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5 Safety Tips When Traveling to Indonesia

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Over the last five years, Bali has become a popular destination among many American travelers. The idyllic island is known for its sprawling rice terraces, mystical temps and villas, and resorts. It’s hard not to fall in love with Bali. The Indonesian archipelago is made up of over 17,000 islands so there is endless exploring to do.

Some popular regions in Bali include Ubud, Canggu, and Seminyak. Bali is adored by many travelers worldwide thus making it a popular destination which is susceptible to crime. Here are six safety tips for traveling to Bali, Indonesia.  

1. Hiring a Driver in Bali

While it is tempting to pack up the rental car and venture around Bali’s islands on your own, you may want to consider hiring a driver instead. Bali is a crowded place with minimal driving traffic rules.

Driving around the island can be difficult to navigate and potentially placing foreign drivers in harm’s way. There have been countless reports of tourists being injured or killed while self-driving in Bali. 

To reduce the risk of being involved in a car or scooter accident, hire a Balinese driver to take you to your itinerary destinations. Additionally, if you don’t need a private car taxis are available for hire around the island. Be sure to ride with the blue taxis known as ‘Blue Bird Taxis’ locally. These are usually reputable taxi drivers who are safe to ride with.

2. Stay Safe on Bali’s Beaches

No matter what beach you’re visiting when you travel to Indonesia, you should always check for updated information regarding the status of the ocean water before swimming.

Tanah Lot - Temple in the Ocean

While surfing is popular here, Bali is known for having strong rip tides and tsunamis. To avoid being a victim of water safety, scan the beach for red flags before swimming. Beaches that have been deemed dangerous to swim by Balinese officials are marked with red flags. Do not attempt to swim at these beaches as the currents are likely too strong and can sweep you out to sea. 

Additionally, also check in with your hotel for the latest information regarding possible storms or tsunamis while traveling in Bali. On the sand, remember to pack a high-SPF protection sunscreen. This part of the world is known for its intense UV rays which can cause sun damage to the skin.

3. Pickpockets in Indonesia 

You may be wondering if ‘is it safe to visit Bali?’ While Bali is known to be a very low-level destination for crime, as it increases in popularity the risk for crime ultimately increases, too. Specifically, petty theft such as pickpocketing can occur. During your trip to Bali, try not to appear too flashy in public places. 

Crime in Indonesia

Bali is a popular destination for many travelers from the US all the way to Australia. Due to this popularity and wave of mass tourism, crime is a natural part of the equation. Travelers should be happy to know that Bali relatively safe as compared to some other popular destinations. As with any country, remain aware of your surroundings and avoid displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.

4. How to Secure Your Belongings in a Hotel

While most petty theft is thought to be common outside of the hotel or resort, it’s important to remember that your valuables can be stolen from here, too. 

We recommend making various copies (both paper and digital copies) of your important travel documents like your passport or national ID. Also, it is best to book a hotel which has a safe or security box.

If you don’t have at lockable safe at your accommodation, it’s best to stay somewhere that does. Alternatively, if this is not an option do not leave your valuables unlocked in your room or you’re placing yourself at risk. Instead, investing in a front-carry pouch is one of the biggest travel safety tips for Indonesia.

5. Prepare for Indonesian Traffic

Indonesia traffic

If you are traveling to Indonesia from the US, then you’re used to defined traffic laws that most people generally follow. You may be surprised to know that in Bali, traffic is not regulated. As a first-time pedestrian on the island, the chaotic traffic situation can be alarming. To avoid any accidents remember to approach crosswalks (there aren’t very many) with extreme caution. 

Things are different here so you shouldn’t assume that cars will stop to allow you to cross the road. Always assume that the car has the right away, cross after all cars have passed and travel in groups if possible. There is strength in numbers, always. 

Is Bali Safe for Tourists?

Bali is a magical place to visit. Your trip should be spent worrying about the best way to get to the Bali Swing or the need temple you’re visiting not with hospital visits. Thoroughly preparing yourself before traveling means to consider all potential safety risks. By doing so, you’ll be lessening the chances of a ruined trip. 

Planning for your safety is just as important as planning for your vacation excursions. If you’re heading to Bali soon, remember to thoroughly plan how you and your travel companions will remain safe during your visit

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