This week, family travel specialists and online magazine suitcases&strollers talks with Lindy Klim about living and travelling in Bali with a young family.
As the niece of the King of Denpasar, Lindy Klim knows a bit about Bali. The wife of Olympic gold medalist Michael and owner of Milk & Co now lives on the Indonesian island with her three kids Stella (7), Rocco (5) and Frankie (2). She shares her royal secrets to this fabulous holiday spot with us.
How frequently do you travel with your kids?
I used to travel a lot but now not so much. The kids don’t really leave the island very often as they love being in Bali. I don’t take the children on business trips. I don’t even take them on plane journeys longer than 6 hours! It’s not fun for anyone involved.
Where is your favourite destination to travel to with kids?
Well it used to be Bali but now we live here! I love the way the Balinese are so patient with children and the kids are never bored. There is always so much for them to do. I love that my children are able to experience different cultures.
Why is Bali so good for families?
Bali is amazing for children and I think most Asian destinations are. The people are so patient with children and you don’t have to be stuck in a resort with a kids club for the kids to have a good time; there is just so much to do. My children have a more hectic social life than me!
Where is your favourite place to take the kids in Bali?
I love to do a day trip up to The Bukit [Peninsula] – the beaches are beautiful. There are a few places like Karma Kandara Resorts and Finn’s Beach Club which are fun to spend the day at. The children are so free up there.
Where is your kids’ favourite place in Bali?
My kids love the beach. KU DE TA on Sundays is always fun. [We like] Lollipop’s Waterplay, Playland, and Café and Cubby House Kids Club if it’s raining. The Bali Equestrian Centre has opened up so we often go horse riding and the Bali Treetop Adventure Park tree top-climbing is great fun to do.
What are some of Bali’s hidden gems that tourists might not know about?
Green School is the most amazing place. My children do summer camps there. There is a place called Pirates Bay Bali in Nusa Dua and if you have boys it’s so much fun. You can have a whole day there and the beaches are quite nice.
What’s the best way for children to have an authentic Balinese cultural experience?
Talk to the local people. If you become friendly with your nanny, ask to visit her home or even get her to bring her children one day for a play. I love the fact that children don’t need to speak the same language to communicate and have a great time together.
Which is the best part of Bali to stay in?
You could split your holiday in two. You could do the resort thing to unwind and then come down Seminyak way to enjoy good food and company. Or, depending on what sort of holiday you are into, the east coast has great diving and is very quiet.
What is the ideal time frame for a holiday to Bali with young children?
I would say about 2 weeks. It will take some time for the children to adjust and sometimes they may have a little bit of culture shock.
Is it safe for kids to eat the food?
I guess with any place you need to be a little bit more careful but, in saying this, we have never had “Bali belly”. I think if your tummy is not use to different food just stick to the Western menus. The range of food in Bali is unbelievable and the restaurants are amazing.
What is the safest way to travel around Bali with kids?
I recommend getting a private driver. It will cost about AUD$50 for 8 hours. The traffic in Bali is terrible so try and stay somewhere that is within walking distance to shops.
Villa or hotel?
I always like to book a private villa as there are so many of us and the interconnecting room thing just doesn’t cut it anymore! It’s actually cheaper and nicer than hotels and there is a kitchen which makes it easier to cook for the little ones. We love Villa Putih in Seminyak but if you go on a website called Bali Soul Villas they have fantastic places to stay. Also look at a website called Vacation Rentals By Owner.
If you have older children you may want to stay at a hotel so they can hang with other children. There are a few hotels in Nusa Dua such as Conrad Bali or The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali; great places for older kids.
What are your top tips for families travelling to Bali?
Don’t freak out about mosquito bites; they look worse than they are.
I always give the kids Yakult to help their tummies.
Bring a baby monitor but don’t bring prams as the roads are not great.
suitcases & strollers is a new online magazine that provides inspiration for intrepid travelers with young kids. Beyond the theme parks and child-centric resorts, suitcases & strollers has ideas about family holidays that are culturally and intellectually stimulating for adults who love to travel – that can still be done with children. Check them out here!