When one thinks of the ideal “destination” for a wedding or honeymoon, several things can come to mind: Beaches, couples’ massage, unique food & drink, excursions & adventure, local culture, you name it! As a soon-to-be-bride, these things have been on my mind as well as I hunt for the perfect spot for our upcoming elopement. What kind of location would provide a reliably warm climate while also bringing that special spice that isn’t easily replicated stateside? Where could we go to feel like we’ve escaped the modern world around us but still retreat to a luxury 5 star resort after a long day of exploration?
When I booked my flight to Bali, Indonesia, I had a feeling that this would be JUST the place!
My journey began with a little relaxation in the heart of Seminyak, a beach resort area at the southern end of the island of Bali. Populated with many luxury hotels, spas, and high-end shopping spots, this definitely felt like the right place to start.
On this trip in particular, I had to figure out what kinds of activities my fiance and I would enjoy on a return trip, as I had to make this journey alone. Thankfully for him, my notebook was FULL by the time I returned home! Among the resort destinations on the island, Seminyak is a great pick for the couple looking for lights and entertainment. Just slightly north is Changu, another villa-sprinkled area that is known for its nightlife and stunning beaches, showcasing the Indian Ocean shoreline with gray sand and sweet surf.
While it may be fun to pretend to be the young bride, looking for hot clubs and loud restaurants, that may not be the scene for everyone. I’ve learned during my latest travels that for a destination wedding or honeymoon, it’s very important to enjoy a variety of entertainment styles; not just for yourself but also for your partner. This can become even more important if you like different things, like my partner Blake & I do. Since I was not able to bring my boo on this trip, I had to make sure to find things that we could enjoy doing together on our next visit! Thankfully, my next excursion was just what the doctor ordered. Enter the Bali Swings in Ubud.
Known for its famous rice terraces, mountain swings, and temples; Ubud is the upland Balinese town where you can truly get away from it all… And I mean ALL! This includes cell phone service in some cases, so keep this in mind when headed toward the more mountainous regions of the island. About 2 hours from the party city of Seminyak, rests the rainforest town of Ubud, where a couple can enjoy temple meditation, coffee in the monkey forest, or even swinging off the side of a mountain.
In addition to all the wondrous excursions, there is also a lot to be learned while in Bali. This asian island is rich in culture and kind people who are always looking to help, serve, and share. Take the coffee plantations in Gianyar, for example. This is an excellent stop to make for both the coffee lover and the occasional sipper. Led by an employed plantation guide, a couple is taught all about how the coffee beans are harvested in order to produce the famous Balinese coffee that the island is so well-known for. After walking through the forest where each of the plants grow, you are treated to a tasting of all 100% organic coffee & tea varieties available straight from the plantation. It is here that I met Novi, a second generation coffee bean harvester, who has been married for 14 years now & highly recommends making a date night over their specialty coffee.
So, let’s take a look at a few of my #WorldBrideInsider tips on enjoying the beautiful island of Bali:
- Spring for the guided tours vs exploring all by yourself. Sometimes touring with a group can be fun, or you can opt for a personally guided tour. This is especially wise, considering the dollar’s currency strength over the Balinese rupiah (1 United States Dollar = 13,940.00 Indonesian Rupiah), making any previously-considered VIP treatment much more affordable!
- Keep an eye out for private tours that come with your own driver and vehicle. It is so convenient to be able to leave your backpack and other belongings in the car between adventures.
- Bring water & cash! While many places in the city do take credit cards, most places do not. A large water bottle will also be your best friend if you take a tour that does not come with lunch provided.
- Remember your comfortable shoes and clothing. While life may be a fashion show, the runways of Bali are soaked in sun & very hot outside of their rainy season. Minimal makeup & simple hair styles are ideal with the island humidity. Braids (both large and small) can be your best friend if you keep your tresses long.
- Be strategic with travel dates. Bali’s tropical climate has 2 distinct seasons: dry from May to September and full rain from October to April. The good news is that even during the rainy season, it is still likely that the weather will be sunny for a good part of the day. But what else would you expect from a tropical paradise!?