Travel Bali Solo as a Woman - 4 Reasons to try it
The Island to Try Out Solo Travel - Bali
Travel Bali Solo as a Woman - Why you Should Start and How to Do It
For those of you who have always thought about traveling by themselves but have never had the courage to finally book a flight, I have one thing to say to calm your anxieties. There are places that facilitate your experience by a 100%. It is all about where you go and how you approach your travels. Bali was my first solo travel experience, like „completely solo - don’t know anybody there, will see how it goes“ - solo. I have always loved traveling, but the choice to travel on my own was not made by me but by a friend of mine who canceled our planned trip while I was on the way to the airport. Imagine my shock. I had never been to South East Asia before and now I was supposed to go there completely by myself. YAY. Now I wish I had planned to do the trip by myself in the first place. This is a tribute to Bali and a love letter to female solo travel. If you have the chance to travel Bali solo as a woman, do it now! Don’t think about it, just book the flights. Continue reading to get convinced and excited for the best weeks of your life.
Why Bali is the best solo travel try out destination
Before going more deeply into how to organize your female solo travel trip to Bali, I am sure you still have doubts and anxieties. Otherwise, you would not be here, right? You must have read countless of motivational quotes that say: „Just do it! Book a flight.“, but none that said why it is a good idea. Well, here it goes. Bali is awesome but especially awesome for female solo travelers.
1. Bali is pretty safe
If you stick to the common sense rules that you stick to at home, you will not have any problems on Bali. Apart from Balinese people occasionally trying to get a little bit more money out of your pocket than reasonable, you do not have to worry all that much. Balinese people are usually overly positive and helpful people. Only the ones that are completely emerged in the tourist industry can get quite rough, but nothing that you could not experience in southern Europe, as well. There are countless posts on how to use a cab on Bali, booking tours and looking for accommodation. Read them. Get informed. All good.
2. It is impossible to stay alone - if you do it right
Bali is a digital nomad mecca and a female solo travelers’ paradise. With paradise I mean exactly what you are thinking right now: the cliche vegan cafés and cheap restaurants. Sadly, Bali has received huge amounts of tourism and has turned it into a bit of a cliché. However, this is good for the first solo travel experience. The vibe that you can get on Bali in the cafés, in the hostels, is just perfect for traveling by yourself. Be sure to meet at least 3 people a day that have an open mind and are on the same journey as you are. If you stay in Hostels or you are simply talkative in restaurants and attractions, there is literally no way you will stay alone. A bit of loneliness is good, though. It forces you to get out of your comfort zone without you even noticing it. Traveling by yourself also secludes you from your all day life, your normal fears and walls in your mind. Nobody knows you there. You cannot screw anything up. And if you do, simply move on.
3. You can get anywhere with English
Even though you might be on the beaten paths of backpacking, there is another big plus to it. As you are reading this post, I assume you know English quite well. You do not have to worry about communication on Bali because most of the Balinese people that have seen a tourist speak basic English.
4. This is your chance to try out new things
On Bali, you can rent a scooter for the first time, practice and get better in the rice fields until you feel safe to hit the real streets. You can go snorkeling at basically any island nearby (recommending Nusa Lembongan). Schools for surfing or diving are everywhere and not that expensive. What I did is to book a week in a surf camp in advance, accommodation and surf lessons included. While you laugh at each other on your first day on the board, you will make friends for your whole trip!
How to travel on Bali as a Female Solo Traveler - Some Tips
1. Looking for Accommodation as a Female Solo Traveler in Bali
Finding accommodation in Bali is not difficult at all and it offers price ranges, luxury classes and tastes for all. From colorful hostels with hippies to a luxury spa: On Bali, you can find everything for reasonable prices. However, if you travel solo as a woman and you really want to get to know people, staying at a hostel at some point or another will not be avoidable. Another great option is homestays. Homestays are usually small bed and breakfasts often run by a whole Balinese family. Sometimes the prices are equal to a hostel bed but much more comfortable. If you have never stayed in a homestay, it is definitely a must do on Bali! At the bottom, you will see a list of nice accommodations on Bali, the Gili’s and Lembongan! A lot of backpackers on Bali simply walk from homestay to homestay and ask if there is a room available. I have made the experience that this works quite well, as you can get an impression of the rooms and the area with your own eyes. However, keep in mind that if you want to meet people, you will have to talk to them on the street, in restaurants or in yoga classes etc.!
Accommodations I can recommend
Gusti Kaler Homestay in Ubud: This was the nicest, cheapest and most welcoming place I have ever stayed at. SERIOUS TIP!
On Gili Air:
Fantastic Hostel: very simple, toilets are a little challenging, but exceptionally well located and cool common areas! WARNING: Do not go to Gili without booking accommodation in advance. Everything is sold out quickly.
On Nusa Lembongan:
Putra 7 Cottage: Homestay with an amazingly cute young family! Extra: Top Pool!
2. Moving around on Bali, Gili, and Lembongan
Taxis on Bali are quite cheap. Always insist on having the meter turned on. ALWAYS. Drivers will try to convince you to let it go, but keep insisting on the meter. If you stay in Hostels and Homestays it cannot hurt to ask them for their rates to go to e.g. from Ubud to Gili Air. They organize everything. And if you feel like they have nothing under control and you will get stuck somewhere, because it seems unorganized: relax! Locals have a different organization logic. Just sit back and prepare for a wait and the idea that you will not be able to plan your exact arrival time. In any other case, you will find small huts and stands that organize transportation everywhere. However, it is worth comparing the prices, as they can vary a lot! These trip usually consist of a bus ride with a more or less crazy driver (not kidding) and a boat ride. For the ferry rides check the companies in advance. The trip to Gili is not really rough, you can even climb on top of the boat and enjoy the view with some music and drinks. But if you want to make sure everything is up to the newest standard, going with Scoot is always a good option. They are supposedly the safest way to get to Lombok, Lembongan, and Gili, at least that is what locals say. They will also cost you, though. I would highly recommend not to book tickets in advance, aka before you get to the island, you will save money booking there.
On Gili, there are no cars, but horse carriages. Please, please, please do not use them. The Gili Islands are very small and you can usually just walk the distance to the accommodation. The horses that pull the carriages on the Gili Islands have a life expectancy of less than three years (real life expectancy about 25-30 years in comparison). This is why I always recommend traveling light and with a backpack, you can simply walk and not support this animal cruelty.
3. What to wear on Bali as a woman
Buying one or two sarongs (long and wide scarfs that you can use as pretty much any piece of clothing) is a good idea. I used to always carry one around with me as they serve as towels, skirts, and jackets that you can throw over when it gets chilly. If you want to visit a temple you need to be sure to take a sarong with you (men as well), as knees have to be covered. Other than that, don’t walk through a town in a bikini top, and simply be as decent as you would be at home.
4. How to pass those lonely hours traveling Bali solo
If you decide to travel alone you will have to accept that some hours you will get incredibly lonely. You will fear that you cannot make any friends at that new place and regret that you made this journey by yourself. Instead of letting those negative feelings creep into your soul, try to embrace it. Bali is known for its spirituality. Why don’t you try out meditation? Take a seat on the beach with a cocktail in your hand and grab the next book that other solo travelers have left behind. Connect with yourself. Even though these hours might be the hardest at first, you will soon come to realize that these are also the hours that make the difference. As soon as you have passed the negativity of loneliness, you will come to embrace it. Have you ever felt this free? Think about yourself, think about your goals in life. This is the time to think about YOU and YOUR mind without valuing the opinion of others. Feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin and simply enjoy that you are alive.
5. How to deal with Sickness and Food Poisoning as a Female Solo Traveler on Bali
Talking about alive… There might be times you will not feel alive at all. You can be as a careful as you want, you might still get unlucky, have an accident or eat something that will give you food poisoning. In these moments direct communication with your surrounding people is vital. If you stay in a homestay I have made the experience that the Balinese families there will feel the responsibility to take care of you. Don’t be ashamed to say that you feel like shit and need help. The same goes for other people in hostels. Likely they have had a similar experience and are more than glad to help you out. However, if you do not communicate to someone that you need their help, how will they know? Food poisoning and scooter accidents, for example, are very common on Bali and grant you the compassion of other travelers.
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We are a team of four feminist travelers coming together from different parts of the world to share with you what we have learned from traveling, living, loving, and exploring all over the world. Join us and tell your story about female solo travel, relationships, mental health, city guides, or whatever else comes to your mind.