I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at https://www.facebook.com/walkeatshare
Published May 22nd 2022
Part 1: Before you leave Australia
Like many other travel addicts and lovers of all things Indonesian, I can't wait to head back to Bali now that travel restrictions have been relaxed. I must say, the whole business is a lot more complicated than pre-Covid, but there is no doubt in my mind that returning to paradise will be well worth it.
I've compiled a list of current requirements that I will share here to help you plan your trip.
1. Book a flight but don't rely on it going according to schedule. It was no surprise when my direct flight, with a budget airline, was redirected and was to take an extra seven hours. I knew I'd be tired on arrival and daunted by new travel requirements. Despite having heard horror stories of long wait times on the phone and poor solutions I decided to give it a go. I found an alternative, direct flight and, armed with coffee, I logged on to the airline's 'chat' early Sunday morning and prepared myself for a long wait. Within minutes I was speaking with 'Alan', who, by some miracle of modern customer service arranged a direct flight, based on the information I gave him with no extra charges nor penalties. My advice is don't accept changes immediately, do your research, choose your time and make contact via online chat.
Alternatively, book through a travel agent. They are experts at solving all sorts of travel catastrophes.
2. Download and PRINT your International Vaccination Certificate. This is different from your green, domestic one. It has a QR code on it and is linked to your passport. You can download it for free from your Medicare or MyGov account. Carry the printed copy with you.
3.Book an RT-PCR test before departure. Entry into Bali requires the test to be taken within 48 hours of departure and the airlines will check before boarding. Of course, the free, community test variety is not accepted so you'll need to visit SA Pathology Traveller Clinic, or similar, and pay around $140. A COVID recovery certificate, from your doctor, will be accepted if you have had the virus and fear a positive PCR test. PRINT results.
4.Get travel insurance. You will need to show, on arrival in Denpasar, that your insurance adequately covers medical and quarantine expenses if you acquire COVID. PRINT out your certificate of cover.
5.Passport. Dust it off and ensure it has at least 6 months of validity. Maybe PRINT a copy of the first page in case it gets lost.
6.Return flight ticket. You must be able to show a return ticket (or one way outward journey from Bali). PRINT it out.
7.Book a hotel for at least the first four nights. A PCR test on arrival will not be required unless you show symptoms or have a temperature of 37.5 or higher during the health check on arrival. If you do find yourself in this situation and test positive, you will be required to quarantine in a CHSE hotel/resort/villa until you receive a negative test.
8. Download the Peduli Lindungi app to your phone, sign in and be prepared to show it on arrival in Bali. Peduli Lindungi is used for contact tracing when you enter certain establishments.
Peduli Lindungi App
You can download it easily to Apple and Android phones. My understanding is that you do not need to enter any information, just register your name, date of birth and passport number. Authorities will want to see that you have downloaded the app in readiness for checking in.
You'll notice I'm recommending a lot of printing here. 21st-century anathema, I know, but imagine if your phone ran out of battery on the plane and you couldn't show digital versions of necessary requirements. I plan to put all printed paraphernalia into a lightweight, plastic-pocket flip folder so that I can easily show each document as required.
10.Plan to arrive at the airport early. Very early. Airport staff and travellers are out of practice, there are many new procedures and lots of extra (printed) paperwork. This is a recipe for potential disaster. If you allow plenty of time for a glitch or two you'll have a bit of wriggle room to regain your composure and get back on track. The airlines recommend three hours before departure. Four hours before departure has been suggested by recent travellers. I'm hedging bets and arriving three and a half hours before.
11.Visa on Arrival. Have Indonesian Rupiah or a credit card (Visa or MasterCard) ready to pay for your 30 day Visa. It will cost approximately $50Aus. If you are travelling on a different visa, have all paperwork and/or passport stamps ready to show.
This list is almost complete and you (and I) are closer to the ultimate reward, whether it be a relaxing massage, an icy cold Bintang, a spicy Nasi Goreng, or perhaps a decadent cocktail on the beach.