Indonesia Travel Prep – The Quick And Dirty Guide

Indonesia Travel Prep – The Quick And Dirty Guide

Indonesia is a beautiful country! But it’s a lot different compared to other countries. That why you need to prepare yourself before you travel to Indonesia, with this quick and dirty guide filled with tips and advice. You will be ready in no time! 

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Indonesia Travel Prep - The Quick And Dirty Guide with Travel Advice

1. Adviced Vaccinations Before Traveling to Indonesia

Most people have had several vaccines over the years. But because in Indonesia (for example, in Bali), there are different bacteria, viruses, and hygiene levels, there is a risk of getting sick. To avoid this, many travel boards recommend getting 2 shots in advance of your trip. 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a contagious version of jaundice, an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. This virus is transmitted through food and water that has been contaminated with feces. Complete vaccination for hepatitis A consist of 2 vaccines. The first vaccine protects you for one year. After the second vaccine, you will be protected against hepatitis A for 30 years. The time between the first and second vaccines needs to be at least 6 months. 

There is also the possibility to take the combination vaccine for both Hepatitis A and B. In total, you need 3 vaccines for this. You need to keep your travel planning in mind, as you need all your vaccines before leaving for your trip. There has to be a month in between your first and second shot. 

DTP (Diphtheria, Tetatnus and Polio)

DTP the combination vaccine against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio. 


Diphtheria is caused by a poisonous substance derived from the diphtheria bacteria. This bacteria comes in different forms and causes the throat to swell, making it hard to breathe. The moment the heart muscle is affected, it becomes a life-threatening situation. Antibiotics can battle the symptoms of diphtheria. The Bacteria is transferred from human to human through coughing. The incubation period is between 2 to 5 days. 


Tetanus causes extreme muscle cramps throughout the entire body.  It is caused by the tetanus bacteria, which is a toxic substance. The different bacteria appear in soil and street rubbish. For example, it enters the skin via a small wound. For the tetanus bacteria, the incubation period is between 3 to 20 days. 

Tip ➳ Also read Essential Tips How To Prep For Full Time Travel


Polio is also known as the children’s paralysis disease as it causes paralysis in large muscle groups. It is transferred from person to person using feces or feces contaminated food or water. Especially in Asia and Africa, Polio is very Common. The time period between infection and becoming sick is between 7 to 14 days. 

DTP Vaccine

DTP vaccine protects you from Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Polio all at once. If you’ve had all the recommended vaccines when you were a child, 1 DTP vaccine is recommended. This will protect you for a time period of 10 years. If you’ve never had your children’s vaccinations, it is recommended to do a series of three DTP vaccines.

Mountain in bali indonesia

2. Avoid Malaria When Travelling In Indonesia

Depending on where you’re going to travel to Indonesia, you need to consider malaria.  Malaria is a disease that is transferred by mosquitoes during the day and the evening. It is a tropical infectious disease that has four forms. If you do not treat a malaria infection, it can be proved fatal within a few days or weeks. Therefore, this is a serious issue

How To Prevent Malaria

To protect yourself from getting infected with malaria you need to take the following measures: 

  • Wear long trousers and long sleeves to make sure the fabric is thick and the clothes or not tired when your skin. 
  • Spray on the places you show skin mosquito repellent with at least 30 % DEET in it. 
  • Check the room you’re sleeping in for mosquitos, turn on the air conditioning and/or a fan. And sleep under an impregnated mosquito net. 

Anti-Malaria Medication

When there is a higher risk of malaria, it is advised to take anti-malaria medication during your trip. The amount and type of pills you need depend on the area’s risk and the length of the period you are staying there. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss everything you need to know and take with you on your next trip. 

Depending on which type of malaria, the symptoms can arise from one week to months after a malaria mosquito has bitten you. Early malaria symptoms are similar to those of the flu. Hence, if you notice these symptoms, immediately go to a hospital or certified doctor. 

Check the country where you’re going for malaria risk here.

3. Credit Card

When you are traveling around the world, you always want to be able to pay. In Indonesia, you can always make a cash withdrawal at an ATM with a credit card. However, debit cards on islands like Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan are often not accepted at ATMs and hotels. Therefore, I highly advice you to bring a personal credit card on your travels to Indonesia. 

Your name needs to be on the card because you can be asked for identification when using it. If the card’s name does not match your ID, the store can confiscate your credit card. 

Secondly, keep in mind is to set your credit card to international status. So you can actually use it when you are abroad. 

In case your credit card is lost or stolen, it is always handy to have copies of both sides of your credit card in your email and the phone number to block the card programmed in your phone. 

Bali Tip ➳ Find some amazing island travel inspiration in this Nusa Penida Guide

4. Debit Card

AT the more popular areas and the airport, you can use the ATMs with your debit card. But just like your credit card, you need to change the payment setting from your home country to international status. 

5. Indonesian Sim Card

On arrival, you can buy a sim card at one of the many sim cards stands at the airport. The sim card will be installed on the spot, and you are good to go. Remember how long you will be traveling and how much Internet you plan to use during your trip to decide which sim card is the best for you. My advice is to buy 1 sim card with unlimited data and make a hotspot to share the internet with your Indonesia travel companions. 

Pro Tip ➳ Visit Malanage Hot Spring On Flores Indonesia

Phone with freckles on the beach

6. Anti Diarrhoea Medicine

When you are in Indonesia, there is a higher chance you might get diarrhea. This is caused, for example, by eating food that is washed with tap water, ice cubes made with tap water, or just the lower level of hygiene in general compared to Europe. 

For that reason, I highly advice you to avoid drinking tap water and wash your hand regularly with soap when you travel around Indonesia. Ask for your drinks without ice and drink bottled water from the supermarket. 

Of course, it can happen by accident without you even noticing. In this case, Anti Diarrhea Medicine is practical to have on hand. And don’t forget to drink a lot of bottled water to stay hydrated. 

Also Read ➳ 10 Thailand Travel Tips You Wish You’d Known

7. Indonesia Packing List

Since you are preparing for your trip, you might wonder what to pack. To make this a lot easier, I’ve made a super handy (printable) packing checklist with all the essentials you will need on your trip to Indonesia. Check it out here.

8. Carry On Luggage You Take On Travel Travel In Indonesia

On most long-distance flights, you are allowed to have a piece of carry-on luggage on the plane with you. You will probably also have a large suitcase or backpack that you need to check-in before your flight. 

Checked-in luggage is known to be maltreated. Therefore, I recommend you put all your valuables in your carry-on luggage. Firstly, because your checked-in this luggage can be lost in between flights, and secondly, to make sure your values are not damaged

Speaking about losing your luggage… When you have many connecting flights, there is a chance your luggage will arrive later at the destination or even will be lost. For this reason, I recommend you to have a change of clothes and your necessary toiletries in your carry on. So, in case your luggage arrived later, you can at least cope for a few days. 

Also read:3x Essential Solo Travel Tips.

9. Travel Insurance You Need For Indonesia

Before you leave for Indonesia, I would recommend you make sure your travel insurance is in order. There are a few things you need to check in advance. 

The first thing you need to check is whether your travel insurance covers your stay in Indonesia. Make sure you have world coverage.  

Secondly, consider how much your own positions are worth and whether the travel insurance covers all those costs. 

If you were to become sick or in an accident during your travels you need to consider whether your travel insurance covers these hospital costs etc. or whether your insurance covers them. 

And last but definitely not least, it is about activities you will do on your trip. Activities like scuba diving are (almost) never covered by regular travel insurance. This also goes for other extreme sports

To cover these activities, you need to buy an extension package or buy secondary insurance for that particular activity. For example, many scuba diving insurances are only a few euros per month, covering you worldwide. 

10. Passport

Before you leave for the airport, you might want to check whether your passport is still valid for at least 2 years. This is particularly important when you will travel for a longer period of time, and you don’t know when you’ll be back in your home country. 

Make photos of your passport, put 2 sets of passport copies in your luggage, and email them to yourself. In case your passport gets stolen, you still have an unofficial way of identifying yourself. Moreover, many scooter rentals also require a copy of your passport.

Pro Tip ➳ Discover the most beautiful places on Bali in this Complete 3-Week Bali Itinerary

11. Visa Regulations You Need To Know Before Your Travel Indonesia

Have you already booked your flight? Do you know how long you’re going to be in Indonesia? Then you might want to look into the Visa regulations. A tourist visa is valid for 30 days. After this period, you either need to leave Indonesia or buy an additional Visa. Extending your visa takes about 5 days, and you also need a passport photo. 

The government is very strict about these Visa regulations, and therefore you need to oblige them. You can buy a Visa on arrival, or you can order them in advance at an embassy. 

Another great destination in Asia is Thailand! Read all about this amazing country here.

Passport and drivers license

12. Drone Regulations You Need To Know When Traveling In Indonesia

If you have a drone and love taking aerial photos and videos, getting familiar with the drone regulations is adviced when traveling in Indonesia. Each country has a set of rules about how and where you are allowed to fly, whether you need a permit and how to import a drone into the country. Make sure you are familiar with those rules before you you fly your drone.

Find the Drone Regulations for Indonesia here.

Check out this beautiful drone video to be inspired (And yes, I know this is not Indonesia).

13. Cultural Issues To Avoid When Travelling In Indonesia

In certain areas, some political topics are frowned upon and therefore avoided. You need to be aware of these topics so you won’t unnecessarily offend anyone or get yourself into trouble. Like in Thailand, you are not to speak ill about the king. And you can even end up in jail when you do so. 

For this reason, This guide advices you to research these cultural topics each time before you travel to Indonesia, as they can change over time. 

14. First Accommodation

After a long flight, the best thing is to arrive at your hotel and have a nice long nap! But for this, you do need accommodation. For the most comfort, I would advise you to always book your first accommodation in advance. So you know you have a bed waiting for you when you get there.  

Learn more ➳ How to do ANY trip on a budget

Girl in villa Canggu, Bali

15. Best Taxi App For When You Travel Indonesia

The best and easiest taxi app to get around with is Grab. This app works similarly to Uber and offers fair and clear prices. These prices are based on distance and type of vehicle.

In Indonesia, many taxis refuse to drive on a meter. These are not trustworthy and often ask a lot of money for a short drive. 

16. Get An International Drivers Licence When Your Travel Indonesia

If you want to drive yourself during your travels in Indonesia, you need to buy an international driver’s license. It is straightforward to come by, as you can buy them in your home country at a larger travel shop. When you buy an international driver’s license, you need to bring a passport photo. This license is usually valid for a period of one year

A great way to get around is by motorbike! Read all about renting a motorbike and how to prevent being scammed here. 

Bridge in Nusa Lembongan

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