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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Get on Lulus->

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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Top 10 Things to do in Sidemen, Bali (by The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide)

Today I’m sharing a place near and dear to my heart with you; Sidemen, Bali.

My top 10 things to do in Sideman, Bali. 

 


Now, if someone tells you that Bali is too crowded, that it’s too touristy, guaranteed… they’ve never been to Sidemen. (pronounced; See-deh-men)

This is the real Bali. Ok, I’m ready for an adventure now… these are the top 10 things must do while you’re in Sidemen.

#1 – stay in a luxury resort.

And number one is, of course, stay in a luxury resort. My favorite resort in Sidemen is called Samanvaya. It is a luxury, adult only, Eco Resort and Spa. 

I mean, check out this view: 

Hello, Eco stay goals…

#2 – Drive the Sidemen loop.

Last year, I was in Sidemen for my birthday and I went on GoogleMaps, and I saw this loop. So we hopped on some motorbikes and explored the mountains in Sidemen. I think you’ll love driving through this beautiful scenic route. There’s definitely something special about being on a motorbike in Asia… it just feels so freeing. If you’re not a seasoned motorbike driver, then don’t worry, you can hop on the back of some local guys bikes and they can give you a Sidemen tour.

PRO TRAVEL TIP:

Download maps.me app to get an offline map just to be on the safe side incase your service drops out in the mountains!

#3 – Go on a guided [bike] tour.

The Sidemen Tour we did with the lovely staff at Samanvaya was amazing! We drove through some of the lushest tropical landscapes, saw monkeys, temples, saw some gorgeous ocean views, and (hopefully for you, it was closed for us..) a waterfall. I highly recommend getting in touch with them if you’re in Sidemen and doing this, it was my hands-down favorite day.

#4 – visit white sand beach.

We went to a beautiful beach on the coast called White Sand Beach. This was included in our tour mentioned in #3. There’s a really nice view, we had lunch on the beach and then a swim in the sea, total bliss!

 white-sand-beach-Sidemen-Bali

#5 – get a massage.

Do I need to say more about this…? I think not.

#6 – eat ribs for dinner.

I highly recommend you eat ribs for dinner at Maha Neka Sidemen. So delicious and the prices are so cheap! 48,000 IDR ($3.30 US) for large pork ribs served with vegetables, sauce and fries or rice. 

#7 – go for happy hour.

A girl in my Facebook group recommended this place – they have buy one get two offers on selected drinks. All along the main road in Sidemen, you’ll find bars that have happy hour specials… but I want you to go to Wapa Di Ume it’s a really fancy eco-resort, and they have these amazing lemongrass mojitos on the 2 for 1 deal.. mmmm! You have my permission, this is your treat night.

#8 – Rice Field Walk.

*Disclaimer* I never actually made it on the rice field walk that Samanvaya resort offers but I really recommend you do it, they say it is really nice to do this first thing in the morning when it’s not too hot out. Check out this drone shot!

rice field walk Sidemen Bali

#9 – the sidemen swing.

This is one of those massive swings where you’re catapulted into the jungle. To find this, just look for “Sidemen Adventures” on google maps.

PRO TRAVEL TIP:

To get an awesome photo, tie a wrap skirt over the top of your seatbelt and harness, and make sure it flows over the back when you swing!

#10 – Amrita Cafe.

This is a cute little cafe that I love and visit every time I come to Sidemen. It’s hard to miss, it’s right on the main road, so you could even stop on your way out for a cup of coffee, or they have a lot of really really nice teas as well. By the way, this is also a guest house if you want a little bit of cheaper stay, this is also a really, really nice place. Here’s the link to book with them. I do like this adventure if you have any more Sidemen recommendations for me please leave a comment below.

I made a whole YouTube video that takes you through these tips as well, if you prefer watching, here it is: 

Now, real quick before you go… if you want to join me on an adventure like this, I will give you all the information in the link below. My Go Baby Glow Tours are coming soon, so get ready to apply below!

Go Baby Glow Tours 2020/2021

Bali VIP Service

Travel like a celebrity at Bali Airport – VIP service

VIP AIRPORT SERVICE IN BALI


I had this super fancy travel day when I traveled from Bali to Kuala Lumpur, and I got to fly a little bit fancy.

Bali Airport VIP Service

How to travel like a celebrity in Bali

Pre Check-in 

To my surprise, I was taken to the Novotel Airport Hotel’s restaurant. So I got to sit down and have a little breakfast and hang out there until the check-in counter opens. And instead of hanging out inside the airport until the check-in counter opens, I got to be in a beautiful restaurant instead.

I was hungry, so I ordered this delicious burger and I even got the fancy water!

Check-in

Once check-in counter opens, your very own chaperone will guide you through the check-in process. With the VIP service, you’ll get business class check-in and skip the lines!

Immigration

Going through immigration, I got to go through the diplomat line and I got to bypass all the busy lines, the cool thing about this is that when you’re in the diplomat line, they don’t automatically think you’re a criminal like they do in every other immigration lines around the world, so that was really nice, to just pass through with a smile on their faces… so worth it!

VIP Service in Bali Airport

Next stop: The Lounge.

I have priority pass (thanks to American Express), but you can buy lounge access with this VIP service. You can take a look at the lounge in the video, I had wine and cake and worked a little while waiting.

 

 

The experience

What I really liked is walking with my chaperone through the airport because it looked like I am super VIP, hehe! The VIP service includes priority boarding as well.

Now, I hope you loved this blog post and behind-the-scenes tour of the VIP Service!

If we haven’t met before, I’m Alexa and I’m the author of the Solo Girl’s Travel Guides, the #1 best selling travel guide book series for women. If you love travel tips and recommendations that come from your friends, you might just LOVE my travel books.  I write them with the idea of reccomending the places and things I love to a friend.  Here’s 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

Otherwise, please check out my youtube channel where I create new videos for you every week.

I hope to catch you around!

Solo Girls Travel Guide YouTube Channel    

DIY Flower Bath in Bali

How to Make a DIY Flower Bath in Bali

How to make your own flower bath in Bali (it’s a lot cheaper & more fun!).

I love flowers… I love baths, and what is better than a flower bath?

Today, I’m going to show you how to make a DIY flower bath in Bali.

I’m going to take you to a local market where we are going to collect the flowers from the vendors, get the flower petals and we’re going to come home and make a DIY flower bath.

So when you come to Bali & when you come to Ubud, you can do this yourself by following this video! Check it out:

 

Making a flower bath at your own villa is going to be a lot less expensive than in getting a flower bath at a hotel which starts around 200,000IDR. This flower bath is going to be a LOT cheaper.

Plus, what a fun experience, going to the market to pick up the petals!

Visiting the local market:

So we asked our amazing driver to take us to Peliatan Market where we’re going to collect the flower petals. Peliatan Market is a very local market in Ubud, and I recommend you come even just to have a look around and see what you can find.

What’s the cost?

The flowers that we got are 5 bags of about 1 kg each, and they were 5K (IDR) per bag. However, when it comes closer to religious dates and ceremonies here in Bali, then the flowers are more in demand those prices might double, and go up to 10K (IDR).

Flower Petals from the local market

In the video I show you exactly how to locate my flower lady, so if you’d love to DIY your own flower bath make sure you watch my video and subscribe to support my channel. 🙂

This market is a really cool place to come and walk around and buy some local stuff and experience a little local Bali life first hand.

If you are looking for some traditional Balinese clothes for the ceremony, prices are way lower here than they’re going to be anywhere else.

Make your own flower bath in Bali

Where to go:

“Pasar Desa Peliatan” or “Peliatan Market” in Ubud.

Expect to pay:

~25,000IDR-50,000IDR = $1.77-$4USD (depending whether you’re shopping close to religious days when flowers are in demand).

$2 DIY Flower Bath in Bali

I hope you loved my blog post about how to make a DIY Flower Bath in Bali! If you did, I’m sure you’ll LOVE my travel books. (If we haven’t met before, I’m Alexa) I’m the author of the Solo Girl’s Travel Guides, the #1 best selling travel guide book series for women.

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

Otherwise, please check out my youtube channel where I create new videos for you every week. I hope to catch you around!

Solo Girls Travel Guide YouTube Channel

 

Instagram Photoshoot

HONEST REVIEW – 5 Most Instagrammable Places in Bali (2020)

Where are the best places for an Instagram photo shoot in Bali?

Do a quick YouTube search and you’ll find HUNDREDS of Bali travel vlogs and Bali travel bloggers who have flooded the internet with promises of THE BEST this and THE MUST that. And honestly, I’m over it.

I’ve stopped trusting other influencer’s opinions or reviews. On any given day, you have 50 influencers in Bali telling you “OMG THIS PLACE IS AMAZING” – just to show up to a tourist trap with long lines and overrated Instagram vs. Reality photo ops. STAWP. Please. Be honest.

So in this video, I take you to the “most Instagrammable places in Bali” and give my live reactions and reviews.

Fun Fact: We shot this video on a whim. While doing a road trip up to Sumberkima Hill Retreat (actually a must-visit) in the north of Bali, I realized we’d be passing all of these iconic spots. So quickly I told my photographer to grab his camera, we’re making a video! And here it is.

 

Northern Bali’s 5 Instagram Spots on the way to Sumberkima Bay

 

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Spot #1) Twin Lake Bali

A beautiful photography spot to fly your drone! There is also a man here who has bats…yes, bats. And you can take pictures with them. 

Mavic drone

Spot #2) Feeding monkeys

On the way to Wanagiri Hills, you’ll start to pass a lot of monkeys! Your driver will know where to stop. Buy a little bowl of fruit for 20k IDR ($1.30 USD)

Monkey in Bali

Spot #3) Hidden Hills Wanagiri

Seven photo spots for 70,000 IDR ($4.50) including the famous Bali nest. 

Spot #4) Handara Gate

One of the most iconic Instagram spots in Bali. You get 5 minutes to take photos. It costs 20 IDR per person. 

Spot #5) Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

 

A major Hindu temple in Bali built in 1633.

 

To find out my opinions and to see if these Bali Instagram spots are worth it or not, watch the video!

What’s next? Check out the 10 best things to do in Ubud. 

Don’t forget, I write the #1 best selling travel guide book series for women – called The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide.

Get your guide for Bali and places beyond like Japan, Thailand, and Singapore here.

Visit me on Instagram @sologirlstravelguide

 

xoxo,

Alexa

 

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Tegalalang Rice Terrace

Hiking in Bali: The Best Trails in Bali

Nature Hiking on the Island of the Gods

You can be forgiven for not immediately thinking of hiking in Bali as the go-to thing to do in Bali. Bali is usually synonymous with the surfer lifestyle in Canggu, the relaxing yoga places of Ubud and sipping cold beers while watching the sunset on Nusa Lembongan. But hiking in Bali isn’t to be written off. There are some incredible hikes with a wide variety of terrain and scenery that make for a fun afternoon or an entire day.

hiking trail in Bali, Indonesia

Tegalalang – Ubud’s Rice Terraces

For the best Tegalalang experiences, watch my Ubud travel video here where I show you how properly explore the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. 

Tegalalang has been the picture perfect postcard rice terrace for years and is featured in every guide book about Bali. It’s a must-do in Ubud. The rice terrace only a short ride or drive from Ubud (about 15-20 minutes). Whilst not exactly a hike, you’ll be jumping across small man-made ditches and streams that irrigate the paddies and climbing steep steps. Don’t wear white or high heels (ya’ll, I’ve seen some shit). 

While you’re at these Ubud rice terraces, you can get on one of those giant swings, buy a fresh coconut, or ice cold Bintang beer. Well worth the entrance fee of around 10,000 rupiah.

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West Bali National Park

Spend a few days off the beaten path in national park in the west of Bali or to give it its proper name, Taman Nasional Bali Barat. The park is 190 square kilometers and when you include the protected zone, that makes up for up to 10% of the whole of Bali. The park has everything from beaches to jungle, rivers to volcanoes. For an in-depth read, go here. 

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Campuhan Ridge Walk

If you’re less into hiking for the fitness and fresh air and more into it for photography and Instagram stories, then this is the walk for you. Just on the border of central Ubud you’ll find this beautiful ridge walk. I recommend going in the morning. Either for sunrise at around 6:30 am (when the weather is cooler) or at 8am when you can walk to Karsa Spa and have one of the best massages and/or flower baths in Bali.  

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Mount Batur

Some people say it’s an easy 2-hour hike (I know children who have hiked it) and others say its a tough trek (I am convinced there are two trails…but have not yet found the proof!). But if you’re after the best sunrise in Bali, then the Mount Batur Hike is for you. At this altitude, you’re usually above the clouds and will have beautiful views across the jungle with volcanic peaks dotted across the horizon. Book your Hike on Airbnb Experiences. Some are private (no strangers) and others are with a group (the best opportunity to meet other travelers in Bali). Oh and one more thing you need to know…these hiking excursions include a 1am pick-up in order to catch the sunrise…

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Hiking in Bali is Best in the Morning

Avoid the heat! Bring a water bottle and drink lots of water (it’s easy to get dehydrated in this Indonesian climate). Save the beers as a treat for AFTER the hike, you animals. 

Remember, before you come to Bali – get your Bali travel guidebook. I wrote everything I know down in one book and this is it. Also, follow me on Instagram for all the Bali posts!

Psst. If you’re coming to Bali to be active – don’t come without travel insurance!

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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

Solo Travel Girl

19 Genius Safety Tips and Travel Hacks for Solo Travel Girls (2019)

19 Genius Safety Tips and Travel Hacks for Solo Female Travelers in 2019

I joined the Peace Corps when I was 21. I was assigned to move to Bulgaria where I lived alone in a post-communist block apartment building at the edge of town…all by myself with no English-speaking neighbors and tons of cockroaches. I loved it. THIS was hands-down the BEST life choice I’ve ever made and has since shaped my entire life…but I almost didn’t go.

I come from a smallish town full of people who rarely travel beyond North America but sure do watch a lot of CNN. Naturally, many travel opinions are created by sensationalist media stories. And so, I had more people than not trying to convince me not to travel because it was dangerous. Stories about kidnapping, shootings, and stolen purses were the topic of conversation the months leading up to my departure.

My favorite phone call of all? “God told me that you’re going to die”. Not kidding.

Ten years later, I have not been kidnapped or shot. Although I did have my purse stolen (see tip #5). And hey, I’m still alive. I often imagine what my life would look like if I listened to those friends and relatives. But I chose do my research instead.

Don’t let fear dictate your life, girl. Don’t listen to the fear mongers.

Instead, read this blog. Buy an anti-theft travel purse. Pick your travel destinations wisely. And you’re ready to travel solo.

………………………………………….

🌺 Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers 🌺

#1 – Find the Safest Places to Travel Alone 

Bali girl

Bali, Indonesia

Seriously, a quick Google search with keywords like “best countries for solo travel” and “safest countries for solo female travelers” will show you where to go and where not to go.

You’re going to see a similar pattern in travel blogs in which the same countries are always recommended

  • Bali
  • Thailand
  • Iceland
  • Vietnam

And you’re going to see countries that are on the no-go list

  • South Africa
  • Iran
  • Venezuela
  • Brazil

You will see the same countries over and over. Trust these patterns. The research has already been done for you. Tested, loved, and approved by travelers across the world. These places are up to date and change naturally over the years.

#2 – Plan the First 5 Hours of your Travel 

Plan exactly how you’re going to get from the airport to your hotel. Use a vacation planner like this to clearly map it out.

Know how much cash you’re going to take from the ATM or exchange at a counter in the airport.

Choose a hotel that is in a safe, walkable location. You’re going to be hungry after that flight; choose a hotel with food options nearby.

Once you’re at your hotel – safe and sound – you can wing the entire trip, if you please.

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#3 – Check Travel Advisories for your Vacation Destinations

Hong Kong is one of the safest countries on Earth. No one expected a round of violent protests to break out during the summer of 2019. Shit happens.

So before you go, double-check the current status of a country before you travel so that you can decide how to handle protests, military coups and all that might interfere with your travel safety.

#4 – Buy Affordable Travel Insurance

Mandatory for solo travelers. Don’t be a cheap ass fool. You are not invincible; especially on vacation where you’re snorkeling, island hopping, jungle trekking, scooter riding and eating weird food that your stomach has never met before.

✓ Motorbike accidents happen.

✓ Cutting your foot on coral is common.

✓ Drunken face plants are a rite of passage out here.

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#5 – Wear a Crossbody Travel Purse at all Times

Crossbody Purse

Your purse should go across your body and have a decently thick strap!

Only carry a purse with a zipper or snap closure. Fanny packs are also awesome.

The best way to avoid getting robbed? Don’t make yourself a target. Thieves are opportunists who look for fast money and easy prey! When you are wearing a crossbody travel purse, thieves look at you and say, “Nah, not worth the trouble”.

Pro Tip: Also bring a small travel purse that is so slim & comfortable that you won’t need to take it off and put it on the table like we often do at bars and restaurants.

#6 – Don’t Stash all your Travel Cash in One Place

What happens if your purse gets stolen with your credit card, passport, and cash? You’re screwed.

Instead, divide your belongings. Put your passport in your backpack. Stash your cash in your cross-body purse. Put whatever credit card you’re not using in your hidden travel bra pouch.

For total anti-theft protection, visit my article, 20 Ways to Hide your Money and Jewelry While Traveling.

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#7 – Carry a Solo Travel Guide

Blogs are suggestions; Travel Guides are bibles. Travel blogs are best for finding WHERE to travel. Travel guides are best for WHEN you’re traveling.

Travel guides have the nitty-gritty details that will help you navigate a country or city like a local. The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide was written for women traveling alone. Check to see if there is a guide for your vacation spots.

#8 – Buy a Local SIM Card When you Land

Sim Card Asia

I hear it all the time: “When I go to Thailand, I’m just going to use Verizon’s international plan for $10 a day.”

No. Your Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile plan will be weaker and more expensive than a local SIM plan. A local SIM card is 10x cheaper AND has 10x better coverage outside the big city (which will account for 80% of your trip).

A SIM Card will keep you safe. 

♡ Use Uber or GrabTaxi instead of getting in a random car

♡ Access GoogleMaps so you’re not getting lost in a foreign country

♡ Call the local 911 in case of an emergency

To get the full scoop on Travel SIM Cards and where to buy them + more travel insight from me- scroll to the bottom of the homepage to sign-up for my newsletter.

#9 – Don’t Be Flashy

Rings on Girl

For a safe trip, the name of the game is Keep a Low Profile. When traveling alone as a woman, you want to deflect attention and blend in as much as possible.

For example; There are some destinations – like South Korea or Singapore – where walking around with a $1500 camera strapped to your neck is okay. But in many foreign countries (hell, even your own country), you’re putting a target on your back when your flash your fancy stuff.

♡ Put your camera away when you’re not using it.

♡ Leave your fancy jewelry at home (many women don’t wear their wedding ring while they travel).

♡Avoid dressing in super sexy outfits that draw attention.

#10 – Don’t Party like an Idiot

Girls at a bar

It’s so easy to fall into that “nothing bad ever happens on vacation” mode. You reach a tropical island with white sand and coconut cocktails and you just want to live it up. News Flash: Bad things can happen anywhere.

Just like back home, you need to use common party sense and know your limits.

〤 Don’t accept drinks from strangers.

〤 Limit your alcohol intake by alternating cocktails with water.

〤 Don’t decide you’re tired and walk home alone at midnight.

〤 Set a bedtime plan, including how you’re going to get home.

〤 And DO NOT blindly trust cute guys on vacation; snakes are everywhere.

#11 – Keep your Friends and Family Updated

Whether it’s a simple, “Hey mom, I’m traveling to this ancient city tomorrow” or a similar post on your Instagram story – you should be leaving a trail for your loved ones to follow in case something goes wrong.

Have your fam download Line or Whatsapp (a free international messaging app).

Not only will this act as an extra insurance policy for you…your mom will also really appreciate it.

 

🌺 Safety Travel Hacks for Solo Female Travelers 🌺

#12 – Don’t Travel with JUST One Bank Card

You guys! The biggest mistake solo travelers can make is this!

The most common travel problem I see is this: Solo travelers traveling halfway across the world with only ONE debit card…which inevitably gets flagged for fraud, blocked by the bank and rendered useless for 48 hours. No cash = stuck and stranded.

Travel with 2 Bank Cards + 1 Travel Credit Card. 

  • 1 main ATM card (for cash)
  • 1 travel credit card (for hotels and flights)
  • 1 emergency travel credit card (to fly yourself home in case of emergencies or bail yourself out of jail…yes, I’ve seen it)

Here I explain the best travel credit cards and debit cards for solo travelers.

Quick tip sheet: Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum, and Charles Schwab Brokerage.

#13 – Download GoogleMaps Offline

Don’t have data? No wifi? Signal out of reach? You can still use GoogleMaps offline if you pre-download your maps!

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do that.

#14 – Carry a Portable Battery Charger 

The scariest situation I ever found myself was in Vietnam after sunset with a dead phone and no sense of direction. It took me over an hour to find my way back to the hostel. And it started raining because that’s how my life goes.

Don’t be lost in the dark rain in a foreign country! Carry a phone bank, especially for those long days of exploring new cities and restaurants. Just make sure you charge that baby, too.

✓ Charge on the Bus

✓ Don’t run out of juice after a long day of sightseeing

✓ Don’t worry about your phone dying when you need to call an Uber at 3am.

 

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#15- If Someone Tries to Steal Your Purse, Sit Down

Scenario: Mr. Thief Man comes up to you from behind, grabs your bag and tries to run away with it.

The moment you feel him tug, sit down.

Sit down. On the ground. Curl your body around your bag.

This is going to surprise the thief and throw him off his game. It will also change his physical center of force giving him less leverage to yank and run. Practice this with a friend…cause it’s kinda funny.

#16 – Pack a Doorstopper for Safe Sleep

This weird but genius method will help you sleep better at night by giving you extra safety and assurance that you’re door can’t and won’t be popped open by some weirdo. When you’re traveling on a budget through guesthouses and hostels…you stay in some humble abodes with less-than-secure doors and locks.

So here’s what you do: lock your door and then stick this baby at within 3 inches of the opening corner. Now your door has extra fortitude.

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#17 – Carry a Shawl or Sarong

Travel Shawl for Women

You’re in a tropical country. It’s hot. You’re exploring. You want to wear a breezy outfit. Go for it.

But once you step into a local neighborhood – BAM – shawl. Cover up around locals, around men, and around religious areas.

Modesty is important. And to be blunt, bare shoulders or thighs can often be taken as an invitation for promiscuous activity. That sucks, but it’s just a travel fact. This travel shawl is also a sweater and a blanket. Highly recommend.

#18 – Eat Street Food Where the Locals Eat

Street Food Asia

You can avoid food poisoning by avoiding street food and stalls with slow turnover. Slow turnover means that the ingredients are sitting out all day, collecting all sorts of icky bacteria. Thailand Blogger, Jess from ImJessaGirl.com says, “If there’s a line of locals waiting, it’s safe to eat!”

#19 – …but Be Prepared for Travel Food Poisoning

Sometimes, you’re stomach just needs a couple of days to adjust to new bacteria…but as you’re traveling from city to city (home to new types of bacteria in each one), you’ll find your stomach upset during your whole trip.

Easy fix: Activated Charcoal serves as a gentle detox BEFORE and AFTER bad tummy bacteria.

Activated Charcoal Pills absorb the bad bacteria that causes nausea, vomiting, and the runs. They don’t stop you from….going. Rather, they wrap the bacteria up and escort it out of your system.

Take 2-4 capsules with 8oz of water either before a street food adventure or once your stomach starts acting up.

In Conclusion: Lazy Bitches Get Travel Stitches

OMG I’m kidding. Really though, it’s so easy to stay safe and avoid dangerous situations by taking an hour to research where you’re going and how to prepare. Once you’ve put your plans and prep in place – let go of all that travel anxiety and fear. Trust yourself. Have confidence that you can do this. And if you’re still no confident – fake it cause’ you’re going.

Below, I’ve put together a travel checklist for easy travel prep.👇👇👇

The Ultimate Prep and Pack List for Travelers

…………………

 

Before You Travel!!!

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Get your copy of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide

Check Out my Mini Destination Guides

Ask me to Plan your Trip

Oh, and don’t forget to add me on Instagram and tag me in your travel photos  @SoloGirlsTravelGuide

Sports Bra Phone Pocket

20 Ways to Hide your Money and Jewelry While Traveling

Let me scare you with some travel truth. Your shit can get stolen while traveling!

We’re usually talking about credit cards, cash, passports, cameras, and purses (very rarely do big backpacks get stolen).

Thieves go where the tourists go. Stealthy pickpocketers + bag snatchers = What YOU need to prepare for BEFORE you travel. You need to come prepared with ways to hide your money and jewelry while traveling.

Thieves are looking for tourists who have their guard down in that “nothing bad ever happens on vacation” mode. Whether it be gracefully sliding your phone out of your pocket at a bar in Bali or stealthily stealing your purse while you’re sleeping on a bus in Vietnam…they are good at what they do.

The good news is this: Thieves are opportunists. Don’t give them the open opportunity to take your shit…and they won’t. It’s sincerely that easy and once you’re prepared, there’s no reason to be scared.

So, listen up while I spit some travel safety tips and wisdom!

Travel Safety Tips for Solo Travelers

  1. Only take cash out to the bars – not debit cards.
  2. Don’t set your phone on the table while you eat.
  3. Don’t set your purse on the ground or hang it on the back of your chair.
  4. Carry these TSA-Friendly Locks for hostel lockers and to lock your luggage during transit.
  5. While on overnight buses, sleep with your cross-body purse on your body + your purse zipped.
  6. Don’t store your purse or laptop bag in under the bus (in the luggage compartment) on long-distance buses.
  7. Wear your concealed money pouch under your clothes (you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t understand this).

For country-specific safety tips, get your copy of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guidebook before you go!

Now, the best ways to hide your cash and credit card while traveling!

 

#1 – A Scarf that Doubles as a Travel Pocket for Cash and Keys!

 

Scarf

Promising Review: “This is the best purchase I have made in a while! The pocket fits my Galaxy S8 phone, 2 passports, long wallet and camera AND there’s still room.” – Bubbie5

[su_button url=”https://amzn.to/2lb32FT” target=”blank”  icon: play-circle-o” rel=”nofollow” id=”bookbutton”]Buy On Amazon[/su_button]

 

#2 – A Functional Hair Brush with a Hollow Handle- Roll the Cash and Hide

 

Brush

Promising Review: “HIGHLY RECOMMEND, especially if you are traveling and need to carry a large amount of cash. I could fit about 12-15 bills in it.” – Pinky

[su_button url=”https://amzn.to/2jHNGIv” Csize=”4″  target=”blank”  icon=”icon: play-circle-o”  rel=”nofollow” id=”bookbutton”]Buy On Amazon[/su_button]

 

#3 – A Speed Stick to Camouflage your Money from Thieves.

Safe Stash

Promising Review: “Clever!!! I have taken it with me on a few trips it is a great place to hide a little emergency money or small jewelry.” – C. Villarreal

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#4 – Staying Stylish, Keeping Fit and Safely Storing Jewelry Comes Easy with this Running Belt

 

Travel Money Belt

 

Promising Review: “I bought this belt for running and hiking, but mostly to take with me to Mardi Gras this year in New Orleans so I have one less thing to carry, and I don’t have to worry about being ripped off.” – Kate

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#5 – This Bra Stash Accessorizes your AND Stashes Your Cash!

Bra Stash

Promising Review: “I have a great travel bag, but I like to keep my money directly on me when I travel. This is the most comfortable and secretive way to do so that I’ve found yet.” – Samantha.

Ps. I’ve been carrying the SAME one of these for nearly 8 years now. Best investment!

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#6 – Travel with your Money Safely in your Underwear – Ultimate Privacy

 

Pocket Stash

 

Promising Review: “The underwear was comfortable and gave me peace of mind that I had money stored in the underwear while in Paris with pickpockets.” – Linda A

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#7 – Traveling Tank Top with a Hidden Front Pocket

 

Travel ShirtPromising Review: “I purchased the black version and stored 1 passport, 1 credit card, 1 license, and cash in the pocket.” – KS.

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#8 – A Water Resistant Pouch with a Lock Closure

 

Money Bag with Key Lock

Promising Review: “Great buy, feel much better about carrying cash or checks when traveling.” – PlayGirl

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#9 – An Ordinary Marker Turned Cash Hideaway

 

Secret Stash Can

Promising Review: “This is exactly what I was looking for to clandestinely stash things. The best thing is it’s an actual working marker I can use to write with!”- Mary A

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#10 – Wherever your Travels take you- Keep your Cash Conveniently at Arm’s Length with a Travel Neck Pouch.

 

Travel Neck Pouch

 

Promising Review: “Used it as my wallet during the entire 10-day trip so that I wouldn’t have to worry about pick-pockets snagging my passport/ID/credit card/debit card/cash/train tickets, etc out of my shorts pockets.” -Oakley

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#11 – Get a Credit Card Holder to Store your Debit Cards AND Prevent Electronic Skimming

 

Pocket Wallets for Men & Women

 

Promising Review: “I can put my driver license, work ID card and several credit cards in this small leather wallet. It can be kept in my pocket but almost cannot fell it when I was jogging outside.” – Chris

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#12 – An Underwear Girdle that’s Stylish and Hides Way Your Cash!

 

Travel UndiesPromising Review: “Your money and passport are always comfortable with you and so easy to access. I can even sleep safely with my money with these cool panties.” – Kathryn G.

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#13 – A Clever Way to Conceal Valuables Right under your Boobs

 

Tank Top

Clever Travel Companion Unisex-adult Tank Top with Two Secret Pockets

Promising Review: “With this tank tops side pocket design, items are not visible. A passport and extra currency can be kept well hidden during international travel.” – Bubbly.

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#14 – A Belt with Hidden Compartment- Perfect Place to Store Quick Cash

 

CASH BELT

 

Promising Review: “While you can always replace your license and credit cards are protected against fraud, if you have cash stolen while you travel you are out of luck. This is a great way to safeguard from theft.” – E. Spalter.

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#15 – A Money Belt to Deter Quick Fingers

 

Day Tip Money Belt

Promising Review: “This product allowed me to travel with $7,000 cash without being noticeable. It did not even beep in the metal detector, just make sure not to put metal in it.” – Melinda Vazquez

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#16 – A Wallet to Slim Clip to Discretely Carry Your Cash & Cards- Great Way to Frustrate Pick Pocketers

 

Money Clip Wallet

 

Promising Review: “This is hands down the best Money clip/wallet that I have used in 17 years. One of the keys to its success is the center pocket for items that are irregular in size.” – GJL

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#17 – A Roll Bag to Stash your Jewelry in Your Purse – Not your Checked Bag!

 

Jewelry Roll Bag

 

Promising Review: “I had a horrible system of traveling with my jewelry, so this is a true life saver! It is compact and fits practically anywhere. Especially if you travel with necklaces, GET THIS!” – Mai Tai

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#18 – A Garter Hoslter for the Most Descrete Hiding Spot Ever

 

Garter Purse

Promising Review: “I recently used this at a rave/concert (jumped a ton and bumped into a bunch of people constantly) and it held up without re-adjustment.”- Bittenapples

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#19 – A Back Bra With a Back Pocket! Talk About Carrying Your Money On Your Back, Is There Any Place Safer? 

 

Sports Bra Phone Pocket

Promising Review: “This sports bra is very practical. It fits very well and looks great. It’s made very well, great material. My phone actually fit in the back pocket too.” -Bird Cwynar

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#20 – Everyday RFID Blocking Wallet for Anti-Theft Credit Card Protection

 

Anti Theft WalletPromising Review: “I have a card in every pocket, and 2 IDs in the ID pocket for a total of 7 cards. Even with all of these cards, I was able to comfortably fit $300 worth of $20 bills (15 bills total) in the middle cash slot with plenty of wiggle room.” -AC

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Conclusion – Ways to Hide your Money and Jewelry While Traveling

I see it all the time. Solo travel girls walkin’ round big cities or sipping cocktails in crowded bars with their purse gently dangling by their side, either half-zipped or no zipper at all. I SEE IT and the THIEVES SEE IT. Don’t be that girl. Don’t make yourself a target and follow my simple tips above.

Oh, and once you’re done reading this article – let your anxiety go. You are officially more prepared than most travelers which means, you’ve officially not the target anymore.

 

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. Pack sunscreen, please!

 

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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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