Although Bali is Indonesia's smallest province, it is one of the country's most popular regionsi, and with such a variety of things to see and do there's something for everyone's taste and budget. In fact, in the 2012-2013 financial year, Indonesia rose to Australia's second most popular travel destinationii, with over 600,000 Australians flocking to Bali between January and September in 2013iii.
Whether you're backpacking on a budget or ready to pamper yourself at one of Bali's resorts, don't let organising travel insurance be an afterthought - you should take out travel insurance as soon as you've booked your flights so that you're covered immediately. Being covered by travel insurance means that should you suffer an unexpected illness, accident or theft, the financial impact will be minimised and you'll be able to get back to your holiday sooner.
One of the best ways to reduce the financial impact of an unexpected illness while on holidays is by taking proactive steps to protect your health before you head overseas. Visit your local doctor for a general check-up and to make sure all of your vaccinations are up to date. Travellers to Bali are strongly advised to ensure that they have received vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B - serious diseases that are widespread in Indonesia and preventable with vaccinationiv. Vaccinations against Typhoid, Tetanus, Pertussis and Diphtheria are also highly recommended - as is a vaccination against measles, with recent recorded outbreaks in Baliv.
It's also advised to discuss the risk of viral diseases like malaria, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, filariasis and chikungunya with your doctor, as these illnesses are transmitted by mosquitoes in some areas of Indonesiaiv,vi. There has been an increase in the reported cases of dengue fever infections in Bali, and you should exercise extra caution to avoid insect bites in the wet seasonvi. You can minimise the risk of picking up a food-borne illness by practising good food hygiene and safe eating.
Another disease travellers to Bali should try to avoid is the potentially deadly rabies, which is transmitted by animal bites or scratchesvi. Approximately 47 percent of all cases from 2010-2013 where Australians were potentially exposed to rabies abroad occurred through monkey bites or scratches in Balivi. It is therefore advised not to feed or pet monkeys anywhere in Bali even if encouraged to do so - if you are infected with rabies you will need to seek urgent medical treatment and may need to return to Australiavi.
If you do fall ill on your trip it's important to have adequate travel insurance that will be able to cover medical expenses as well as the costs of rescheduling travel arrangements. This is even more crucial should you require an emergency evacuation to another country or back to Australia for medical treatment. The costs of medical evacuations from Bali back to Australia have previously exceeded $60,000, which truly shows that "if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel"vii.
One of the constant sounds of Bali's hustle and bustle is the insistent honk of cars and motorcycles, which can crowd the roads in South Bali, Denpasar and sometimes right up to Ubudviii.
Taxis are one of the most popular and affordable forms of transport in Bali, and Lonely Planet recommends 'Bali Taxi' as a reputable company which always uses the taxi meterviii. If you'll be travelling all around Bali and would prefer your own transport, you can rent a car once you arrive, but you'll need to hold a current drivers licence and an International Driving Permitviii. It's important to take extra care on the many congested and rough roads, and to also be aware that the insurance offered with Balinese rental vehicles is usually extremely limitedviii. However, if you do rent a car with insurance, in the unfortunate event of it being damaged in an accident or being stolen, Allianz Travel Insurance can help cover the excess and help you get back to your holiday sooner.
For more information about travelling to Bali, see our Travel guide for Bali.
Visitors to Bali are also advised to use common sense and caution while travelling to avoid being targeted for crimevi. This involves being wary of any card game scams in tourist areas, using caution when withdrawing money from ATMs, and keeping money and valuables close to your person at all times to try to avoid being targeted by thieves on motorcyclesvi. Allianz Travel Insurance can provide compensation for theft if you do suffer a robbery.
Being a smart traveller by getting vaccinated before you leave Australia and by taking precautions to minimise the risk of illness, accident or theft while overseas can help improve the chances of your trip to Bali being memorable for all the right reasons. However, some things are outside even the most cautious traveller's control; ensuring you have adequate travel insurance is an essential way to provide compensation for the costs of an illness or misadventure in Bali.
Whether you have to change your travel plans for health reasons, have your new camera stolen or even suffer an injury that requires medical evacuation, Allianz Travel Insurance can help minimise the financial impact. Allianz offers Basic Travel Insurance, Comprehensive Travel Insurance and Multi TripTravel Insurance for your trip overseas. Get a quote from Allianz today!
i Sydney Airport, Bali, viewed 18 December 2013, http://www.sydneyairport.com.au/prepare/travel-guides/indonesia/bali.aspx
ii Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, 3401.0 Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, June 2013, viewed 17 December 2013, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/products/961B6B53B87C130ACA2574030010BD05
iii Atmodjo W 2013, 'Australian tourists still dominate arrivals in Bali', The Jakarta Post, 12th November, viewed 19 December 2013, http://www.thejakartapost.com/bali-daily/2013-11-12/australian-tourists-still-dominate-arrivals-bali.html
iv Travel Doctor, Travel Health Fact Sheet Indonesia, viewed 20 December 2013, http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/files/editor_upload/File/fact-sheets/9115%20TD%20Health%20Fact%20Sheet%20Indonesia.pdf
v Hagan K 2013, 'Measles cases linked to time in Bali', WA Today, 12th November, viewed 18 December 2013, http://www.watoday.com.au/travel/travel-incidents/measles-cases-linked-to-time-in-bali-20131112-2xdcn.html?rand=1384235870245
vi Smartraveller 2013, Indonesia, Australian Government, viewed 18 December 2013, http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Indonesia
vii Smartraveller 2013, Insurance, Australian Government, viewed 17 December 2013, http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips/insurance.html#basics
viii Lonely Planet 2013, Getting around, viewed 20 December 2013, http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/bali/transport/getting-around