What to Pack For Bali

It’s been a super busy week in Smaggle Land.

Firstly, after 8 weeks of hard-core and flawless running training (seriously I didn’t even skip one session) I had to ditch my finale 10km run because I got struck down with the sleepy flu virus from hell on the same day my monthly friend came to visit. So the only activity I’ve been fit for this past week has been moaning on the couch in the foetal position. So annoying.

Anyway, I’ve managed to get all of my deadlines done this week despite the fact that I’ve felt like death warmed up and JUST as I’m starting to feel better I get to pack my bags and go to Bali for a 5 day detox retreat. Perfect.

What’s even more perfect is that my good mate Woog is over there as well and while she won’t be joining me on my detox, she’s very happy to help me pre-tox before I start. Bless her.

I’m now in a major state of procrastination. Instead of actually packing, I’ve decided to ask all my followers on Facebook what I should pack. Then instead of packing those things I’ve decided to write a post about packing them instead. Just in case you’re leaving for a Bali trip in the next 24 hours… like I am.

What to Pack For Bali

What you need…

Good Quality Luggage with a Lock


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Hard Case Trolley from Muji

It goes without saying that you need TSA approved locked luggage when you travel overseas. Especially to Bali. For really obvious reasons. We have a large black Muji suitcase just like the one pictured above and it’s perfect. The wheels are mulit-directional, it fits everything we need in it and it has a built-in TSA approved lock. 

High Protection Sunscreen

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 Banana Boat Sport Block from Chemist Warehouse

And lots of it. Last time I was in Thailand I ran out and it was difficult to find sunscreen that didn’t cost as much as a night in a hotel and didn’t have bleaching agents all through it. Always bring too much sunscreen and too much insect repellant.

Cotton Clothing

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Striped Cotton Dress from The Outnet

If you’re off to an island, chances are it’s going to be a bit muggy. Make sure you wear cotton clothing or clothing in natural fibres. I alway take maxi dresses that are cool but also cover me up a little to protect me from the sun.

An Awesome Pair of Swimmers

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 Nautical Swimsut from Primark 

 Or two. I tend to pack two pairs of swimmers because there are few things in life that are grosser than slipping into soggy swimmers that haven’t dried from your last swim. I’m also partial to a one piece so I can cover up all that extra holiday eating.

Sea Salt Spray

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Sea Salt Spray from Fudge 

Leave your curlers, straighteners and hair dryer at home and just pack a bottle of this stuff instead. If I’ve been swimming, I just a spray some sea salt spray in my hair and let it dry naturally. 

Rockstar Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 8.16.38 pmAviators from Randolph

I bought a pair of Randolphs this year and I haven’t looked back. They’re light, they’re comfortable and they’re the astronauts choice. What’s not to love? Whenever you’re buying sunglasses be sure to buy quality. Just because a pair of sunglasses is priced at $5oo doesn’t mean they aren’t made of cheap plastic. Do your research and make sure your sunnies are good quality before handing over your cash. 

A Sun Hat

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 8.26.38 pmRiver Island Fedora from The Iconic

You want to come back from holidays all tanned and delicious, not peeling from a sunburn on your face. Hats are also a great cover up for Beach Hair and coupled with your rockstar sunglasses it will also be an amazing way to hide Hang Over Face.

Comfy Beach Thongs

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 Pink Havainas from Havaiana

Every time I go on holiday I pack around 5 pairs of shoes and then I end up wearing my thongs the entire time. This shocks me greatly because you will NEVER see me in thongs in real life, except after a manicure but they’re an absolute must have when going on an island holiday. 

Additional items:

Hydrolite, Panadol, Imodium, insect repellent, hand sanitiser, daily probiotics, moisturiser, toothbrush, toothpaste, basic make up kit, underwear, scarves for tying your hair back, comfy bras, yoga clothes, running gear, iPad loaded with your favourite shows, laptop (if you need to work while you’re away), chargers, adaptors, a cardigan for the plane, fancy dress and shoes for partying, camera, phone, something cool and comfy to sleep in, hand lotion, eye mask, ear plugs, inflatable pillow, one brightly coloured lipstick and make up wipes.

What are your must have beach holiday items?

Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. Raquel Moss 2 years ago

    Saving this for my trip in October!

    Generally when I travel to the tropics, though, I buy cheap but adorable clothes that I would never wear in Wellington. I wear them throughout the trip and then donate them when I’m done. I’m always drawn to floaty dresses and hippy skirts, but they’re not really what I would wear day-to-day, so I save them for holidays.

    In India last year, I bought a bunch of harem pants and a few loose cotton tops, most of which wore out by then end of the trip. Served me well, and saved me from packing much luggage!

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      I did that in India too. Bought heaps of colourful kaftan tops and then donated them charity when I got back.

  2. I highly recommend the Neutrogena Beach Defence sunscreen – it’s 50+/4hrs water resistant, absorbs easily without leaving an oily residue AND it smells good. I took it everywhere over summer and everyone that used it was instantly hooked, it’s really good. I should get a commission given how many people I have told about it!

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      I nice one! Thanks for sharing, I really struggle with sunscreens I hate them being sticky and the smell is gross. Will definitly be trying this one!

  3. Ooh, have the best time in Bali! I’m going to Sydney next week and I’m already stressing about what to pack. Knowing me, I’ll take too much but a girl’s got to have options, right?!

    • Tahlia Meredith 2 years ago

      I ALWAYS pack too much when I travel. Even when I think I’ve been really ruthless, I still wind up taking stuff I never wear. But like you, I need the options! 🙂

      • Author
        Smaggle 2 years ago

        I’m the same. I’m like ‘I don’t KNOW what I’ll want to wear!’ and if I don’t have the perfect shoes the whole evening will be ruined.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Totally and it’s worse if you go to a city because you have to look respectable. I’m just slobbing around in my swimmers here!

  4. Have a great trip! x

  5. Cathg1g2 2 years ago

    Everything you’ve said is spot on.
    I took one of those power boards for my girlfriends and self, multi charging of all our i-gear overnight. V comfy headphones too.
    Bottled water, bleeding obvious I know.
    No matter where I go, I take my swiss army knife.
    Visit Alchemy in the Ubud hills for amazing organic, vegan food and Sari Organik in the rice fields of Ubud.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      You can’t actually take bottled water out of Australia I don’t think? They took mine off me at the airport. Power board is a BRILLIANT IDEA! Im totally adding that to my travel list.

  6. Nicole 2 years ago

    I love travel, but packing stresses me out. I always think I’m gonna leave something, I will later need, behind. Now you just need to go on a Winter holiday at some point and that will help me pack for the trip to London I just booked for the end of the year : P
    That striped maxi dress is really cute, please tell me you own it.

    Have a great, safe trip. I look forward to seeing pictures : D

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      I know I suck at packing too! I always over pack for everything… I have brought so much stuff with me that I’m just not going to wear!

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