Bali packing list for girls

The BEST Packing List for Bali – Solo Female Travel 2021

THE SOLO GIRL’S PACKING LIST FOR BALI

Packing for Bali takes finesse, girls! You need to be prepared for a wide range of Bali adventures from swimming on some of the world’s best beaches to taking Instagram photos in Bali’s most Instagrammable cafes. The key to packing for Bali is balance!

In this packing list for Bali, I’m going to show you what to bring on a proper Bali vacation. Follow this solo female travel guide – and you won’t have to worry about over-packing or underpacking.

Here we go. Here is the ultimate packing list for Bali for solo female travelers.

A Quick Guide to this Blog

#1 – CLOTHING

Girls, Indonesia is hot. Like HOT HOT. And while in an ideal world, we’d be running around in a tank top and shorts, we can’t do that because #Indonesia. We’ve got to keep in mind that Indonesia is a relatively conservative country – both on the streets and in the temples.

So trust me when I say that balancing your India wardrobe is an art form.

LETS START PACKING

✔️ Two Capri Pants

For plane rides and car rides…and whatever else you may ride (that sounds accidentally dirty so I’m just going to leave it).

OALKA WOMEN’S YOGA CAPRIS (IN 2 COLORS)

Get These on Amazon->


Three Maxi Dresses or Wrap Dresses

Maxi dresses are the most versatile articles of clothing in your bag!

Dress them up for a night out, cover your knees for a day of temple hopping or throw one on to look airport chic.

Here are a couple of my maxi dress picks…

✔️ Breezy Tropical Maxi Dress

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green floral maxi dress

✔️ Much Obliged Golden Yellow Wrap Maxi Dress

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✔️ Heart of Marigold Rust Red Floral Print Wrap Maxi Dress

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One Midi Dress

For our nights out…we’re getting super sexy by showing our ankles LOL

✔️ Postcards from Positano Blue Tie-Back Button Front Midi Dress

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Two Long Skirts

When you enter temples in Bali, its always a good idea to have a skirt that covers your knees.

✔️ Samoa Blush Midi Skirt

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✔️ Doublju Womens Waist Strap Tie Up Point Long Skirt

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✔️ One Throw-Over or Shawl

Ps. You can buy beautiful shawls in Indonesia!!!

This baby doubles as a temple shawl and an airplane blanket!


The Wayfarer Wraps and Blankets Collection

Get on Happy Luxe ➜

One Pair of Flowy Pants

These pants are very Ubud…and photograph really cute. I love these for those long cross-island car rides.

✔️ STARBILD Women’s High Waist Palazzo Wide Legs Yoga Pants Layered Flowy Loose Flared Pants

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Versatile Tops

Bali is so chic and fashionable that you will want to have outfit changes from day to night. Pack some tops that work for both.

✔️ YunJey Round Neck Triple Color Block Stripe T-Shirt

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✔️ Women’s Solid Open Front Tie Knot Crop Top Long Sleeve Deep V Neck Ruffle Chiffon Short Blouse Shirt

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✔️ BLENCOT Women’s Button Down V Neck Strappy Tank Tops Loose Casual Sleeveless Shirts Blouses

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Comfy Travel Undies

I love lace undies and thongs…but when I’m traveling, I got the practical route!

✔️ Warm Sun Women’s Bamboo Viscose Fiber Panties

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✔️ REI Co-op Active Bikini Underwear- Women’s

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Light Sweater or Windbreaker for Nights and Travels

Amed. Ubud. Sidemen. These areas tend to get a bit chilly at night. Bring a light jacket.

✔️ SweatyRocks Women’s Casual Color Block Drawstring Hooded Windbreaker Jacket

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✔️ Amazon Brand – Core 10 Women’s Soft Cotton Modal French Terry Fleece Yoga Wrap Sweater

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✔️ Milumia Women Color Block Drawstring Hooded Zip Up Sports Jacket

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Active Wear/Workout Shorts: https://amzn.to/2HrwCCH 

Bedtime Nightie: https://amzn.to/2UO0vAd

SHOES

I have a holy collection of shoes that I always travel with:

  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of walking sandals
  • 1 pair of cute sandals
  • 1 pair of running shoes

Make sure you tick each box.

Flip Flops

(I’ve been wearing these travel flip flops for 10 years – replacing them every 2 years)

✔️  Sanuk Women’s Yoga Joy Flip-Flop

Best Flip Flops Ever:
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Walking Sandals

I love a pair of travel sandals that are cute to pair with a dress but are also comfortable enough that your feet aren’t sore by the end of the day. 

✔️  Merrell Women’s Around Town Arin Backstrap Sandal

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✔️ Teva Original Universal Black 7

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✔️ Cute Sandals

(((Add here)))

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✔️ Tennis Shoes or Running Shoes

https://amzn.to/358ntqi

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Swimsuits for Hotel Pools

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✔️ CUPSHE Women’s Smocked Green and Monstera Ruffled High Waisted Bikini

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✔️ CinShein Women’s Bikini High Cut Leopard Print One Piece Monokini Swimsuits Backless Thong Bathing Suit

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✔️ Tempt Me Women Two Piece Swimsuit High Waisted Off Shoulder Ruffled Bikini Se

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Long Black Sheer Skirt: https://amzn.to/339EMXV

ESSENTIALS

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✔️ 1. Travel Insurance

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WORLD NOMADS
SAFETYWING

✔️ 2. Travel Wallet

Krosslon Rfid Passport Holder Wristlet Travel Wallet

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✔️ 3. Travel water bottle

Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

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✔️ 4. Electronic Adaptor

SAUNORCH Universal International Travel Power Adapter

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✔️ 5. Travel Towel

Black Hills Off White Multi Print Travel Towel

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✔️ 6. TSA Locks

ZHEGE TSA Lock 2 Pack

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✔️ 7. Hand Sanitizer

Bath and Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel 5-Pack PocketBac Sanitizers

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✔️ 8. Packets of Tissue

Kimberly-clark Corp 11975 Kleenex White Facial Tissue

You won’t find much toilet paper in Indonesia.
Fun Fact: Indonesians interact with food and humans using their right hand, as their left hand is used for bare wiping – as in water + hand = tissue.

Get on Amazon->

✔️ 9. Menstrual Cup

Saalt Soft Menstrual Cup

You won’t find much toilet paper in Indonesia.
Fun Fact: Indonesians interact with food and humans using their right hand, as their left hand is used for bare wiping – as in water + hand = tissue.

Get on Amazon->

Platinum Venus Razor: https://amzn.to/2Hrx57V

BAGS AND PURSES

✔️ 1. Main Travel Backpack

Osprey Fairview 40 Women’s Travel Backpack
With the uneven roads in India, I recommend that no one brings a rolley suit case.
The BEST travel backpack I’ve ever used is this Osprey Farpoint.

And because we’ll all have the same backpack…customize yours.

Get on Amazon->

✔️ 2. Jewelry Organizer

Jewelry Roll Clutch- Travel Jewelry Case

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✔️ 3. Passport and Money Belt

Large Fanny Pack with 4-Zipper Pockets

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✔️ 4. Bra Pouch

Braza Secret Bra Stash

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✔️ 5. Laptop or Carry-On Bag

Hap Tim Laptop Backpack

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Anti-Theft Backpack: https://amzn.to/35X9R30

Travel Wallet: https://amzn.to/3pRX3CG

✔️ 6. Anti-Theft Over the Shoulder Purse

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag

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✔️ FANNY PACK (IF YOU’RE SUPER COOL LIKE ME)

iAbler Holographic Fanny Pack for Women and Men

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✔️ FOR NIGHT

MINICAT Women RFID Blocking Small Crossbody Bags Cell Phone Purse Wallet With Credit Card Slots

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Small Day Purse: https://amzn.to/3kTpP23
Large Day Purse: https://amzn.to/3pOqWnH

BATH AND BEAUTY

✔️ 1. Cosmetic Bag

Relavel Travel Cosmetic Bag

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✔️ 2. Toiletry Bag

Portable Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag

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✔️ 3.Dirty Laundry Bag

Miamica Laundry Bag

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✔️ MAKEUP AND FACE PRODUCTS

Watch my Best Makeup For Traveling video here:

LIST OF PRODUCTS I USE:

✔️ 1. Lip Balm with SPF

Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm

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✔️ 2. Brush on Sunscreen for your face and decollete

Brush On Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder

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BATH & BODY

PRO-TIP , TRAVEL SIZE EVERYTHING IS THE WAY TO GO

✔️ 1. Travel-Size Silicone Jars

Travel Containers, Silicone Cream Jars 

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✔️ 2. Sunscreen

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion

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✔️ 3. Shampoo & Conditioner

Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo and Conditioner

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✔️ 4.Dry Shampoo

Batiste Mini 1.6 Ounce Variety Pack

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✔️ 5. Anti-Perspirant Deodorant

ZeroSweat Antiperspirant Deodorant

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✔️ 6. Travel Hair Brush

Travel Brush All-in-one with Compact Mirror Case

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✔️ 7. Body Wipes

Bliss – Lemon & Sage Refreshing Body Wipes

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✔️ 8. Makeup Remover Wipes

Olay Cleanse Makeup Remover Wipes Rose Water

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✔️ 9. Toothbrush with Case

4 Pack Travel Toothbrush Case

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FOR THE TUMMY

When you travel, your tummy is introduced to foreign bacteria. You’re bound to get some weird stuff happening in Indonesia, so let’s prepare…

✔️ Charcoal Tablets

Organic Activated Charcoal Capsules

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✔️ Imodium

Imodium A-D Anti-Diarrheal Softgels with Loperamide Hydrochloride

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CAMERA AND ELECTRONICS:

✔️ Electronics Organizer

Electronics Organizer

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✔️ HERE ARE ALL THE ELECTRONICS I TRAVEL WITH:

DJI MAVIC Air Fly More Pack: https://amzn.to/35T0XTS

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Combo: https://amzn.to/3fpWJ9v

iPhone 11 Max Pro (unlocked): https://amzn.to/335mjLV

MacBook Pro: https://amzn.to/35T8UZd

Xiaomi Ear Buds: https://amzn.to/397yxHV

GoPro Hero 8: https://amzn.to/33EBJI6

Canon G7x Mark II: https://amzn.to/39Zhnum

✔️ FOR YOUR GLOW UP

GoBabyGlow Playlists

Glow Up Official
Packing Playlist
The Day Before you Fly
Airplane

TRAVEL DAYS IN INDONESIA DOWNTIME

✔️ Travel Bucket List Journal

Travel Bucket List Planner & Journal

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The Solo Girls Travel Guidebook for Bali
https://amzn.to/2O9lbyM

✔️ Travel Journal

Refillable Handmade Travelers Notebook

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✔️ Travel Journal

Lock Diary Leather Locking Journal Writing Notebook

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pool at Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel in Ubud, Bali

The Best Bali Hostel and Hotel for Solo Female Travelers

Hotel Review: Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel in Ubud, Bali

I recently took a break from the beach (rough life) and traveled up to Ubud, Bali for an island getaway at the lush Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel in Ubud, Bali.

In this video, I give you a total hotel tour and I take you to my secret healer in Ubud. For all the deets, keep scrolling…

 

Puri Garden has Hostel Dorms for Backpackers and Private Rooms for Solo Female Travelers

I stayed in a private room overlooking the rice field (not me pictured…duh). I was supposed to stay for 2 days and had such an amazing time that I ended up extending my stay for an extra night.

private hotel room at Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel in Ubud, Bali

Book on Booking.com

My friend, Hope, stayed in the dorms. The nice thing about the dorms at Puri Garden is that they are small. Her dorm had the capacity for eight people total. The dorms also have a little porch where you can sit and people watch (my favorite hostel activity).

A Social Hostel with Activities Every Day

Puri Garden has thought of a brilliant way to make it easy to meet people. They pull their guests out of their beds with free activities. Yes, fee.

  • Every day at 7am: Sunrise yoga 
  • Every day at 1 pm: Free massages, free pedicures, and free manicures
  • Daily events such as movie night, game night, quiz night, BBQ, karaoke, and puppy therapy!
yoga at Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel in Ubud, Bali

Daily yoga at Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel in Ubud, Booking.com

What to Eat in Ubud?

Puri Garden has a cafe on-site called the Ubudian Cafe which offers a mix of western food and Indonesia food. Pro Tip: Try the pizza. The cafe is right next to the pool and is usually the main hang out area for travelers. 

When you want to mix it up, you’re within walking distance to some of the best restaurants in Ubud. You must try Taco Casa, Monsieur Spoon, and Habitat Cafe (just watch out…the monkeys will steal your purse it you leave it on your chair).

cafe at Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel in Ubud, Bali

Ubudian Cafe

Visit My Secret Healer

Yes, my secret healer. I don’t give her information out publicly, as she’s not a tourist healer…she’s literally a traditional Balinese healer that speaks just a little bit of English, located in a small village outside of Ubud, not too far away from Puri Garden. There is only one way to see her, though, through my driver, Wayan. You can contact him via Instagram. Tell him Alexa sent you. 

What to expect: My Bali healer starts every session by basically doing an audit of your body through your feet. She can tell if you have digestion issues, back issues, high blood pressure – just by the reflexology points in your feet. She then gives a healing massage or manipulates your organs to get your body aligned. What you didn’t see in the video was that I basically got topless and she did the full-body audit. This is normal.

The first time I saw her, I was a skeptic. Wayan brought me to her because I had tremendous pain in my hip that wouldn’t go away. I tried yoga, physical therapy, and acupuncture…nothing worked for months. I laid down in her hut and she told me my hip hurt because of my digestion and inflammation in my stomach. I thought she was crazy. She then rearranged my organs. Yes, you heard that right. It was so painful…but when I stood up, the pain was gone and it has been gone ever since. I looked at her in shock and she just gave me that universal “told you so” look.

Cost: 150k IDR offering (Wayan will help you prepare this).

So if you have chronic pain or a new travel pain, go to her for relief of physical pain. And then, she will perform an aura cleansing on you as she chants this beautiful song to the gods in Balinese.

Additional Ubud Travel Tips

  • If Wayan is booked, use my other driver, Arta.
  • Puri Garden has a sister hostel called Arya Wellness Retreat which is one of the first all-inclusive-style hostels ever. Free wellness classes, breakfasts, and more.
  • Connect with me on Instagram @sologirlstravelguide for more travel tips.

To book Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel in Ubud, click here. 

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Buy the Bali Travel Guidebook. Oh, and once you’ve bought this book…we’re officially friends. I’m here if you need me, just reach out to me on Instagram @SoloGirlsTravelGuide

 

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best Indonesian dishes

The Best Indonesian Dishes: Food You HAVE to Try in Bali

Indonesian dishes you must try in Bali!

The food in Indonesia is to die for…but you’ll need this road map to navigate an Indonesian menu. While the staples are easy to pick out on a menu: Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Nasi Mie (fried noodles), the other Indonesian dishes on the menu will confuse the hell out of you because you’ve likely never heard of them in your life! So to make sure you’re not eating JUST Nasi Goreng for breakfast, lunch and dinner – let me help show you the way. But okay, we’re totally starting with Nasi Goreng…

Nasi Goreng: The closest Indonesia has to a national dish

Let’s get the classic dish out of the way first. Nasi Goreng is a staple of the Indonesian diet which you will find on just about every menu in every Indonesian restaurant, hostel, hotel, and road-side food stan. Easy to make and very cheap, Nasi Goreng is made up of fried rice with a combination of vegetables and spices seasoned with soy sauce and often served with a fried egg on top. If you’re hungry (and/or on a backpacker’s budget) – then this is the way to go!

nasi goreng

Babi Guling, or Suckling Pig: A juicy, delicious Balinese classic 

Slow roasted pork spun on a spit over open fire rendering the juiciest meat you’ve ever had! Babi Guling is first soaked in coconut water and then coated in a delicious mix of herbs and spices. A few hours turning on the spit, this is melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. Babi Guling is traditionally served on a banana leaf with some steamed rice and crackling (chicharon or crispy pork skin). Not to be missed while you’re in Bali.

Siomay: Dumplings with a difference

Dumplings don’t have to be heavy, and the Indonesian Siomay dumplings certainly aren’t. The base protein is fish which is mixed with finely chopped vegetables, then boiled or deep-fried. These are a popular choice with street vendors so you’re never too far from your next Siomay hit! Keep an eye out. 

Satay: An Indonesian twist on an Asian classic

satay skewers bbq 

If you’re a fan of of Asian food, then you might have already tried satay before. But hold on, the Indonesian version is a bit different. Local food stalls and street cards like to use cumin to marinate the skewers of meat before throwing them on the grill, charing their edges. Satay is then served with a spicy peanut sauce loaded with chili and a hit of lime. Satay is commonly a chicken dish, but you’ll find lemongrass pork, or fish, and sometimes even beef, too. 

Beef Rendang: The dish you might not try unless I told you to

This is my favorite Indonesian dish when I need a bit of comfort food. Beef Rendang is chunks of beef that are slow-cooked until they fall apart, stewing in an incredible mix of spicy chili, rich curry sauce and a coconut base that helps to counter the fiery chili heat. Heap it onto a big pile of steamed rice for Indonesian food heaven.

Martabak: One for the sweet tooth

Fluffy and delicious, Martabak is the local version of a pancake. Often cooked fresh in front of you on stalls at the night markets, Martabak pancakes are thick and light and are folded into half once cooked to incorporate your favorite filling. Go for classic chocolate or banana, or mix it up by throwing a bit of cheese in there for an unusual twist!

You’re more than just a Nasi Goreng traveler, now.

The variety and range of food across Indonesia is astonishing, and many islands have their own local specialties for you to discover. The only problem is fitting in enough meals in the day to try them all! 

But don’t stop at just Indonesian food… Plan your whole trip around eating delicious Asian food: from Thai dishes to street food in Vietnam!

And hey, before you come to Bali, get your guide book!

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best beaches in Bali luxury guide

The 5 Best Beaches in Bali: Bali Beaches Worth Your Visit

Beautiful Beaches in Bali You Have to See

Welcome to my custom Bali Beach Tour full of white sand beaches, hidden beaches, and the best surfer beaches in Bali. 

The 5 best beaches in Bali can all be visited in one day-trip around Uluwatu! So forget the typical WatchMojo style top 5 list, this is your entire trip planned for the most scenic Bali beaches.

Where are the most beautiful beaches in Bali?

Uluwatu. Bali’s little peninsula to the south is home to postcard-perfect beaches with powdery sand and turquoise water. But to enjoy them properly (without all the people), you need a strategy. 

That’s where I come in. 

I map out the entire DIY tour in my YouTube video here.

Hate YouTube with a passion? Fine. Then keep reading for my top 5 best beaches in Bali and why they deserve your visit.

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The Best Beach in Bali, Dreamland Beach 

One of the most beautiful beaches in Bali…before the crowds arrive. Because of its accessibility (with no stairs) and it’s prime location in Jimbaran, Dreamland Beach has become the hotspot for literal bus loads of Chinese tourists that come in groups of 30-60…and often more than one bus at one time. BUT when we visited at 6am, the beach was ours!

Whether you’re living in a private villa in Bali or just visiting, Dreamland Beach is an essential trip.

Dreamland Beach Map

Beach #2 – Melasti Beach

Park at the western entrance and get the best part of the beach to yourself (maps link below). Melasti Beach is the best swimming beach for its calm waves and warm shallows. The sand is white, the water glows blue, and best of all…no stairs!

Melasti Beach is home to Karma Beach Club, Sunday’s Beach Club and Pal Mill Beach Club – all of which have live music, good food, and cold beer…but can be pretty pricey so look for their happy hours and discount specials.

Melasti Beach Map

Melasti Beach in Bali

Beach #3 – Thomas Beach

The best “chill all day” beach. Thomas Beach has lounge chairs with umbrellas, splash-worthy shallows, and too many warungs to count where you can eat and drink all day long. Thomas Beach still flies relatively under the radar, so you don’t have to worry about this baby getting too full –  save for a few expats here and readers of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide. 

Pro Tip: Prepare for a steep climb back up the stairs – but stop half-way on the landing point for a stunning photo spot. 

Thomas Beach Map

Beach #4 – Green Bowl Beach

It’s 300 steps to the bottom – but a slice of paradise is waiting. Green Bowl Beach truly is off the beaten path and so, it’s mostly local surfers who come to this spot. There are women on the sands who will sell you a coconut for 30k IDR – a coconut that they carried on their head to the bottom. 

Pro Tip: Pop into one of the tiny warungs in the parking lot and order a fabulous Nasi Goreng. 

Green Bowl Beach Map

Greenbowl Beach, Bali

Beach #5 – Suluban Beach

Suluban Beach is one of the most popular surfing spots in Bali. But is also famous for being home to Fins, an oceanfront beach club with amazing parties & DJs on Saturday nights. 

But you’re here for the sand. When you come to Suluban Beach, you’ll walk down a set of stairs, through a little village of shops and restaurants, and eventually though a system of caves. When you caves, you can head two directions: Right for a deep swimming spot (where most tourists go) or left through a discrete cave opening that leads to a bigger beach with shallows to splash about. 

Pro Tip: Come at low tide. When the tide is high, walking through the caves is pretty dangerous. 

Suluban Beach Map

But first, here’s what you need to do BEFORE your DIY Uluwatu Beaches Tour.

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Prep List for Uluwatu Beach Tour

  • Hire a Driver – 500k for the day
    • Girls, to hire a driver, join my facebook group called ‘Women in Bali’. Use the “search” bar, type in “driver” and you’ve got a list of female-approved Bali drivers.
    • Guys, do the same in the Facebook group called ‘Canggu Expats’
  • Wake up at 5am
    • Beat the heat and the crowds. Oh, and the traffic. 

white sand beach in Bali

Pssst. There are a few more secret beaches in Uluwatu that I haven’t told you about yet.

For secret Bali beaches, plus what hotels to stay in to access these beaches – grab your copy of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide – Bali. 

Travel Tip: “What do I do with my bag while I swim?” – These beaches, in particular, are pretty safe. Leave it on the beach, close to the shore, within sight. OR get a day-bed and leave it on your day bed.

xoxo,

Alexa

 

Ps. This is the backpack I travel with! I fit 3 months of clothes in 1 backpack…like Mary Poppins.

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Bali private villa tour

How to Find a Private Villa in Canggu: My Luxury Villa House Tour

Welcome to my luxury Bali villa house tour.

My villa in Bali is a dream come true.

Before you learn how to find a villa in Canggu (or anywhere in Bali), let’s first take a peek at what’s on the table. These are some of the best benefits of living in a Bali villa and I’ll expand on each of them throughout this blog. Ready?

  • 3-bedroom private pool villa
  • Full staff with a housekeeper, pool boy and gardener – 6x a week.
  • Air-conditioning
  • Lap-size Infinity Pool
  • Guard dog
  • Beautiful botanical garden
  • Tropical, quiet location

I never thought that I could afford a house this sexy. This kind of glamour is reserved for the Paris Hiltons of the world…not lil’ ol me, a travel author from Seattle.

But here I am. Writing this on my poolside daybed in Bali.

So before I tell you about how much I pay for this place (I’ll spill all my secrets at the end of this article) – let me tease you with the stats.

If you want to skip this whole article, check out my YouTube video where I give the full Private Bali Villa Tour here:

The Villa Design is Insane

I’ve got an infinity pool underneath the sky-scraping Balinese Joglo-style roof giving me exotic glamour vibes that FEEL so expensive, but are actually very affordable.

The villa was designed by Singaporean architects with a mix between Balinese architecture and modern luxury.

I’ve got a complete open-design which means that there is a breeze coming through here all day long. And that also means, the villa is all natural light. I don’t turn any lights on until the sun goes down.  

What I love most about this house though, is that I’m essentially working outside all day – but covered and in the shade. I don’t have to live that life of the cooped-up writer. Instead, I get my inspiration just from sitting next to my own botanical garden with pineapples and Birds of Paradise plants.

how to find a villa in Canggu, Bali

My Own Coworking Space in Bali

As a digital nomad, I love that I have multiple workspaces in this house that allow me to hop from the table to the couch to the hammock to other couch. And because my house is so conducive for work, I’ve got other digital nomad friends who come over for coworking sessions at my house (hey, let me know if you want come over).

WiFi in Bali

Speaking of work. If you live in Bali, that usually means that you own a remote business or work from your laptop. So, you’ll be happy to know that the internet in Bali is usually pretty good. It’s fast enough to download all the shows I miss from home plus, upload all these videos to YouTube or my video editors.

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The other day, the WiFi was acting up. I messaged the internet company on WhatsApp and I kid you not, within 25 minutes – there were two technicians at my house to fix the problem.

The Infinity Pool

My pool is inarguably the selling point of this place. It’s big enough to do laps. It’s big enough to have 8 people in here at once.  And the fact that I can dive from my room into the pool is amazing. Okay, I don’t jump, I dip. But…I could if I wanted to. 

I love the chill out area next to the pool with the daybed. I love how much sun I get here. And I love that I can watch the bright orange sunset from right here.

Housekeeper and Villa Staff

Prepare to have your mind blown. This place comes with a full staff. Monday-Saturday, 9am – 12pm, I have Teresia the housekeeper who washes the dishes, makes my bed, does my laundry and keeps this place in order. Most villas in Bali come with staff like this because when you live in a place that is half outside, you need sweeping and mopping every day.

Then I have Kadek, the pool guy.

And Wayan, the maintenance man and gardener who fixes anything that breaks and keeps the grounds pristine (I have “grounds” now). And the other day, my door came off the hinges, and he came over at 9pm- and fixed it good as new.

Things like that happen in Bali. You have high humidity, rain, and the elements just wear things down which is why villas usually come with staff.

Oh and many villas come with a dog, too. Snoopy is the security guard. And anyone who has ever walked into my home can tell you…he is scary, but he cuddles with me. 

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Making Friends in Bali

My house is the ultimate entertaining house, allowing me to host big parties, small coworking sessions, intimate dinners, and just causal hangs. I’ve got a great group of friends – and I love having a space where I can invite them over for beer pong (cause we’re 16 years old), BBQs, pool parties and sleepovers! There is so much room for activities.

Ps. We had a BBQ the other day out here. I was running low on gas, and all I had to do was text my housekeeper and she sent a guy over to change it within 20 minutes.

ALSO, if you want to know how to make friends in Bali, let me know in the comments. I wonder if that is an article people want to read about.

Cooking in Bali

So next, is the kitchen. It’s got enough counter space to cook, chop and prepare it all. I’ve got my crock pot, blender, air fryer (amazing) and big ass fridge, plus a stove and oven.

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Next, I’ll be making a Bali cost of living video & blog so you can see how much I spend on groceries and coffee.

3-Bedroom Villa in Bali

Now, the bedrooms. We’ll start with the luxury tree house. What I love most about this treehouse is that it’s so far from my room. Anyone that stays in here basically has their own wing of the house. This room has a bathtub, full bathroom, TV set-up and amazing wrap around porch that looks out onto the rice fields.

Next, the guest bedroom. Like most guest bedrooms, I’ve been using this place for storage and filming, but it’s nice to have this space for when the friends are in town. It also has a beautiful botanical garden on the patio.

Finally, my sanctuary. My master bedroom where I can jump from my room directly into the bright blue infinity pool. My bed is heavenly, the air conditioning is cold, I have so much closet space and the bathroom!

The Bathroom

Now, when I first saw this house I thought…this is too much house for me. But then…I saw this…and I was sold.

This is my DREAM bathroom and I love baths. I’ll get in the bath at night, turn on some music and look at the stars from the tube. That never gets old. Even when it rains. And I have an outdoor shower. I also have a covered shower, but I’ve never used it.

It’s got a massive Terrazzo bathtub, outdoor shower and is the perfect place to do my makeup with all this natural lighting!

Now, wanna know how much a private villa in Bali costs?

This 3-bedroom private villa in Bali costs…

20 million IDR or $1,400 USD per month

Plus, around $200 USD in electricity per month.

So in total, I pay $1,600 USD for a luxury villa with staff in Bali.

Canggu, Bali private villa tour

How to Find a Villa in Bali

Facebook groups. Really. Nearly everyone I know here has used Bali Facebook groups to either find a private villa, rent a room in a Bali private villa, or find a roommate in Bali.

Here are the groups I recommend:

Here are my PRO Tips for Finding a Private Villa in Canggu, especially.

  • Only fall in love with a house when you’re ready to move in
  • If you see a villa you like, you must be ready to go look at it and put down a deposit THAT DAY. These villas go fast and the competition is steep. You’ve got to be the first one at the door when this villa is posted online.
  • Pay In advance for Longer Leases: For a big house like this, the standard lease is 1-month to 1-year AND you will need to pay the full rent up front. So, I paid $9,800 for my 7-month lease, upfront
  • Shorter Leases are trick: If you want to rent a place for 1-month or 2-months, you’re going to have a harder time finding a place. In this case, you might consider renting a room in a big place like this or…

Look at Bali villas on AirBNB

You can get a shorter lease on AirBNB plus, most hosts will negotiate a lower price on AirBNB if you’re wanting to rent for one month or longer. Don’t book the AirBNB price immediately. Contact the host first.

Get $55 off your first AirBNB trip with my affiliate link. 

Now, how much does it cost to live in Bali?

Next week I’ll release my Cost of Living Bali video on YouTube. I’ll breakdown everything from groceries to massages to motorbike rentals in Bali. So, make sure to subscribe to my channel to catch that video!

 

xoxo,

Alexa

scuba girl

8 Best Scuba Diving Courses in Southeast Asia (July 2019)

Mermaids, come hither!

Swim deep where the wifi, traffic, gossip, and pressure of human life will never exist.

I’ve got 8 Best Scuba Diving Courses in Southeast Asia – all of which are located in the best destinations for solo female travelers.
Becoming Scuba Certified sounds intimidating…but the courses are just 4 glorious days of learning, practice, and diving which anyone with two legs (and zero inner ear problems) can do.

As Southeast Asia is a tropical region with islands and beaches…you can obviously expect to find hundreds of dive schools in Asia where you can get PADI or SSI certified.

But wait! Not all scuba schools are created equal!

Beware of Scuba Schools that are “the most popular”. I made the mistake of diving at the trendiest scuba school in Koh Tao where they valued quantity over quality. This resulted in improper instruction + me having a busted eardrum that stopped me from diving for years (don’t worry, it’s all better now).

From the most cost-effective and SAFEST courses that offer some seriously gorgeous dive spots, get scuba certified with one of these highly-reputable scuba diving schools in Southeast Asia.

Let’s dive right in … (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

#1 –  The Cheapest – Bali, Indonesia

scuba bali

No surprises here – Bali is one of the most fun/beautiful/tropical islands in Southeast Asia…which also offers cheap open-water diving courses.

Adventure Divers Bali, located in Amed, gives you the opportunity to dive amongst some of the most gorgeous corals I’ve seen in Asia + WWII shipwrecks. Enjoy the underwater coral gardens and the abundant marine life where new species are discovered each year!

Called “the island of a thousand temples,” there is so much culture and history to absorb – both on land and in the water.

Bali is located in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago, with an easy-to-access international airport!

And Bali is one of the safest places for solo female travelers.

How Long is the Class:  4 days
How Much:  4,661,000 IDR ($330 USD)

Before you go to Bali, get your copy of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide: Bali

#2 – The Second Cheapest – Koh Tao, Thailand

Koh Tao Island in Thailand is famous for offering the lowest prices for scuba diving courses + stunning dive spots. This is where I did my Scuba Training, and I loved it!

Crystal Dive offers a certification course which won’t cost you an arm and a leg – just $352 for the Full 4-Day Beginners Course.

Koh Tao is home to an abundance of marine life and kaleidoscopic of corals with a diverse collection of dive spots meaning…every dive is different! Koh Tao also offers frequent sightings of the largest fish in the world – the whale shark!

With clear water, white-sanded beaches, cheap food, and tons of shopping… spending 4-5 days on Koh Tao is a dream come true!

Once your scuba course is finished, you’ll want to blow off some steam! Move on to nearby Koh Phangan or Koh Samui, which are the better party & nightlife destinations (Koh Tao nightlife I don’t recommend for solo girls anymore – read my Thailand Islands and Beaches travel guide for more on that).

How Long is the Class:  4 days
How Much:  11,000 THB (352 USD) + 400-800 THB ($6-$26 USD) /night for accommodation

 

Before you go to Thailand, get your copy of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide: Thailand 

 

#3 – The Most Exotic – Lembeh Island, Indonesia

Underwater Shot

Lembeh Straits is a resort located on Lembeh Island and operated by Two Fish Divers. Popular for being the muck diving capital of the world, Lembeh Straits will take you on an unforgettable underwater journey that won’t break the bank.

Muck diving features sandy slopes and limited visibility for a thrilling adventure. Get a peek of what to expect via this amazing underwater documentary here!

Lembeh Island is one of the rare spots with sightings of critters like pygmy sea-horses, hairy frogfish, and dazzling cuttlefish PLUS shipwrecks.

The resort is located on a private beach which opens up onto breathtaking tropical vistas. The bungalows are spacious and comfortable. The dive sites are nearby.

All of this makes Lembeh Straits an idyllic and relaxed spot to learn to scuba dive + is one of the best scuba diving spots in the world.

How Long is the Class:  4 days
How Much:  5,250,000 IDR (369 USD) OR 7,500,000 IDR with accommodation (526 USD)

 

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#4 – The Most Convenient – Phuket, Thailand

Thailand is one of the best countries to travel alone; and Phuket is one of the most convenient islands to reach from the US.

The island of Phuket is the biggest in Thailand with an international airport, making it an easy island to fly in and dive ASAP.

Racha Noi Island and Racha Yai Island are the most visited islands for rookie drivers. Both of these islands swarm with wildlife – you can see manta rays, stingrays, garden eels, and many more.

In Siam Bay, in the north part of Racha Yai, you can also spot some statutes beautifully overgrown with sea-weed and marine life. A truly eerie and mystical experience!

Sunrise Divers is one of the best dive shops in Phuket, offering a wonderfully-balanced 3-day and/or 4-day dive course for beginner open-water divers.

How Long is the Class:  3 or 4 days
How Much: From 14,900 THB (477 USD) for a 3-day course to 17,900 THB (573 USD) for a 4-day course.

The above prices vary depending on the number of open-water dives. The prices mentioned are the lowest and the highest for both courses.

Before you go to Phuket, get your copy of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide: Thailand Islands and Beaches

#5 – The Least Tourism – Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang has been gaining popularity in recent years but it’s still not as densely crowded with tourists as other diving destinations in Southeast Asia.

The coastal city of Nha Trang is home to some fascinating on-land history – so fascinating that most tourists don’t even think about jumping in the water. This is great for you if you want a more personal dive experience.

Rainbow Divers Vietnam will offer you a unique and intimate dive experience in their Nha Trang Dive Center.

Newbie divers can expect to see cuttlefish, octopi, and lionfish during their course.

Your PADI Open Water Diver course makes for a refreshing escape away from the big crowds, while giving you the pleasure of hanging with super cool and friendly dive instructors.

 

How Long is the Class:  3 or 4 days
How Much:  Starts from 400 USD

Before you go to Vietnam, get your copy of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide: Vietnam

#6 – Best for a Quick Trip – Singapore + Tioman Island

If you’re looking for a quick and easy course to wedge in between other traveling, ScubaDo has you covered. They organize shorter diving courses in Tekek Jetty, Tioman Island; an area you can access from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.

Tioman is the biggest island in the Malaysian Peninsula which is regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in Southeast Asia. Its rainforests, beaches, and crystal water will give paradise a new dimension.

Ps. Singapore is also one of the safest places for solo female travelers (on this planet)!

How Long is the Class:  2 ½ days
How Much:  From 459 SGD (337 USD) without accommodation OR SGD 589 (433 USD) with accommodation.

The price with accommodation also includes 5 meals a day. The price without accommodation has no meals included. Transport services can be purchased additionally.

 

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#7 – Most ‘Off the Beaten Path’ – Mojo Island, Indonesia

One of those solo travel vacations that you’ll tell your kids about.

Pulau Moyo Island is a mostly uninhabited island with a rugged coastline. It is home to pristine beaches, lush forests, and dramatic waterfalls. The life on the island is extremely simple and self-sufficient and you can truly enjoy your escape from a bustling city routine.

Davy Jones’ Locker can offer you exclusive diving courses in this best-kept secret of Indonesia. You will enjoy encounters with macro critters and splendidly colorful coral seabed. Pulau Moyo is an experience that not many have tasted. The diving center can also offer transfers from Sumbawa airport to the island and back. Accommodation is not included in the prices.

How Long is the Class:  3 days
How Much:  5,700,000 IDR (400 USD) without accommodation and transfers
Transfers:  1,600,000 IDR (112 USD) in each direction
Accommodation:  Starts from 200,000 IDR (14 USD) per night in Maleo Moyo resort; free breakfast included

YES. You do need travel insurance.

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#8 – The Best Instructors – The Gili Islands, Indonesia

The Gili Islands are one of the best diving destinations in Indonesia. Located in the famous Coral Triangle, they are also home to the largest diversity of marine creatures on the planet. The Gili Islands are called “the turtle capital of the world” as you can spot green and hawksbill turtles on almost every dive.

There are also more rare creatures to be seen, such as reef sharks or ghost pipefish. Whale sharks, mola mola, and manta rays are also known to swim around, so keep your senses sharp.

With Blue Marlin Dive you’ll be in safe hands since they sport award-winning instructors who teach in multiple languages. As a popular diving spot, The Gili Islands attract only the best in their field.

Accommodation is not included in the price, but Blue Marlin Air can offer dive & stay packages at discounted prices for students.

How Long is the Class:  3 days
How Much:  5,500,000 – 6,000,000 IDR (385-420 USD) without accommodation

*Accommodation varies between 550,000 IDR (39 USD) and 950,000 (67 USD) per night depending on the season.

 

Conclusion – 8 Best Scuba Diving Courses in Southeast Asia

You can easily spend under $500 for your Scuba Diving Course + accommodation in Southeast Asia by diving with one of the 8 scuba schools listed here! Each scuba school is located in a safe area, staffed by licensed professionals, offers the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful nature in the world…and has you walking away with a Scuba Diving Certification which you can use to scuba dive all over the world – forever!


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Psst. Don’t pay cash/debit for big-ticket items like Scuba Courses!

Read my “3 Best Travel Credit Cards & Travel Debit Cards” before you spend on travel!

 

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***Disclaimer*** Every time you book through a link in this post, The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide gets a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support keeps this site alive! Xoxo

Australia Music Festival

5 Best Music Festivals around the World in 2020 (July 2019)

Oh no…another excuse to travel.

We all know Coachella as one of the most epic music festivals of all time. Now, what would Coachella be like in another country? Exotic in Costa Rica? Wild in Australia? Spiritual in Bali? Yes, yes, and yes.

Now is the time to start planning your big international festival trip for 2020. That mean’s you’ve got time to save cash, time to collect the crew, and time to book your music festival hotels.

These 5 Best Music Festivals around the World in 2020 are approved for solo female trips and solo travel destinations!

Scared of traveling alone? A music festival is one of the best trips for single women and solo travelers who want to meet people on their international adventure! Shit, the whole purpose of a music festival is to connect with new people and make new friends. You will be welcomed with open arms, my love!

So, get your passport ready for the 5 best international music festivals in 2020.
(Don’t worry. Fyre Festivals not Included).

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#1 – Jai Thep Festival, Thailand

Pack your bags for 3-days of DJs, workshops, and live bands in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Musicians and festival goers from all over the world will gather in Northern Thailand for Jai Thep‘s 5th annual music festival with an artsy twist. Alongside bands & DJs covering everything genre from Indie to Thai Molam – Jai Thep also offers workshops to help you tap into a deeper level of self.

The immersive festival includes interactive 3D installations and places to create art or collaborate with other amateur or professional artists. Listless wanderers who roam around the festival’s property are promised magical surprises, wondrous art and good-vibes music that speak to the traveler spirit.

Ps. Thailand is one of the best destinations for solo female travel!

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Where:  Chiang Mai, Thailand
When:  31 January – 2 February 2020
Prices:  1,800 THB ($58 USD); discounts for students at 1,600 THB ($51 USD)
Accommodation:  1,000 – 2,600 TBH ($32 – 83 USD) for basic 1 or 2 person camping, or deluxe 2 person camping.

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#2 – Envision Festival, Costa Rica

Mind-opening. Surreal. Sexy. Under the motto “The Original Jungle Festival”, Envision Festival is the OG of music festival meets nature.

On the Costa Rican coast where ocean waves gently kiss the jungle’s very end, you’ll experience ecstatic music vibes across diverse music genres!

Envision’s pledge is to act according to fundamental principles as permaculture, health, movement, acceptance, and community, and conduct the event in line with its eco-initiatives. So, beyond the music, prepare to be submerged in more than just music while connecting with traveler souls from around the world.

Where:  Uvita, Costa Rica
When:  17 – 24 February 2020 for a full 7-day experience
Prices:  From $319 USD (without accommodation) to $2,099 USD for a VIP ticket for the event + accommodation in a private bamboo suite. There are also several packages – festival admission ticket + accommodation to choose from
Accommodation:  Tent rentals (from 250USD per person); bungalows (from 1,300 USD per person); bamboo suites (from 1,500 USD per person); VIP tree house (3,497 USD).

#3 – BaliSpirit Festival, Bali

BaliSpirit Festival is the ultimate music, yoga, and inner work festival. You will undergo a week of transformation through the realignment of your harmonious self and healing practices to make you feel the best and most energized version of yourself…with music as your medicine.

You will be invited to forgo your digital alter-ego and make new acquaintances, embrace novelty ideas, reconnect with nature, and restore your inner balance. Through meditation, movement, music, and various classes you will fully experience the stretching of your mind and soul, and expand your wisdom to face the challenges and surprises the world has in store for you.

You can stop by the lively daytime music stage with a mind-boggling range of musical and dance performances; alternatively you can book a private session with a practitioner in alternative medicine, personal growth, or spiritual well-being in one of the healing huts; or visit the Community Pavilion for invigorating morning yoga, seminars, or movement workshops.

Bali is one of the safest countries to travel alone! Come solo, leave part of something bigger than you.

Where:  Ubud, Bali
When:  24 – 31 March 2020
Prices:  $30 for 1 night / $150 for an 8-day pass
Accommodation:  Not included. Check out my best recommended Ubud hotels in The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide: Bali.

 

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#4 – Wide Open Space, Australia

A music festival in the desert certainly has an adventurous ring to it, right? Well, the place is the MacDonnell ranges in Australia, the time is early summer, and the event is Wide Open Space Festival.

Wide Open Space pays homage to the Arrernte people – long-time natives and custodians of these parts of Central Australia.

You will experience 3 unforgettable days with music performances across 3 stages, a juicy number of workshops, dedicated space for children and Market Place offering a variety of food, crafts, and all sorts of delights…plus, Australian Accents!

Truly one of the best and most vibrant music festivals in Australia for solo travelers. Just pack sunscreen, please!

Where:  Ross River Resort, Central Australia
When:  Early May 2020
Prices:  To be announced soon! Check here
Accommodation:  Camping on the festival side of the river (if you don’t mind a louder environment while there’s action on the stages); quieter camping option on the resort side of the river; private cabins; or camping in Trephina Gorge National Park campground 15 km away from the festival site.

* Warning from the sponsors:  “May in Central Australia is the perfect time to experience the extremes of desert weather. Days can range from dry-warm to quite hot, while nights can be really fricken cold. Pack accordingly…”

 

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#5 – SXM Festival

Only 4 years old, SXM Festival has already gained fame as one of the best events for electronic music worldwide. The festival spreads across an inventive variety of stages – beaches, villas, boats, and nightclubs.

The venues are handcrafted stunning pieces of art made out of 90% recycled materials. The performers are established electronic, house, and techno artists, as well as rising stars ready to conquer the music scene.

The island of St. Martin itself is a tasty piece of paradise, popular with its tropical beauty, lush jungles, fusion food, and electrifying nightlife. Night pool parties till dawn, or sunrise cocktail parties till noon – the choice is yours.

If you’re still not convinced, take a look at that SXM 2019 Aftermovie.

Where:  Saint Martin, The Caribbean
When:  11 – 15 March 2020
Prices:  295 – 595 EUR; you can additionally buy a 5-day transportation pass for 97.03 EUR which offers unlimited travels between the festival’s main venues and selected hotels during the whole festival.
Accommodation:  Not included. Find the best festival hotels near SXM Festival on Booking.com

 

Conclusion

Travel is possible, even on a budget. The key is to set a financial goal ahead of time – like these festivals. Pick your festival, see how many months you have until you travel, and start your cash fund by setting aside a cash goal every month. Start racking up your travel points with travel credit cards, too.

And maybe this speaks to you: Music festivals are the best trips for single women and men. Just sayin’.

 

***Disclaimer*** Every time you book through a link in this post, The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide gets a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support keeps this site alive! Xoxo

 

Before you Travel!

Check the Expert Packing & Prep List

Get a Proper Travel Credit Card

Bring The #1 Travel Camera

Pack Best Travel Makeup Products for Humid Weather

Have fun kids!

 

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Girl reading

Sign-up to Audible here and you get 1 free audiobook.

 

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel somewhere without moving your feet.” -Jhumpa Lahiri.

Most of my travel journey has been shaped by books. I bought Eat, Pray, Love in an airport before I flew to Hawaii; that book inspired me to travel to solo. I was gifted “The Art of Asking” by an Airbnb host in Dallas; that book gave me the courage to start house sitting in Mexico. I’m currently reading “Wild” and am I’m planning a trip totally unplugged & off the grid.

Books are magic. The best books inspire you to travel solo – still with fear and anxiety – but a good fear and anxiety. The kind of feeling you get before a first date. 

Find your inspiration, your courage, your next wild idea…between the pages of your next travel book. 

Whether you’re leaving for a single girls trip to Thailand next month or you’re on the hunt for the best solo destinations – here are 13 travel books to steer you in the right direction. 

Ps. Most of these books are available as Audiobooks.
Sign-up to Audible here and you get 1 free audiobook.

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#1 – Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

 

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

How do you do it? How do you leave everything behind and jump into the world unknown?

Being away from your friends and family for an indefinite period of time, leaving your job, and there’s also that itsy-bitsy problem with the money.

The “father of vagabonding” will teach you how to maneuver around these and many other on-road obstacles, how to financially support yourself, and shape yourself into the “long-term” traveler living life to the fullest. 

 

Genre: Solo travel guide

Price: $9.45 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: Planning your escape

 

#2 – Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Carrot Quinn

 

Thru-hiking Will Break Your Heart

Carrot is a long-distance hiker and blogger who leads you through her adventures of hiking while totally disconnected from the online and outside world.

Her adventures along America’s Pacific Crest Trail are relatable and inspiring, while also emotional and captivating. 

In her book, she shares how she got her start to thru-hiking and outlines how an expert thru-hiker prepares for the task at hand. Outdoor adventure seekers: start here.

Genre: Travel Diary

Price: $9.41 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: Girls who just want to disappear for a minute

 

#3 – The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

 

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

The art of asking has turned me (and thousands of women around the world) into a person who is no longer afraid/shy/embarrassed to just ASK for what I want. 

While “The Art of Asking” is not travel book, per se, Amanda’s bold and vigorous message shows you exactly how to turn your wishes into your realities (travel included).

Amanda is innocent, worldly, and experienced at the same time – a heady combination which every woman can relate to right now.

Genre: Memoir

Price: $9.33 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: Making the big moves needed to change your life

 

#4 – The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

 

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Where is happiness? Is it a place? A condition of the spirit? Or a meaningful relationship? Weiner travels the globe searching for what defines the elusive enigma of happiness. Follow him through Qatar, Bhutan, England, Switzerland, Iceland, or Morocco to discover the secrets to happiness around the world.

 

Genre: Travel guide; Self-help

Price: $9.91 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: Redefining happiness…and possibly traveling to find your new “happy”

 

#5 – The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

 

The Nature Fix

Nature is an essential, not a commodity.

Traveling far and wide, Florence Williams explores the ticklish issue of nature’s interwoven existence with humanity; and the great benefits of living in unison with our environment.

From the west coast in California to the Korean peninsula, Williams shows you how to find happiness, soothe anxiety, and rediscover yourself as you rediscover the world around you. 

 

Genre: Environmental science

Price: $10.84 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best For: Understanding your unbalanced emotions…and how to balance them NOW

 

#6 –Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

 

Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

Easier said than done; tracing the steps of an Indiana Jones’ prototype as he winds and climbs to the top of Machu Pichu. Luckily, Mark Adams has brilliantly recreated the famous tales of renowned explorer, Hiram Bingham, through his  (before Google maps and guided tours) search for Inca ruins!

“Turn right at Machu Picchu” is a brilliantly amusing mash-up of unfortunate setbacks, whimsical archeological finds, and some of the world’s most entrancing landscapes in incredible written detail. 

 

Genre: Travel guide

Price: $12.99 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: The best plane book ever

 

#7 – Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos

 

Ant Egg Soup The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos

Now, doesn’t that sound delicious? While traveling through Southeast Asia, you will be exposed to ways of eating that have never crossed your mind before. Starting here – in Laos, just north of Thailand.

The art of eating has always been a five-sense experience – starting with your imagination. Natacha will make you salivate (and cringe) while exploring the exotic foreign foods in Southeast Asia.

 

Genre: Travel guide

Price: $5.17 on Amazon

Best for: Overcoming gourmet prejudice

 

 

#8 – Queen of the Desert: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell by Georgina Howell

A woman born more than 150 years ago, Gertrude Bell was one of the first fierce female travelers in history.  

queen of the desert

She was many things in one: a scholar, a Renaissance woman, a feminist, and through her travels…a justice fighter. Voyaging through the harsh conditions of the Arabian Desert, Bell’s love for the people she met turned her into a champion of the people’s independence.  

A tale so moving, Queen of the Dessert was made into a (terrible) movie staring Nicole Kidman…which reviews so terrible that I urge you…just stick to the book.

Genre: Biography

Price: $11.25 on Amazon

Best For: Finding your Fire

 

 

#9 – Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark by Jane Fletcher Geniesse

 

Passionate Nomad

Just like the bellicose goddess, Freyja in Norse mythology, Freya Stark caught wanderlust when she was a little girl. By the time she grew up, she was beyond all recovery from this life-long addiction to the open road.

Her insatiable thirst for adventure took her to lands where stories waiting to be told. Traveling across the Middle East in the 1930’s – in countries like Syria, Kuwait, Iran, and Yemen – she documented what she saw and the stories local people shared, one of the first to shed light on this then-unknown part of the world.

 

Genre: Biography

Price: $11.92 on Amazon

Best for: The Journalist Within You

 

#10 – Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

 

Eat, Pray, Love

As cliche as it sounds, this is the book that changed my life. Eat, Pray, Love opens with Elizabeth Gilbert sobbing on a bathroom floor in utter despair at the lowest point of her life. In a time of rock-bottom hopelessness, all she has left to do is just say ‘fuck it’ and travel the world in hopes of finding…something. What she found was gourmet food in Italy, her soul in India, and a spiritual for herself and the universe in Bali. 

This book is equal parts travel inspiration and how-to. 

Genre: Memoir

Price: $9.98 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: Painting a picture of what your life could be, truly, if you just say ‘fuck it’ and go.

 

 

#11 – Bali: The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide by Alexa West

 

Bali The Solo Girl's Travel Guide by Alexa West

You didn’t think I was going to leave this one out, did you!?

“Eat, Pray, Love” meets “Lonely Planet”, The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide series act as your guidebook, your inspiration, and your entertainment all in one go. Find the best street food, book your boats with ease, and figure out what to order at an Indonesian restaurant that won’t be filled with mystery meat. From the best hotels for your budget to the best place to find Nasi Goreng in Bali, The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide is the #1 travel guide series for women today.

Traveling outside of Bali? There are more Solo Girl’s Travel Guides for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia.

Genre: Female Solo Travel Guide

Price: $24.99 on Amazon

Best for: Planning the safest, most exciting, and least scary solo trip ever

 

#12 – The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

 

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

The BEST audible travel book that is 100% guaranteed to awaken your travel soul!

De Botton is famous for his introspective essays that have the miraculous ability to ignite a fire in previously still, bored, and uninspired brains – particularly when it comes to the art of traveling.

When you need a shake up. When you feel hopelessly lost. When you are looking for purpose, “The Art of Travel” will tell you where to go, why and how. 

 

Genre: Essays

Price: $7.00 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone

 

#13 – Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life by Arlene Blum

 

Breaking Trail

The first American woman to attempt Everest, Blum has many other firsts establishing a firmer ground for women’s place in society. She also managed to challenge the conservative scientific circles and shaking bad legislation. Blum relates her way up (literally and figuratively) with a generous sprinkle of candor and wit.

Genre: Memoir

Price: $13.19 on Amazon

Best for: Courage to just go!

 

#14 – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

This one doesn’t sport a woman protagonist but stay with me. Harold is an elderly and shy gentleman and he’s on a mission. And that’s a must if you want to keep going. What Joyce’s novel is most remarkable for are the people Harold encounters. They are strangers, but they’re always kind to him.

Sometimes fears are just in your head and the world is often a far friendlier place than we imagine it to be.

Genre: Novel

Price: $9.33 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: Tackling fear of strangers on the road

 

#15 – A Dip in the Ocean: Rowing Solo Across the Indian Ocean by Sarah Outen

 

A Dip in the Ocean Rowing Solo Across the Indian Ocean by Sarah Outen.jpg

“Wisdom comes through suffering,” Aeschylus famously said. Bereaved by her father’s death, Sarah embarked on a perilous journey. Many chocolate bars and salty waves later she became the first woman and the youngest person to cross the Indian Ocean rowing solo, setting three world records in the process.

Genre: Memoir

Price: $14.55 on Amazon

Best for: Becoming fierce

 

#16 –  In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

 

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

Patagonia is almost synonymous with “in the middle of nowhere.” It’s also a renowned sportswear brand which sort of dusts off its geographic oblivion. Nonetheless, Patagonia has this whiff of farawayness about it that gives it a mysterious halo. With an indisputable knack for adventure, Chatwin is a hearty storyteller that pulls out from the limbo this slightly neglected “uttermost part of the earth.”

Genre: Travel notes

Price: $11.05 on Amazon

Best for: Searching for hidden gems

 

#17 – Wild Mama: One Woman’s Quest to Live Her Best Life, Escape Traditional Parenthood, and Travel the World by Carrie Visintainer

 

Wild Mama

Something for you, traveling mamas! I see you.

How do parenthood, postpartum depression, diapers, and traveling get along? Carrie is here to teach you exactly that. The mind-boggling questions in her head are on many adventurous young parents’ list, so descend into the rabbit hole with her and she’ll show you that you don’t need to give anything up.

Genre: Travel notes; Self-help

Price: $14.99 on Amazon

Best for: Dispelling the myth that you can’t travel with kids

 

#18 – The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asiaby Paul Theroux

 

The Great Railway Bazaar By Train Through Asiaby Paul Theroux

Saving the best for last; a travel adventure story that every wanderlust woman must read. Traveling by train has a quaint romantic undertone about it. And crossing enigmatic Asia by its mythical trains is surely a dainty to be savored by any self-respecting traveler. Theroux is a dexterous narrator who will generously accompany you along the “hippie trail” to India, en route passing through Thailand, Japan, and Siberia.

Genre: Travel notes

Price: $11.44 on Amazon

Audible: Free

Best for: Getting to know Asia

 

 

#19 – Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile by Sara Wheeler

 

Travels in a Thin Country

Sara Wheeler’s compelling account of her journey through the rough but mesmerizing terrain of the Chilean desert – the driest in the world – to the southernmost unhospitable wastes near the Antarctic. Wheeler’s book is an amalgam of political feuds, history, and fascinating landscapes unfolding through her witty narrative.

 

Genre: Travel notes

Price: $14.16 on Amazon

Best for: Solo Travel Ideas

 

 

#20 – The Virago Book of Women Travellers by Mary Morris

 

The Virago Book of Women Travellers by Mary Morris


A precious little gem of collected writings by exceptional women, passionate observers, and chronologists of the world.

The geographical diversity and journey through various decades and generations are a sincere reminder of the power of women all over the world.


Genre: Collection of Memoirs

Price: $12.61 on Amazon

Best for: Finding your travel role model

 

 

Conclusion to the Best Travel Books to Inspire you to Travel Solo

Your book will be your best travel friend. It will give you courage to go. It will keep you entertained as you fly. It will keep you company at a quiet cafe. And (for me) it will help you ease yourself into new situations, letting you hide behind the cover until you’re ready to come out and play. 

 

I’m curious to know which books caught your eye.

Write me on Instagram @SoloGirlsTravelGuide and tell me what you’re reading.

No. I’m dead serious. WRITE ME AND TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE READING, DAMNIT.

Love you.

 

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Girl under palm trees in bali

13 Best Cities for Digital Nomads (2019)

Screw the 9-5 rat race

Grab your laptop and work remotely as you live in exotic, affordable cities with fast wifi, incredible food, and an affordable cost of living.

#13 – Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria apartment

 

For those Digital Nomads who are looking for a healthy balance of work and travel, Sofia is the perfect spot to call home. Take a bus to Greece, hop on a train to Turkey, jump on a quick flight to Italy – there are so many cool destinations nearby. AND the fact that Bulgaria has one of the fastest internet connections in the world certainly doesn’t hurt. 

Average Rent in Sofia: $400 USD / Month

Best Coworking Space: Puzl CowOrKing

 

#12 – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

 

Most western passports get you a 6-month Visa for Mexico, no questions asked. Grab your laptop, pack your suitcase, and move to Puerto Vallarta- a small beach town with plenty of places to eat, party, and work. Great for solo Digital Nomads or young couples who enjoy working hard during the day and partying at night. There are plenty of places to work here, including a Starbucks (*gasp*)!

Average Rent in Puerto Vallarta: $250 USD / Month

Best Coworking Space: Vallarta Cowork

 

#11 – Taipei, Taiwan

 

A city unlike any other, the laptop lifestyle is so enjoyable in Taipei. With a seamlessly organized bus and Skytrain system, a relatively non-existent crime rate, an abundance of high-speed internet spaces for work, and an overflow of night markets with cheap & delicious food…it’s not long until Taipei becomes the new hot spot for Digital Nomads. 

Average Rent in Taipei: $350 USD / Month

Best Coworking Space: Kafnu

 

#10 – Danang, Vietnam

Danang, Vietnam Street Food

 

A beach town full of cafes and street food; it’s easy to live a productive yet laid back lifestyle in Danang. Join the fast-growing Digital Nomad community in Danang where you collaborate, cowork, and attend small conferences to grow your business. There’s always some Digital Nomad meet up happening. Get amongst it to get your wheels spinning.

Average Rent in Danag: $450 per month

Best Coworking Space: DNC

 

#9 – Prague, Czech Republic

 

Prague is famous for its rich history and wild nightlife. Get inspired on during your “work days” and let loose on your days off. Cost of living is a bit more expensive than some of the other Digital Nomad destinations on this list, but you get what you pay for with gorgeous architecture, western standards of living, and an open-minded culture.

Average Rent in Prague: $700

Best Coworking Space: Locus Workspace

 

 

#8 – Plovdiv, Bulgaria

 

One of the oldest cities in the world has some of the best Wifi on the planet! Cobblestone streets and Roman ruins next to craft beer houses and H&M – Plovdiv offers the best of both worlds for Digital Nomads. Here, it’s easy to make friends with locals and expats while getting into a comfortable work routine. Plovdiv is an awesome choice for someone looking to create a life of their own.

Average Rent in Plovdiv: $240

Best Coworking Space: Cat and Mouse Co-working Space

 

#7 – Hanoi, Vietnam

 

Embrace the motorbike culture in Hanoi as you jump on the back of a motorbike taxi to head to your favorite coffee shop – laptop and earbuds in tow. Digital Nomads can work with a lake view one day and tuck themselves in a cozy coffee nook the next. Hanoi is such an easy city to get around, that exploring with your laptop is half the fun.

Average Rent in Hanoi: $300 USD / Month

Best Coworking Space: Toong Coworking Space

 

#6 – Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia at night

 

Now that Pablo Escobar & Co. are gone, Medellin has become a safe and comfortable city for locals and expats. Female friendly, LGBT safe, and open to racial diversity- Medellin has the potential to become the ultimate melting pot of digital nomads in South America.

Average Rent in Medellin: $400 USD/ Month

Best Coworking Space: La Casa Redonda Coworking Space

 

 

#5 – Bangkok, Thailand

Gold Buddha in Thailand, Bangkok

 

Move into a brand-new condo building with a gorgeous pool, private gym, library working space, and most likely a 7/11 attached for those mid-workday snacks, starting at $300 a month in Bangkok. You can get all of this plus super-fast wifi all while being smack dab in the thick of markets, street food, shopping, and expat nightlife.

Average Rent in Bangkok: $280 USD/ Month

Best Coworking Space: DraftBoard

 

#4 – Kiev, Ukraine

 

Hunker down in Kiev and get some serious work done. When you want to get off the expat path and away from the trendy coworking spaces, Kiev is a fabulous option with fast wifi, a decent level of English speaking locals, and cheap cost of living! Your biggest expenses will be rent- after that, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the cost of food, transportation, and entertainment.

Average Rent in Kiev: $475

Best Coworking Space: Chasopys Creative Space

 

#3 – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 

Eat your way through the “work day” in Ho Chi Minh City – a Digital Nomad destination that gives your cheap street food options everywhere you turn. And with super relaxed visa restrictions, you can theoretically stay as long as you’d like – with a few border runs in-between.

Average Rent in Ho Chi Minh City: $300 USD/month

Best Coworking Space: The Hive Saigon

 

#2 – Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

Digital Nomad Paradise for beginners! If you’re just starting out or experimenting with the ‘Digital Nomad’ lifestyle, you’ll be in great company in Chiang Mai. This small city has a welcoming expat community, is easy to navigate on foot, has never-ending options for cheap food (both Thai and international), and everything is in English.

Average Rent in Chiang Mai: $200 USD/month

Best Coworking Space: Punspace Wiang Kaew

 

#1 – Bali, Indonesia

 

Come to Bali for one of the best coworking spaces in the world- Dojo in the popular beach town of Canggu- and stay for the awesome international community full of expats either working remotely, teaching English, or fully retired. Oh, and the lush tropical jungle plus stunning beaches don’t hurt either.

Average Rent in Bali: $340 USD / Month

Best Coworking Space: Dojo in Canggu

 


Lower your cost of living. Pocket more money. Meet people who think like you.

Cuz’ fuck it. Life is short.