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14 Items to discover Bali with a smart backpack

Where the smarts begin!

Where the smarts begin!

I am, by nature, a light traveler. I remember going to Singapore with nothing but a paper bag and tightly folded spare clothes. When it comes to really exploring a place though, and especially when this place is Bali, I like to have a couple of things handy, which really make the trip safer and easier.Here they are:

1) Sunscreen

Holidays are like good food: better when not overcooked. A high index sunscreen will always be your skin’s best friend when travelling to Bali. You can even go green and chose an echo-friendly one, the reef will thank you, and it’s good for your karma!

2) Swiming gears

I’m not saying you need to pack oxygen bottles and a scuba set, that would be a tad too much. But if there’s one think I’ve learned, it that in Bali, anytime is perfect for a dip. Swimwear and goggles should do the trick

3) A folding umbrella

While we’re on the water topic… flash rains are not unusual in the area. While they rarely last long, they’ll soak you clean and good if they catch you unaware.

4) Ear plugs

It’s a matter of personal preference, but I rarely go abroad without some foam earplugs. They’ve saved my sleep in more than one plane or road trip, and I can go party without fearing for my oh so sensitive eardrums (okay, I look weird then, but that’s just me).

5) Mosquito repellent cream or spray

Shall I emphasize on how mosquitos are hellish little troublemakers? After doing the scratching monkey dance while applauding at the air a couple of times, I figured repellent would save me a lot of trouble.

6) A scarf

Every now and then, night gets chilly around Bali; especially when you go hiking. No need to bring the gigantic hand-knit flag your granny got you last January, but a warm scarf will prove useful.

7) Good walking shoes

Well, this one is not for your bag per se, but good walking shoes are infinitely better than sandals to go around Bali, and they’ll preserve your ankles when you walk lesser known paths hidden in the paddies, mountains and jungle.

8) A flashlight

LED lights pack quite a lot of power.

LED lights pack quite a lot of power.

This one is easy, I even keep one at home and it’s always been a great help. A power outage is never to be excluded, anywhere in the world. A LED flashlight will be all you need, and you can even download loads of flashlights apps for iOS and Android phones.

9) A refillable water bottle

Many restaurants and cafe will refill it for you, and it’s healthier than a re-filled plastic bottle.

10) A bandana

Will do all the dirty work your scarf cannot handle. It’s impressive how many use you can find for a simple square of linen (I have been known to use mine as an emergency belt after the unfortunate loss of a pant’s button).

11) A lighter

That, is for your pocket. Even if you don’t smoke, a lighter is a surefire (oh, I made a pun!) way to start many conversations, and who knows, seal a couple of friendships.

12) Some ziplock bags

Easy enough. Still not micro-wave resistant though.

Easy enough. Still not micro-wave resistant though.

Yes! Absolutely! Ziplock bags will keep your documents, gadgets and money safe from water and sand. They are the least obvious items in this list, and one of the most useful.

13) A first aid kit

One at home, one in the car and one in my bag. That’s my rule of the thumb. Nobody wants their holidays ruined by some ill luck, even the kind of small ill luck a plain old band-aid could help prevent.

14) Your turn!

Number 14 is yours, fellow travelers. Who knows I might have missed something and I know you have something in mind that’s on in the list! What is it? Let me know!

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