Indonesia Travel Prep – Quick and Easy Guide

Indonesia is a beautiful country! But it’s a lot different compared to other countries. That why you need to prepare for these new situations. With this quick and dirty guide you will be prepare for your trip in no time! 

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1. Recommended Vaccinations for Indonesia

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

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a contagious version of jaundice. Ia a inflamtion of the liver, caused by a virus. This virus is transmitted trhough food and water that has been contmaniated with feces. A complete vaccination for hepitites A consist of 2 vaccins. The first vaccin protects you for one year. After the second vacin you will be protected against hepitites A for 30 years. The time between the first and second vacin needs to be at least 6 months. 

There is also the possibility to take the combination vaccin for both Hepaties A and B. In total you need 3 vacins for this. You do need to keep your travel planning in mind, as you need to vacins before you leave of your trip with 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 to breath. The moment the heart muscle is affected it becomes in life-threatening situation. The symptoms of diphtheria can be battled by means of antibiotics. The Bacteria is transferred from human to human by means of 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. It enters the skin via a small wound for example. For the tetanus bacteria the incubation period is between 3 to 20 days. 

Polio is also known as the children’s paralysis decease as it causes paralysis in large muscle groups. It is transferred from person to person by means of 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 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.

2. Malaria

Depending on where you’re going to travel in Indonesia you need to consider malaria.  Malaria is a disease that is transferred by mosquitoes during the day and during 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

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

  • Wear long trousers and long sleeves 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. 

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 all depend on the risk of the area 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 you’ve been bitten by a malaria mosquito. Early malaria symptoms are similar of those of the flu. 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 do a crash 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 etc. Therefore, you need to bring a personal credit card on your trip to Indonesia. 

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

The second thing you need to 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 handy to always 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 at 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 card stands at the airport. The sim card will be installed on the spot and you are good to go. Keep in mind 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. I usually always buy the sim card with unlimited data and make a  hotspot with it to share the internet with my travel companions. 

Phone with freckles on the beach

6. Anti Diarrhoea Medicine

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

For that reason, avoid drinking tab water and was your hand regularly with soap. 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 Diarrhoea Medicine is practical to have on hand. And don’t forget to drink a lot of bottled water to stay hydrated. 

7. Indonesia Packing List

Since you are preparing 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 are going to need on  your trip in Indonesia. Check it out [maxbutton id=”9″] 

8. Carry On Luggage

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

The luggage you check0-in is known to be treated roughly. Therefore, I recommend you to put all your valuables in your carry on luggage. Both for the reason that your checked in this luggage can be lost in between flight and to make sure your valuable 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 the case your luggage arrived later, you can at least cope for a few days. 

Also read:3x Essential Solo Travel Tips.

9. Travel Insurance

Before you leave for Indonesia I would highly recommend you to make sure your travel insurance is in order. There are a few things you need to check 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 to consider whether your travel insurance covers this these hospital costs etc. or whether your insurance covers them. 

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

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

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 in particularly important when you are going to travel for a longer periods 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. 

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

11. Visa Regulations in 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. In Indonesia you are allowed to stay for a period for 30 days on a tourist visa. After this period you either need 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

If you have a drone and you love taking aerial photos and videos getting familiar with the drone regulations is recommended. 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 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 unnecessary 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 I would advice you to research these topics for each trip, 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 an accommodation. For the most comfort I would advice 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. Taxi App in Indonesia

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

In Indonesia there are many taxi’s who refuse to drive on a meter. These are not trustworthy and often ask a lot of money for a short drive. 

16. International Drivers Licence 

If you want to drive yourself during your trip, you need to buy an international driver’s licence. It is very easy to come by, as you can buy them in your home country at a larger travel shop. When you buy an international driver’s licence you need to bring a passport photo. This licence 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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Hi! My name is Iris, a travel obsessed Dutchie. Freckles on the Beach is all about chasing experiences & inspiring other to travel too. So let’s chase those experiences together!

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