Bali is a dream vacation destination. This Indonesian island between Australia and mainland Asia welcomes over 6 million visitors a year to its golden beaches, crystal blue waters and fog-shrouded mountains. Not only are there a variety of natural wonders, but the people are also warm and inviting. From the U.S. it can take some extended flying to get to this corner of the Indian Ocean but once you're there, prices are ridiculously affordable with Instagram-worthy hotels for under $200 a night and some rooms as cheap as a few dollars a night.
If you're planning a relaxing trip to Bali, here are several things to keep in mind to get the most from your vacation.
Maintain Part of Your Regular Routine
When you take a dream vacation like visiting the beaches and jungles of Bali, the last thing you want is to come home and feel worse than when you left. Bali is a chance to recharge, so do that but not at the expense of your sleep and health. The most important part of your routine to maintain is your bedtime. You'll make sure you get enough sleep to enjoy all the daytime opportunities. You'll also stop yourself from perhaps overindulging in the nightlife, leaving yourself hungover, short on sleep and dehydrated.
Next, maintain your skin and oral care. You packed your daily face cream so make sure you use it. You'll keep yourself hydrated and protected from the elements when you make SPF part of your morning routine. Washing your face every night will help you maintain your sleep schedule and let your body know you're getting ready to wind down.
Pros recommend that you get at least 50% of your regular workout in. Remember though, that if you're doing a lot of hiking and swimming, you may already be working out plenty. If you're spending more time lying on the beach though, schedule some time each day to get in a workout. You'll go home still toned and without having to buy a muumuu for the return flight.
Plan Your Meals
Another way to maintain your weight and to make sure you try every restaurant and style of food you wanted to is by planning your meals. You'll make sure that you're eating regular meals instead of snacking on junk food and you'll see more of Balinese culture. While Indonesia is primarily Muslim, Bali is a bastion of Hinduism and their food reflects it with traditional dishes tide to ritual. Here are some dishes you should plan to try while you're there:
- Bebek betutu is slow-cooked duck that has to be ordered a day in advance. It's rubbed with salt and tamarind then stuffed with egg, cassava leaves and a spice mixture.
- Babi guling with lawar is a suckling pig with a side of diced veggies, coconut and minced meat.
- Ikan bakar is simply fresh grilled fish, and who would want to visit the island without sampling its fresh seafood?
There are also plenty of Western restaurants that will please tourist palettes.
Leave Plenty of Time To Relax
There is so much to see and do on the island that you may be tempted to plan every last minute and see everything you can. However, part of the charm of the island is its laid back atmosphere. Leave at least a day or two to do nothing, or at least open to the possibility of unplanned exploration. Take your favorite book and find a hammock. The waters around the island technically belong to the government so you won't find a room built out onto the water, but the locals have found ways around that, building rooms that lead directly onto pools or private lagoons.
Whether you go for the temples, the landscapes or the snorkeling, Bali has something for everyone. Just remember that your relaxing vacation should be just that, relaxing. With a little forethought, you'll return rejuvenated and ready to plan your next trip.