Booking a Bali Villa Made Simple with Villa Finder

Booking a Bali Villa Made Simple with Villa Finder

Looking online it can be incredibly overwhelming to see the amount of villas available to rent in Bali. And when you’re a parent it’s even more daunting booking a Bali Villa for your perfect family holiday. Thankfully you can make the whole process much easier by enlisting the help of Villa Finder!

Started in 2012, Villa Finder currently has over 1,000 villas in Bali, Phuket, Samui, Sri Lanka and Mauritius. Each villa is meticulously inspected before being listed online and is also frequently re-inspected. This ensures the villas are well maintained and the level of service is consistently excellent.

Booking a Bali Villa: How To

When you look at villas on Villa Finder you will be able to search by number of bedrooms, area and also the kind of activities or atmosphere you’re looking for. When you find something you like you can place a request on the villa. This is where the professional travel consultants come in and make sure the property is suitable for your family.

Someone from the team will call you to talk more about your family, finding out how many kids you are traveling with and how old they are. They will ask if you need a pool fence, car seat, and other equipment. At this point they will probably also offer you a list of other villas that would suit your family.

This personalized service doesn’t end when you’ve booked your villa. The concierge team at Villa Finder will contact you after you have booked to arrange everything you need for your stay. Whether you need an airport pick up, day tours, in-villa massage, special dinner, or nanny service, they will get you just what you need. This saves you time researching all these services and costs nothing extra.

How About Some Bali Villa Examples?

Villas like rustic 3-bedroom Villa Madura give you your own home base in the heart of Seminyak. Or if you’re coming with a big group you might want to have a look at sprawling 5-bedroom Villa Alea just a short drive from Seminyak and Canggu. These villas have character, comfort and are ideal for families wanting to spend quality time together.

Heading to Ubud, East or North Bali? There are plenty of options all over Bali…not just in the most touristy areas. You could even book a whole estate like Pandawa Cliff Estate for a family gathering, birthday celebration or wedding. If you’re thinking of booking a villa in Bali Villa Finder will save you time, money and even your sanity!

You can also feel good about booking with Villa Finder because they are planting a tree in Sumatra, Indonesia for every booking made. Make your life easier and help the environment at the same time!

 

Start your villa search with Villa Finder now!

Explore Bali by Quad with Aussie Bali Adventures

Explore Bali by Quad with Aussie Bali Adventures

Searching for something really special to do while you and your family are in Bali? You can’t go wrong with an Aussie Bali Adventures Family Quad Biking Bali Tour! Tailor made for families this tour takes you through jungle tracks, across vibrant green rice paddies and over miles of shimmering black sand beach. You’ll also get the chance to see temples, villages and locals farming and fishing as they have done for generations. Local kids smile and wave, and if you’re lucky you might even see a ceremony in the villages as you ride through.
“The tour itself was really fun, even our 8 year old had a go at driving the bike when we were on the beach and he loved it. Afterwards we were taken to a restaurant for some food and drinks & a bit of a relax. Overall, the day was outstanding and good value. The kids (8 & 12) really enjoyed it. The staff were amazing, very knowledgeable & friendly.We would definitely recommend this trip.” 

One of the best tours we have done! We decided to go with this company after reading many reviews. we were not disappointed. One of the best tours we have done and we have been to bali over 10 times. great staff. Bikes well maintained and beautiful scenery. Will do again for sure. thanks guys!”  – Trip Advisor Review

All bikes are fully automatic and easy for beginners to get the hang of with just a short training before the tour. The quads range from small for kids to larger ones for riding tandem and safety equipment is all provided. Kids from 2-10 years old ride with a parent and from 10-12 years they can ride on their own, depending on their experience and confidence level. Even if they don’t ride the whole tour alone, most kids can still have a go at driving on the beach!

You don’t even have to worry about getting to the Aussie Bali Adventures start point as an air-conditioned, wi-fi fitted van will pick you up and drive you in comfort to their beach front location in Tabanan Regency, just 15 minutes west of the famous tourist destination, Tanah Lot Temple. Expect the drive to take around 55 minutes from Kuta, Legian and Seminyak area’s, but once you arrive you’ll be amazed at the scenery and beauty of the area.

If you’d like to read a Bali Kids Guide review of Aussie Bali Adventures Family Quad Bike Tour click HERE

“Quad biking on the beach = Best day ever!!! I signed my family up for this before we arrived in Bali and they weren’t overly excited. Fast forward to the day and you’ve never seen such big smiles on their faces. We all say it’s the best part of our Bali holiday!”

Pricing and Tour options: ATV – STANDARD TOUR: 2 Hour Tour / Ride Time Single = $85 USD Tandem = $130 USD Group/family discounts available for groups or families of 6+ pax. Cash onsite only in Rupiah, AUD or USD.   ATV – VIP RESORT FINISH TOUR: 2 Hour Tour / Ride Time Single = $95 USD Tandem = $150 USD Maximum 8 pax per time slot, per day. Cash onsite only in Rupiah, AUD or USD. 
  Price includes: Return air-conditioned transport, onsite insurance, all safety equipment & training, photographer options, light refreshments & restaurant meal and drink, and infinity pool use for the vip tour. Pick up times:  Pick up areas are Nusa Dua – Sanur – Kuta – Legian – Seminyak – Ubud – Canggu – Jimbaran Bay Morning: 7.30am   –   Middle: 10.30am   –   Afternoon/Sunset: 2.00pm
Aussie Bali Adventures do not advertise or sell tours via tour desks, agents or hotel, all bookings must be made direct with them via the website. Book by filling in a booking form on the website and paying cash on the day of the tour. Here is the direct link to the website and family tour: http://www.aussiebaliadventures.com/family-quad-biking/  

10 Bali Adventure Tours You Should Book Now!

10 Bali Adventure Tours You Should Book Now!

There are so many Bali adventure tours to be had on a family holiday that it can be impossible to choose! We’ve had the opportunity to experience tons of fun activities on the island, so read on to find out about our favorite things to do in Bali with or without kids. We’ve also put handy links to book each activity, so look no further for your Bali Adventures!!

#1 Cultural Tour in a VW Safari

Exploring Bali is more fun in a soft top Volkswagon Safari. There are tons of different tours you can do, but this one around East Bali is one of my favorites. You’ll take in tons of natural beauty and stop at some of the island’s most interesting historical and cultural sites.

 

With an English-speaking guide you will learn about Bali’s mother temple Besakih, visit one of the oldest villages and see the biggest banyan tree on the whole island. Lunch and drinking water is included, but you’ll definitely need a hat and sunscreen to keep from getting burnt.

#2 Bali Island ATV

If your looking for the most fun on 4 wheels in Bali you have to book a Bali Island ATV tour. Ride through rice paddies, villages and have a burn down a quiet beach.

Tours are either 1 or 2 hours and English-speaking guides will tell you about the area and culture as you ride. Kids can ride on with a parent, or those over 12 can ride alone depending on their ability.

Some tours include food and drinks and pick up/return transfers. Have a look at the options to pick the right one for your family. Mention that you follow Bali Kids Guide and you’ll get 20% off the published price!

#3 Half-Day Wakebaording

Have you ever wanted to try wakeboarding? If you haven’t, this is your chance! Bali has a world-class wakeboarding park perfect for any level of wakeboarder. Professional instructors are on hand to help with technique and safety whether it’s your first lesson or 100th.

 

Kids from 7 years old can wakeboard or kneeboard to get used to the feeling. For those not wakeboarding there is a pool and restaurant where you can relax and watch the action.

#4 Morning Food Tour & Cooking Class

Foodies get ready for a Balinese feast! Experience Kuta traditional market to buy fresh produce and then head back to the kitchen for breakfast of Balinese treats. You’ll then learn to make 9 Balinese dishes and 1 dessert and have an amazing lunch of all the delicious things you’ve cooked.

This activity is 100% kid friendly and is an amazing family experience.

#5 Mount Batur Dirtbike Adventure

Not kid-friendly, but if you love adventure and want to get out for an adults only day, this is the tour for you.

You’ll head into the mountains of Bali and meet your guides who will get you ready to ride a 250cc Kawasaki KLX. The professional guides will lead you up amazing dirt bike trails on the slopes of Mount Batur for an adrenaline rush.

The tour also includes coffee at a plantation and return transfers.

#6 Stand Up Paddle Lesson

Stand up paddle boarding is a great way for all ages to get out on the water. During this lesson you’ll learn about the equipment, basic paddling skills and get out on the water to practice on flat water. By the end of the session you’ll be able to balance an paddle as well as make turns on the board.

 

This is really a fun family activity that will bring you together, laughing at each other falling off and cheering as you all head off into the waves.

#7 Kids Perfume Workshop

Rainy days in Bali do happen, so why not book this kids perfume workshop for a great inside activity. Of course it doesn’t have to be rainy to learn something new!

This 1-hour workshop introduces kids to various smells and encourages them to mix and create their own unique fragrance. They’ll even be able to take home their own bottle of perfume and a diploma from the class.

There are also adult classes available, or you can even book one together.

#8 Bali Treetop Adventure

Bali Treetop Adventure is one of Bali’s best family experiences. Located in the Botanical Gardens in Bedugul, 7 adventure circuits raging between 2-20 metres up in the trees are available for all ages. Challenge each other to the 72 suspended bridges, spider nets, tarzan jumps, flying foxes and more.

This package includes 2.5 hours full access to all the circuits after 10.30am for 2 adults + 2 children, all your safety equipment, and insurance. Please note the minimum age for children is 4 years and they must be at least 110cm with raised arms.

#9 Downhill Cycling Tour

Downhill cycling is a great way to see a bit of Bali. It’s 100% family friendly and kids from 7 can ride on their own bikes. Younger ones go in a seat with a parent.

On this tour you’ll take in coffee and cocoa plantations, villages, and Bali’s natural beauty with jungle, rice field and river valleys. Your guides will lead the way as you slowly ride down from Kintamani volcano to Bambang just north of Ubud.

This 2.5-3 hour tour ends with a tasty lunch and includes return transfers.

#10 VW Cocktail Bus

Cruise south Bali in a modified VW Combi complete with a fully stocked mini bar and wi-fi!! This 9-hour tour takes in temples, cliff-top views and beautiful scenic sites off the beaten track.

You’ll stop for lunch most importantly sunset cocktails at a Jimbaran beach club. Once the sun has set the bus sets off again for Seminyak, where a nightcap at the famous KuDeTa awaits.

 

 

What’s it Like to Live in Bali with Kids??

What’s it Like to Live in Bali with Kids??

I often get asked what it’s like to live in Bali and the answer always depends on the day. There is good and bad in every place you could live and everyone’s experience is different. But more and more families are moving to Bali with their kids, so it’s a topic I thought I should delve into more deeply. Here are my thoughts, pros/cons, and general ramblings on what it’s like to live in Bali with kids.

Day-to-Day Life

 

My day-to-day life differs a little from families who have moved here as a whole unit. I’m married to a Balinese man and live in the family compound so my life is somewhat more “local style” than others. I’m very lucky to be part of a tight community and have in-built babysitting and playmates for my kids. However, it can feel like I’m constantly being watched and everyone knows everyone’s business in a village. The kids even get tired of being asked the same questions over and over.

Generally though, life isn’t so different than it would be elsewhere. There are the usual routines of school runs, work, cooking, bedtimes etc. My real bonus is that I have a helper that comes to clean 6 days a week. This makes me a nicer person and keeps me from crying about dirty dishes and things like that.

We go to temple for Hindu holidays and help with ceremonies in the community. I don’t do half as much as the amazing local ladies, but try to help out when I can.

Pros:

– Balinese communities are incredible if you make yourself part of it. They will keep you and your house safe and your kids will have friends to play with all the time.

– Being able to hire help with cleaning and/or kids

– The weather is pretty much always good enough to go out and play

Cons:

– Everyone knows or wants to know your business

– Being treated like a tourist every day can be really draining

School Options

 

If we were in the UK the kids would have the choice of 2 schools. Here a lot of ex-pat families choose the area they live in according to the school their kids will attend.

Up in Ubud we don’t have a whole lot of choice, but from around Sanur and south there are a lot more options. Options don’t come cheap though. Schools in Bali range from $5,000 – $20,000 a year (US$). This may come as a shock, but international school educations are costly wherever you are in the world.

I personally have chosen to put my kids in a very local school called a National Plus school, but when they get to junior high they’ll be moving to an international school.

You can find more information in our blog: 11 International Schools in Bali

We also have a great blog about alternative schooling in Bali, which you can find here: The Definitive List of Alternative Schools in Bali

Pros:

– A large choice of schools (in the southern part of Bali)

– Kids socialize with others from all over the world

– They will most likely learn Bahasa Indonesia and maybe other languages

Cons:

– School fees are very expensive

– Holidays can differ from those back home making it difficult to have time with family/friends

– Curriculums can vary and may not match well if you move back home

Healthcare

 

Healthcare is one of my biggest worries about living in Bali. In the UK we would have the NHS, and no matter how slow etc. it would be there in an emergency. In Bali we have insurance but this can be expensive and difficult to get if you are an ex-pat family or have pre-existing conditions. Many families by pass this by using a yearly travel insurance plan while they live in Bali.

The other worry is the standard of healthcare. Even ‘international standard’ hospitals can be pretty rough and the doctors say some pretty insane things. I still don’t have any solid plan of what I’d do if one of us got really ill. My top choices would be BIMC or Sanglah International Wing, but I don’t think I’d be very happy about going to hospital at all in Bali.

In serious situations it’s possible to fly to Singapore, Bangkok or Australia for treatment. I won’t do a pros and cons here because I don’t really feel like there are any pros of living in Bali when it comes to healthcare. This may be a different story if you are coming from somewhere like America.

 

Costs

Rent

I’ve mentioned the cost of schools, but what about the cost of living? Rental houses are getting more and more expensive and most landlords expect at least 1 year’s rent in advance. You’re looking at Rp80million – Rp160million ($8000 – $16000) per year for a 2-bedroom house.

Depending on how many air conditioners you use and if you have a pool, electricity can be anywhere from Rp500,000 – Rp3million per month.

Visas

The other main expense you’ll need to consider is visas. It is possible to get a one-year stay permit (KITAS) for students from most international schools. Parents will need either a Social Budaya visa for a 6-month stay, or a Business Visa, which allows you to run a business in Indonesia.

If you decide to homeschool, you will all need either tourist visas that can be extended up to 60 days, or a Social Budaya visa for 6 months. Both options can get costly with having to do visas runs with a whole family.

Food

 

It is possible to eat extremely cheaply in Bali. Feeding a family of 4 on $5 a day is not uncommon in Balinese compounds. Morning markets are great places to shop for fruit and veg and the night markets hold delicious street food treats. However, if you want to eat healthy it can be way more expensive.

Over the past few years the cafe and restaurant industry has boomed in Bali. When I arrived you couldn’t buy fresh milk in the supermarket! You can now find just about any type of food you can imagine, world-class coffee shops and smoothie bowls galore. I love all this food, but it’s definitely taken a toll on my budget. $6 for a smoothie bowl, $7 for smashed avocado on toast and $10 for a pizza is the norm these days. We can easily spend $50 on dinner for the 4 of us.

Pros:

– You can find gorgeous villas with pools that you probably wouldn’t be able to live in elsewhere

– No paying for heating

– Amazing local food and so many great café & restaurant choices

Cons:

– Paying at least a year’s rent in advance

– Running air conditioners is costly

– Finding and keeping up the right visa and visa runs

– Food is pretty expensive

Activites for Kids in Bali
Bali is extremely kid-friendly and there are way more things going on than there were a few years ago. From art classes, yoga and sports, to holiday camps, there is always something happening. You do have to keep a really good eye out for events though. Things are rarely published until the very last minute and there isn’t yet a great online calendar for events. (we tried but it’s really hard!)

We have also found that classes tend to come and go very quickly because the numbers are never consistent. This is the transient nature of Bali and I’m not sure it will ever change. We end up doing a lot of one-off events rather than a term’s worth of classes or after school activities.

I have to say I’m quite jealous when I see my friends’ kids in Australia, the UK or America all booked up with consistent activities.

Thinking of Making the Move to Live in Bali?

Are you considering moving to Bali? What are some of the concerns/questions/reservations you have about the move? I’d love to know and to be able to help you with some insider advice. Follow our Facebook Page for great community advice and tips for holidays or living in Bali. You can also see what fun we have on a daily basis on our Instagram feed.

Try Something New at the Kids Summer Holiday Camp at Novotel Lombok

Try Something New at the Kids Summer Holiday Camp at Novotel Lombok

Novotel Lombok Resort & Villas

Lombok, Bali’s closest neighbor to the east, is best known for the ‘Gilis’, the three islands off of the northwest coast, but stay on the mainland and it’s a different world. Kuta Lombok bares little resemblance to Kuta Bali, as it is still a small coastal town with gorgeous stretches of white sand and glistening blue water. Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas opened their doors in 1997 and remains one of the only major resorts in the area. This means plenty of space, sea breezes and quiet you rarely find in Bali these days.

Starting this year, Novotel Lombok and Rinjani Indah School will be running a Summer Holiday Camp for kids aged 4-12 years old. If you’re looking for a place to relax and explore, but also have the kids entertained and stimulated, this could be the perfect place.

Summer Holiday Camp Fun at Novotel Lombok

The Summer Holiday Camp will run Monday – Friday with a half day on Saturdays from the 18th of June – 27th of July 2018. The program will be held on the grounds of the Novotel Lombok but will be fully supervised by qualified teachers from Rinjani Indah School.

Kids will be stimulated with fun learning activities both inside and outside, games, water play, sports, arts and crafts and plenty more. Kids will get a healthy and delicious lunch (full day) to keep their energy up for all the exciting things they’ll be doing during the day.

Fees are paid on a half or full day basis, Rp200,000 and Rp350,000 respectively. This means you can enjoy the summer camp whenever for a few days or the whole month. However, spaces are limited so get in touch with Novotel Lombok as soon as possible by email or phone +62 (0)370 6153 333 to reserve your spot.

Tips for Stress Free Travel with Kids

Tips for Stress Free Travel with Kids

We all know travel with kids can be stressful but travel can have an immensely positive impact on them. The knowledge they will acquire, skills they will develop and memories they will gain from travel, makes it totally worth it! Plus there are some really great travel products; info and tips out there that can help you make it a stress free and enjoyable experience.

Keeping children comfortable and entertained as well as being organised are vital when it comes to family travel, and Australian company Kooshy Kids has products that will help you achieve all of these things.

Child Comfort – Getting Some

Sleep Onboard!

Kid comfort is key, especially on long-haul flights, which can be a nightmare if you don’t have a way of letting your child fall asleep comfortably. They will be sprawled out all over you for hours with no one is getting any quality sleep. One of the most practical ideas I’ve seen for travel in a long time is from Australian business Kooshy Kids.

The Kooshy Kids Kooshion can be used to create a flat, flexible space for kids to enjoy as a couch or bed on the aeroplane (or for that matter train or bus). It is placed on the floor between your child’s seat and the seat in front and then inflated, providing a large flat surface for legs to stretch out and little ones can lay flat for sleeping. It’s simple to use, lightweight, durable and comfortable with a soft material on top.

Over 50 airlines allow the use of the Kooshy Kids Kooshion during flight with some conditions like it must be deflated for takeoff and landing. This product is a must when flying with kids, if the kids can get some sleep then so can you and it makes a big difference!

Toys & Games – Keeping kids entertained!

For kids with tablets and gadgets letting them watch their shows and play their games really is the best way to keep them entertained. Just make sure they are fully charged prior to departure. But a tip, before its time for sleep give them a break from the back-lit screen to help them wind down, perhaps read them a book or tell them a story, or quietly sing them a song if they are small, to help them relax before sleep. If you’re looking for some alternate entertainment that engages children’s creative minds and gives them a nice break from technology there are some great travel friendly games available.

Kooshy Kids recommends and stocks Tiger Tribe products. Tiger Tribe games are compact and portable and encourage independent play, they are perfect for travelling kids. Magnetic games, play scenes and design boards help develop imagination and fine motor skills. Other entertainment options you can include are books, packs of cards, yoyo, journal and any small toy that is portable and easy to pack (hanging toys you can click to their backpacks are good).

Pack snacks – Fill their little tummies!

Kids can get cranky when they are hungry and they may not like the plane food or be provided with enough snack type options. So best to pack some snacks with you, take something healthy and their favourites, or surprise them with something new. Carry them in a separate easy to access bag, snacks are also a good way to pass some time and keep kids quiet. Also remember to encourage your kids to drink lots of water and walk around; they may like to explore the plane or train!

Plan in advance – be organized and prepared!

One last thing, you do need to be extra organised when travelling with kids. Research the destination and find out what activities there are to do with kids, what restaurants and hotels are family- friendly and what items you can order in advance to help you out. Think about pram or car seat hire at the destination. It also pays to be organised with your families travel documents and its helpful to keep all passports and other paperwork together in a safe place. A Kooshy Kids family passport wallet is ideal for this. The wallet makes it easier when needing to access passports quickly and minimizes the chance of losing one or misplacing essential documentation.

Making Travel with Kids as Stress Free as Possible

 

Travel really is the best gift you can give your children so go book that family holiday, use the tips above and grab some Kooshy Kids products to help make it stress free and create some happy memories exploring the world together!

Click HERE to go to the Kooshy Kids Shop.