Endless beaches, delicious food, and Instagram content for days – ok, enough of making me jealous. Before you’re totally settled into your island life, you’ll need to find the answer to the question, what clothes to pack for Bali? Look no further, we’ve rounded up everything you need for this jealous-making trip, so you can pack, relax and head off to paradise.
I’ve made this packing list based on 2 weeks holiday, clearly flexible – you can still play around with how much of what and if you’re not a skirt girl, then don’t bring a skirt, etc.
What to pack for Bali?
So let's start with the basics. No matter what your style, it’s probably sensible to take a few basics with you.
- Tanks tops: Honestly, the more tank tops the better. I’m sure you’re aware that it gets hot (that’s the point) so that means when you’re out and about a tank top is all you’ll really want to live in. Bring plenty so that you can start fresh a couple of times, they don’t take up too much luggage space and you’ll thank yourself later.
- T-shirts: Sometimes though, your shoulders will need a little break from the sun and a tank top is not suitable to visit temples in. Take a few T-shirts with you, but make sure they are made from more breathable cotton rather than polyester mix. I wouldn’t go for a T-shirt that is too tight, black or any other dark colour – lighter colours will feel a bit cooler in the hot sun.
- Shorts: Your favourite, comfiest pair of shorts are unmissable to your trip to Bali. Go for a basic pair of denim cut off shorts, they go with anything and look cool while you’re at it. But there are comfier options out there like flowy linen short or cotton belted short for a more retro, summery feel.
- Pants: One pair of long pants will be great for visiting temples or for when the evenings cool down a little. Clearly, a pair of heavy jeans isn’t ideal so try to find flowier breathable pants made form fabrics like linen. You can bring this with you, but if you don’t mind living your best Cliché Basic girl life; get a pair of flowy pants in Bali (please without elephants though).
- Underwear: don’t make me explain this one.
So now that we’re set on the boring basics part, it’s time to start thinking about those fashion items that truly deserve all those lush Bali backdrops. There will be Instagram content for days with cute tropical outfits that just scream OOO. Treat yourself to one or two new pieces you’ll be excited to wear on your trip, but can last a few months later back home. This can be anything from a breezy, bohemian dress to a cute playsuit and a matching two-piece set of shorts and top.
I’d say take three bags with you, which may sound like a lot but these aren’t the type to take up too much space. Then for a nice dinner or days, you don’t need to take a lot, make sure you have a smaller bag. I’d go for a bum bag as this is both practical and stylish but if you’re planning to do a super-luxe dinner maybe bring a small clutch with you as well or instead. We’ve all experienced the many wonders of a tote bag, so roll up your favourite sturdiest one and take it with you on any trip. It’s a great in-between for when your backpack is too big and annoying to carry and your smaller purse won’t fit everything. Leave the straw bag back home, or buy one when you’re there as it might be a little annoying to try and squeeze into your luggage.
Sporty Comfy Clothes
Maybe you’re not heading to a Bali yoga retreat, but you’ll surely be tempted to join a class or two so don’t set yourself up for disappointment and bring a sports bra and leggings. Leggings are also a great go-to for your flight and travelling between destinations within Bali. Pack a pair of active shorts if you’re planning to do some hiking or prefer doing yoga in tight short-shorts.
When it comes to packing for Bali, you don't want to miss out on killer swimwear. I don’t know about you but I always tend to overpack on the swimwear department and end up just wearing the same 2 or 3 bikinis I feel most comfortable in on rotation. One of these is always a classic, minimal bikini that was a little pricier but totally worth the investment – super comfy, flattering and no weird cuts that are trendy but end up making you feel uncomfortable. So make sure you have one of these essentials and then you can start thinking about more ‘fun’ bikini and swimsuit options.
A stylish, retro-looking swimsuit with polka dots or in a plain colour is always a winner for not-at-all staged beach photos (the book and coconut props were not planned at all either). Then a fun and flirty bikini in a cute colour like pink, orange or yellow in whatever cut or style you like works as the third option. I’d say bring one more bikini just because they don’t take up that much space anyway right?
When you're trying to figure out what to pack for Bali, have a really good think about the shoes you want to take. Footwear is where it’s really annoying if you overpack as they are heavy and take up lots of space. I’d say to bring this and nothing more (to my roommate who took 6 pairs of heels to her trip to Greece this is dedicated to you).
- A pair of your comfiest sneakers you don’t mind getting dirty
- A second pair of comfy sneakers in case the others get a bit uncomfortable after a few days of walking
- Thongs for the beach or skip the thongs and only bring sandals or flat espadrilles.
- Stylish leather sandals that work for fancier evenings as well as walking around
- One pair of heeled espadrilles or heeled sandals
You can really go all-out summer when it comes to accessories. Bring your headwear game to a new level with summer straw hats but also make sure to take the more practical side of you and pack a cap for any walks or hikes to waterfalls you’ll be doing (or just for reading on the beach you lazy woman).
Sarongs are really a lifesaver for any beach or pool holiday, they are great to wrap yourself but also to use instead of a towel to lie on. When It's hot out, I'm personally not really a fan of wearing lots of jewellery (also, tan lines) but taking one pair of big earrings to dress up your look for romantic beach dinners is definitely an easy fix!