Ubud, Bali: the ultimate bucket list destination full of gushing waterfalls, lush greenery, sparkling temples, sweet air filled by the scent of aromatic incense, and charming flower arrangements every corner you turn.
Who would ever want to leave?
Bali truly is a magical place and in order to get the most of your time there, you’ll want to pack smart. You won’t need much, just a few trusted items.
Follow along while we dive into what to pack for Ubud!
Visiting Bali is like stepping into a whole other world. The colorful culture, peaceful (yet busy) environment and awe-inspiring views at every turn are guaranteed to invigorate you and change your perspective.
We’ll get into the specifics of what to pack for Ubud, what to pack it in and how to pack it. (I’m kinda obsessed with organized packing and convenience).
Looking for more insight on Bali? Check out our other posts before your trip!
- 5 Experiences You Don’t Want to Miss in Bali
- Must Do In Ubud
- What You Need to Know About Flower Offerings in Bali: Canang Sari
The Packing Essentials: Luggage and More!
First things first, what kind of luggage should I bring?
Hint: I’m an advocate for carry-on only. Checking in bags, finding the luggage pick up area in foreign airports, possibility of lost baggage, etc. are all more hassle than they’re worth in my opinion. I can fit everything for a 2 week trip into a carry-on.
Plus, if you’re going to be visiting more than one spot in Bali (like, the Gili Islands) you’ll want something easy to carry.
For that reason I recommend you use one of the following when you pack for Ubud:
- Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack: I love this backpack. It really surpasses all the other carry-on backpacks I’ve seen. My favorite part is that it has a large panel zip that allows you to completely open the backpack (similar to how you’d open a suitcase).
Why I love this? Top-loading backpacks without this feature can be a pain when you have to empty out everything on top to get to the item you need at the bottom. With the Osprey Farpoint 40L, you don’t have to worry about that!
Another great thing about this backpack is you can stowaway the hip belt and straps. The zippered flap on the back of the backpack makes it easy to zip up the straps and easily put the bag in overhead compartments without worrying about your straps getting caught on anything. Sleek! (Bonus: It even has a laptop/ipad sleeve inside!)
- Chester Carry On: If you prefer an actual suitcase instead of a backpack (I do sometimes, especially if I’m going straight to one place) this carry-on suitcase is the one! It will fit perfectly into overhead bins, is lightweight but has a tough hardshell for protection, and is super modern & sleek. It competes with some more expensive ones I’ve seen on the market, and offers all you’d need. Click here and you can use the code “10AF” for 10% off!
- Packing Cubes: Though not so secret anymore, I love to call these the secret to travel packing. These really are a game changer. Your bag will stay organized the entire trip, and finding what you need becomes effortless. I love these! Just roll your clothes up and you’ll be able to find everything with ease. I usually take:
- One medium packing cube: fits five shirts, one pair of pants and two pairs of shorts.
- Another medium packing cube: fits one dress, one set of pajamas, and one yoga outfit
- One small packing cube: fits the essentials… like, underwear, socks, and don’t forget a swimsuit!
- Laundry & Shoe Bag: I always bring one laundry bag just to keep separate what needs to be washed and to keep what’s still clean, clean!
Also, one of the same bags to keep shoes in. I always bring walking shoes and sandals, so when I’m not wearing one of them, the other goes in its own bag which keeps the rest of my items clean.
- Toiletry Bag: A packing essential, the wonderful toiletry bag. Keeping all your showering and self care needs organized, forever. This one is compact and has enough space for all the essentials, plus you can hang it up.
- Day Pack: Another favorite of mine from Osprey. They have a great variety of small day packs that are perfect for fitting your water bottle, sunscreen, camera, phones, and whatever you need for the day without having to lug your carry-on sized bag.
Keep In Mind:
Temple Dress Code in Bali
Yes, the temples in Bali do have a dress code, and it needs to be honored. Shoulders and knees need to be covered, this applies to all genders.
There is also a requirement for all to wear Sarongs around the waist, these are widely available and can be used to cover-up when visiting a temple. Nearly every temple we visited offered these to either borrow or rent (for a very small fee), so don’t worry if you forgot yours, or don’t have one. Some places actually require you to use theirs and will have a designated area for you to handle the borrowing/renting.
A tee-shirt (shoulders covered, check!) and shorts or linen pants are a great idea when heading to visit a temple. You’ll be able to wrap a sarong around the waist and head in no problem!
Flower Offerings aka Canang Sari
I do have a whole other post designated to these, you can check it out here. However I wanted to quickly mention that you will see an abundance of these at the temples, and also covering the streets, near the waterfalls, store fronts, homes, etc. Do everything you can to avoid stepping on these, especially if an incense is still burning on one. Try your best to keep an eye out for them and kindly walk around. (note: stepping over them can also be considered disrespectful, so try to walk around instead)
Best Time of Year to Visit Bali
We visited Bali for New Years, and the weather in Bali from December to January is considered wet season. Since it’s near the equator though, it’s still very warm and you will get plenty of sun.
Keep in mind this is also high season (july/august & december/january) so it is a busy time to visit- more traffic, more crowds, higher prices, & so on. Ubud was beyond enjoyable nonetheless!
The rainpour was actually quite cleansing- we even went for a swim in the rain which was exciting and soothing.
Since its always warm there, the water is actually a nice way to let go and enjoy the element in its entirety (without freezing or getting uncomfortable).
That being said, May, June & September are considered the best times to visit, with April and October following closely after- these months will see the least rain if that’s what you’re lookin’ for. Keep in mind it is still tropical terrain, so you it’s possible you’ll still get some downpour even in the “dry” season.
Clothing Suggestions to Pack for Ubud
Bali is close to the equator so it stays warm and humid- like 80% and up kind of humid. That being said you’re going to want lightweight, comfortable clothes… think sundresses, long skirts and flowy rompers. Or those adorable Bali pants that you’ll see everywhere when you arrive.
Some things you may want to pack for ubud…
- Sundresses: These are the perfect way to beat the humidity, stay cool, and look good at the same time. The one I linked is super cute, looks great with a hat, and the front can even be tied into a knot! This classic one is another favorite sundress of mine that has pockets… who doesn’t love a sundress with pockets?!
- Long flowy skirts and rompers: Both are another great choice for Bali attire.
- Sun hat: This is my favorite sun hat, it’s not your typical straw light weight hat, but- its stylish and does a great job at keeping the sun out of your face. Plus it do
- Linen pants / beach pants: The flowy linen pants are a must for Bali. I also call them Bali pants and you could definitely wait to purchase them until you arrive there because you will certainly see them everywhere. They’re fairly cheap (5-10 USD), plus they have tons of cute patterned ones in Ubud.
- Hiking Pants / Convertible Hiking Pants: For the treks/hikes you’ll want to explore in Ubud! Campuhan Ridge Walk, rice terrace exploring and chasing waterfalls are all a must.
- Organic Cotton, Hemp, or Merino Wool T-Shirts
- Light Rain Jacket: This one is ultra light weight and can be rolled/folded up as small as a tennis ball which makes it a perfect candidate for your day pack! Never know when that tropical rain is going to sneak up on ya.
- Comfortable sandals: Some Classic Walking Sandals or these super cute and comfortable walking sandals are both great options! You’ll definitely need them walking around Ubud. You’ll quickly notice uneven sidewalks and want good support for your feet.
- Bathing Suit and Cover-Up
- Trail Runners: A good option because they have more grip than regular running/walking shoes, without being a full on hiking boot. Perfect for long walks around the Monkey Forest, exploring the rice terraces (which can be slippery in some muddy areas), or hiking the Campuhan Ridge.
- Toiletry Bag: This hanging one from target is perfect! It’s not too bulky so it fits perfectly in a carry-on with a few packing cubes. There’s room for all the essentials! (note: I usually keep my sunscreen & bug spray in a separate zip lock bag)
- Laundry Clothes Line: This is another game changer. Having a travel clothes line makes doing laundry while traveling super convenient. I love this one because it doesn’t need any hooks, you just pull the elastic twists apart and hang your clothes to dry that way.
- Laundry Soap (Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap -or- these laundry soap sheets): Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap is one of my favorites for doing laundry while travelling. It’s super concentrated so you only need a tiny bit and can get a good lather for all your clothes. (Plus, it doubles as body wash.) If you’re concerned about carrying too many liquids, the laundry soap sheets are a great option too. They’re fun to use and barely take up any space!
- Sunscreen: Reef-Safe sunscreen is a must.
- Tinted Moisturizer: Since Bali is so humid, I recommend (for those of you who wear makeup) a tinted moisturizer instead. I tried wearing my powder foundation the first day there and it basically melted off. Plus, the humidity will make your skin glow!
- Picardin Bug Repellent and Permethrin Spray: The Picardin bug repellent (lotion is best) was recommended to us by the travel nurse we consulted with before our trip. Glad we took her advice because we didn’t leave with a single bite! For your clothing/bedding, we suggest Permethrin Spray. Just a few sprays on your clothes before you put them on (Pajamas too!). I also spray this on my sleeping sack before bed.
- Shampoo/ Conditioner
- Body Wash
Other Important Essentials
- Sleeping Sack: these provide a sense of security that you’re sleeping in something clean. If you read the reviews on where you’re staying and choose a good place, you usually don’t have to worry but, better safe than sorry. From budget accommodations to luxury villas, you just never know. Plus these help keep any bugs away from you and are honestly really comfortable!
- Don’t forget the bug spray! (recommendation above) You’ll be spared the discomfort of bug bites, and protected from bug-carried diseases.
- Vaccinations: The CDC has a all the info on this, or you can always call the travel nurse at your current doctor’s office. Give yourself plenty of time on these, as some of the recommended vaccines will require you to take them for a few weeks prior to your trip.
- Re-Usable Water Bottle: Please don’t forget this. Recycling in Bali (you will notice) is not quite there yet… Meaning you will see plastic in places it should not be (i.e. water streams, the beach, the street, etc). You can use Grayl Purifying Water Bottle or Steripen and an insulated HydroFlask. We had no trouble finding drinkable water in Ubud. All the hotels/hostels and restaurants we went to had access to good water. I’d still avoid ice though, hard to tell if it was made with filtered water or not.
- Activated Charcoal and/or an Anti-Diarrheal: The charcoal is great to carry in your day pack, or just have on you at all times, in case you notice your tummy starts turning after eating something you may not be used to. The charcoal will detox your digestive tract, and bind to any toxins/pathogens which will allow you to pass them appropriately.
- Ginger Root or Dramamine: comes in handy if you get nauseous on planes or boat rides, and the ginger root is great for any tummy upset.
- Digestive Enzymes/ Digestive Juice helps with constipation. Take either before eating and your digestive system will be signaled to produce digestive enzymes so you can properly digest your food instead of getting backed-up.
I always carry a small make-up bag with plane essentials in my purse while travelling. It’s nice to have everything you need right under your seat instead of having to dig through (and get from the overhead bins) your carry-on bag. Here’s some ideas of things you may want to have access to on the plane.
- Hand Sanitizer and Sanitizing Wipes: some people will look at you like you’re some kind of germ freak but.. I like to wipe down my seat and tray with a sanitizing wipes.
- Face Wipes: No one likes washing their face in an airplane (or airport) bathroom, these are an obvious quick fix.
- Lavender Spray: Helps me relax on the plane. I make my own with a few drops of essential oil & distilled water (do be considerate of people sitting near you, they may have allergies or sensitivities)
- Moisturizer/Lotion: You can always count on the plane altitude to dry your skin out… don’t forget this one! I bring my favorite anti-aging hand lotion, it’s a little pricey for a small bottle of hand lotion but, I splurge on this one for the good ingredients and amazing quality.
- Sleep Mask: This one is a must for me. It makes it so much easier to sleep on uncomfortable plane rides! Plus the silk will help prevent any sleepy lines around your eyes.
- Organic Olivia’s Sleep Juice: This herbal tincture will help you get right to sleep, plus can help with jet lag by encouraging your body’s clock to adjust. (all her tinctures are amazing really and I tend to bring multiple on my trips)
Anything I should add? What are your flight essentials? Let me know in the comments!