Bali travel tips
expect at least 22 hours of travel time (flight + layovers) over 2 - 3 flights (2 flights would be ideal)
your final destination is Denpasar (DPS) and, depending on which airline, you'll likely come from China, Australia, Singapore, Japan or the Philippines
unless you’re paying with miles and know your level of service, we HIGHLY recommend that you take an international carrier from the U.S. west coast and NOT a U.S.-based carrier (if you’re coming from NYC, then take United/Delta/Virgin to SFO or LAX, then take something else from there). In fact, if you find a flight from the west coast on China Airlines, then get it! We’ve flown them a few times (Nova’s mom did too on our recommendation) - their prices are pretty good and we’ve found the service to be just fine
there should be many flights available, so pick the one which lands between 12 - 8 p.m. if possible (we understand price is a big factor) - while we will provide transportation to/from the airport, they must be at reasonable times
BEFORE BUYING YOUR FLIGHT, take a look at www.seatguru.com to see if you’re seat is in a good spot - it’s a LONG flight so want to make sure it can recline or isn’t near somewhere you don’t want to be!
don't dress on the plane as you would in Bali - you'll be on planes for over 20 ours and they'll usually have it really chilly! - have your Bali clothes ready in your carry-on so you can change into them as soon as you get off plane. Keep da slippahs (flip-flops) close by!
pack a lot of snacks with you as the airplane meals won't be enough to hold you over for long layovers or delays
there's a 25% chance your check-in luggage won't make it with you on your flight, so pack at least 3 days of clothing, your toiletries, and other items (valuable or not) you'd want with you on carry-on (we have 2 separate occasions where friends brought luggage for us and it didn't make it on their flight) - take photos of your check-ins!
you'll skip a day on the flight over
easiest way to tell Bali time is taking whatever EST is, then add 13 hours
you won't need a Visa or need to extend it if you're a U.S. citizen unless you plan on staying longer than 30 days - if you do, then you’ll need to get a “Visa on Arrival” (VOA) at the airport BEFORE you go to Immigration which will give you up to a 60-day stay (however, even with the VOA, you’ll need to renew before Day 30)
make sure your passport doesn't expire within 6 months of entering Indonesia (go here for updates)
use Kayak/Orbitz/Expedia, etc. to find the best price (we use Google Flights) but DON'T book through them, book directly with the airlines
if you need to change your flight, it's a nightmare working through resellers to get proper customer service
you don't get a better deal anymore because the airlines are price-matching these websites now
if you find a flight slightly above $1000, then that’s a good price and just make sure you’re not doing more than 2 stops
if you plan on leaving right after the retreat, then book your flight for the evening of March 11 to give yourself enough time (ideally the 12th as your paid thought the night of 11th if you’re part of the SFA team)
the currency here is called the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) - go here for the latest rate - (it was 13,700 or so when we arrived in January)
you can get IDR at your bank or just wait to do an ATM run when you arrive (it’s cheaper)
TIP: after putting in your PIN, do a balance inquiry FIRST, not a withdrawal. If the ATM comes back with your balance, then you know that it’s able to communicate with the systems back home, so you can be reasonably assured that you’ll withdraw safely (Nova note: after going straight to withdrawal, I’ve had on 2 different occasions w/2 different ATM machines tell me “We were unable to communicate with your bank so your withdrawal has been cancelled” only to find out later that my request WAS made and withdrawn from my account, but received no cash at the ATM. Luckily, I was re-imbursed by my bank.)
from our experience, we haven't needed vaccinations at all
while we don't have a crystal ball, nothing's happened to us since moving here in January 2018, but consult your doctor
we highly recommend bringing the following: liquid/liposomal Vitamin C, Oregano Oil, probiotics, and "On Guard" by doterra. What we've linked to on Amazon is what we use for any illness whether a cold, fever, flu, or diarrhea.
while we know CBDs have extensive benefits & no THC in them, we highly discourage bringing them even if you have a doctor's prescription! Here in Indonesia, cannabis/cannabidoil/canna-anything are bad words and you DON’T want to be caught with any of that in your possession (100% chance you’ll go to prison)
if you have prescriptions, then make sure the name on the bottle(s) matches your passport
if you're considering bringing family, look for a villa, not a hotel
Airbnb or Agoda are the best sites to use
Look for something in MAS or Sukawati that's north of Purnati retreat center as it'll be closer to Ubud
THE ALL-TOO-IMPORTANT . . . . CLOTHING (from Jinju) . . . . coming soon!
As we get closer to March 2019, we'll send out more tips, but these are ones to consider now!
Happy planning and mahalo,
Dr. Jinju & Nova