife
The adventurous week in Bali REALLY started on day three of out Bali itinerary. We traveled from Seminyak to Tanjung Benoa which is about an hour away for a full day of watersports. For $85 we did a full day of the Banana Boat, Flying Fish, Sea Walking. Jet Ski, and Donut Boat. For the same price and not including the banana boat and flying fish, 4 of the girls did parasailing. While there were moments of fun, I do have mixed feelings about the overall tour. My friend isn’t a swimmer at all so I made sure to check on her every once in a while. There were no life jackets on the boat ride to the sea trek and we were literally holding on for dear life on the donut boat and flying fish activities. For our last night in Seminyak, we decided to check out the nightlife in Bali. I’ve only partied in Tobago and Barbados when traveling and the DJs at La Favela Bar Y Restaurant were GREAT. I was extra excited after hearing soca artist Rupee’s “Tempted to Touch”.
Bali Itinerary Day 4 – Villa in Ubud + Spa Day
Our second villa in Ubud was about an hour away from Seminyak and included breakfast every morning. We also decided to have them cook dinner every night for about $8 a person. Having a cook in this portion of our trip was very convenient because it cut helped our budget and she made traditional Balinese food. The hosts also have tour options for guests not knowing what activities they want to do on their stay in Bali.
After checking into our second villa, we went to Ubud Traditional Spa for massages. The spa offers free pickup and dropoff from anywhere in Ubud and gives top class service from check-in to check out. I did not mind paying the $20 (including tip) AT ALL.
Bali Itinerary Day 5 – Floating Breakfast + Bali Swing
Day 5 of our Bali itinerary started with a Floating Breakfast at Kamandalu Resort. The property of this resort is absolutely beautiful, the food was amazing and worth every penny. We left full and headed back to the villa to get ready for the Bali Swing. You can read information about the Bali Swing and taking pictures in my post.
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Still working on my Bali blog posts, but I wanted to share some info about the ever so popular Bali Swing in Ubud: – The cost is $35 per person (they accept cash and credit cards). It includes an entrance fee, lunch buffet, drinks (coffee, tea, water) and access to 12 single swings, 6 nests, a helicopter photo shooting point and heart rock with views of the jungle, canyon and waterfall depending on where you take your photos. – It’s totally safe! They strap you and there are visible safety nets under the swings and nests. If you’re terribly afraid of heights, I can’t help you. 🤷🏾♀️ – It is UNLIMITED! You can literally be there all day from open-close. If you’re photo obsessed, switch outfits and do everything over again. – It can get crowded. Be prepared to stand (or sit) in long queues to get your pic taken. – Come alone or no camera? No problem! For an additional fee, they can take photos of you and send instantly via AirDrop or USB. Have you done the Bali Swing? What was your experience? #joannaetravels #girrrlweinbali #f21xme #baliswing @bali.swing
Bali Itinerary Day 6 – Monkeys, Rice Fields, Waterfalls + More
Our sixth day was more traditional as we spent a full day touring the countryside of Ubud and visiting popular sites. I also got to buy a bag and jumpsuit for myself in the market. The tour included a driver visiting the following landmarks, not including lunch and entrance fees:
- Monkey Forest
- Ubud Palace
- Ubud Market
- Countryside of Ubud
- Tegalalang Rice Terrace
- Boni Bali (Lunch)
- Bali Pulina Coffee Plantations
- Tirtha Empul – Holy Springs Temple
- Tegenungan Waterfalls
Bali Itinerary Day 7 – Ubud ATV Tour
The last full day of our girls trip to Bali was spent riding through the rice terraces and bamboo forest on an ATV Tour. The tour included showers, lunch, refreshments, and round-trip transportation for about $50.
Check out highlights from the Ubud ATV tour in my video below:
We only spent a week in Bali, but there were a lot of adventurous activities done in such a short time. Since it was very affordable, I definitely plan to visit again. I’m hoping to do more cultural and eco activities like visiting more temples, museums, and some nature walks.