Among international tourist destinations, Bali is generally considered a safe place to visit. As a sport, surfing is more or less as safe as you want it to be. Bigger risks mean bigger thrills, which require better skills in order to keep safe. But aside from the surfing aspect, here are five Bali travel safety tips for your holiday.
Motorbikes and scooters – Whether you’re on a country road in Kansas or a blown up alley in Kabul, two-wheeled motorized transportation is about the most dangerous thing you can do on a daily basis. If you do choose to hire a motorcycle, moped or scooter wear a helmet, make sure you don’t drink and drive, and don’t be an idiot. Seriously, that is probably the most important bit of advice for Bali travel safety.
Don’t do drugs – I know this might make me sound like a square, but just because there are a lot of tall blonde people around doesn’t mean that Indonesia’s justice system is like Holland’s. Whether you’re using or selling, drug possession can get you thrown in jail or worse. Be advised: even a little drug peddling street kid might be working for the police. Cheap alcohol might also be laced with denatured alcohol (methylated spirits), which can cause blindness.
Red flag beaches – These mean don’t go in the water. A red flag signifies dangerous undertows and rip tides that will pull you out to see and down to Davy Jones’ Locker, potentially killing you. It’s also a good idea to check weather conditions and forecasts before heading out to the beach. Avoid trashy beaches and by that I mean visibly polluted not ones with lots of orange people trying to convert their sunbed base into a cocoa bean melanoma.
Wear sunblock – I know I might be screaming at a wall but this pretty important for Bali travel safety, especially for the melanin challenged among us. Tans can look nice (though orange people look ridiculous) but too much sun and especially sunburns can seriously damage your health. Skin cancer anyone?
Street smarts – Some people have them, some don’t. Before going to Bali, get some or travel with others who are street smart. I don’t mean to be glib – I’m talking about common sense, which can tend to go out the window when you’re on holiday. Bali is full of genuine friendly people, but don’t be too trusting of strangers just because you’re on vacation and everyone is smiling. Avoid pushy dealers (of anything) and keep an eye on your belongings. It’s also a good idea to be in a group (or at least a pair) with those you know and trust.
For more travel tips check out this piece from Perth Now on travelling alone as a female. This British government site regularly updates Indonesia travel advisory including information relevant to Bali travel safety.