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19 Days in Bali, A Romantic Getaway!

Updated: Feb 6

My husband and I spent 19 days on the other side of the world for our honeymoon, and I can't even find the words to describe how incredible it was- but I'm going to try to share everything with you!

If you are looking for a packing checklist to make sure you have everything you need, click here! And if you want to check out my favorite travel products- check out my Amazon travel list!

Here is a rough idea of what our itinerary looked like:


We flew with Emirates to Bali, which meant that to fly for a reasonable price; we had to suck it up and have a layover in Dubai. On the way there, we slept in the airport for 6 hours and got right back on the next plane to DXB. In total, it was 30 hours of travel, and we were EXHAUSTED. When we arrived at the airport there were HUNDREDS of cars ready to pick up passengers and it was really difficult to find ours- but we were also happy that we had transportation pre-planned through our travel agent. (We were on a new continent- so we were grateful we didn't have to figure anything out ourselves). At the airport, we also switched our USD out for Rupiah (and felt like millionaires).


For the first 3 days, we wanted to LIVE IT UP! So we stayed at a fancy resort (Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort). It was INCREDIBLE and worth every penny. The cliffside resort, infinity pool, access to the beach, amazing staff, yummy food, and beautiful views were some of the reasons we loved it there! We spent most of our time ordering the delicious appetizers and drinking yummy drinks at the infinity pool- & the best part? It wasn't crowded! Half of the time, we were alone, and the other half of the time, there were just a few other couples. It was all adults and felt upscale! We barely left the resort but we did go to the suggested fire dance, and that transportation was set up with the resort! We also walked to Padang Pandang beach, which is one of the top beaches in Uluwatu; we swam and then walked back along the beach to our resort. On our walk back, a manatee swam right up to us and we watched it swim and flip around. For dinner one night, we also ventured into town and ate at Hatch, which is an incredibly colorful, fun, and DELICIOUS restaurant that has live DJs at night!


Again, so happy we paid for transportation. A car set up by our travel agent came and picked us up from the resort and took us to a boat that would take us to Gili Trawangan (one of three Gili islands off the coast). I originally thought I could save money on the boat because you can get it for like $20 USD but I decided to go with the much more expensive option that my travel agent suggested and I'M SO HAPPY I DID. When we got on the boat, we realized it was a 2-hour boat ride through the sea and the cheaper boat options were 1/4 of the size and my body would not have survived the waves. (Sea sickness is common but we both did fine! They also handed out anti-nausea medicine before boarding). We stayed in the Gili Eco Villas and, upon arriving on the island, were taken by horse and buggy to our "hotel"(there are no cars). These villas are separate little huts with outdoor bathrooms and private lock and key entrances. It had a little path to the beach and bikes that you could rent for about $2.00 USD a day). Overall, it was a really nice experience, but if we were to go back- we would choose to stay a bit closer to the "strip," which has all of the restaurants and beach attractions! We had to walk about 25 minutes every day (or ride our bikes), which was fun as well, but it depends on what you prefer; longer walk with more isolation OR more people but less walking!

Things to do on Gili Island:

-Snorkel! Buy some water shoes, lather up on sunscreen (2 things we didn't do and regretted), and get out to look for some sea turtles! We swam for about an hour and saw 3 HUGE sea turtles and so much other marine life! It was an incredible experience! Another thing to consider is to make sure you have good snorkeling equipment; my goggles wouldn't stop fogging up, which resulted in him missing the first turtle that swam by.

-Volleyball! The locals play pickup games in the early morning and evening (because during the day, that sand is JUST TOO HOT!)

-Work out at the beach gym! Right on the main strip

-Mini-Golf! There is a course in the middle of the island attached to a bar!

-Explore! There are tons of winding streets and lots to see. Take a day to walk around the ENTIRE island! Or better yet, rent a bike and see all that it has to offer.

- Massages! We got a massage every single day while we were in Gili. They are incredibly cheap and SO good.

-Eat! We ate breakfast, lunch, another meal, dinner, and sometimes more. I think we tried every restaurant on the island and loved something from all of them! The best part is you can just walk and walk until you smell something that makes you happy.


After 5 days on Gili Island, we went to Ubud (the forest). We did SO MUCH THERE.

We stayed at Lokha Ubud. It was a beautiful hotel with complimentary breakfast, a gorgeous pool, and a shuttle service to downtown! But you could also walk a gorgeous hiking trail to get down there, which is what we opted to do whenever it was light out! We were barely at the hotel because we would head to the town first thing in the morning and not want to turn around!

Things to do in UBUD:

-Massages (did I mention they are amazing and CHEAP!)

-Find some fun, unique places like UBUD RAW (we took pure cocoa shots!)

-Check out the temples!

-Head to the markets

-Eat food! SOOO many beautiful, amazing restaurants.

-Go to Monkey Forest!

-Go white water rafting!

-Try some yoga at a local studio!

-Go check out the rice gardens! (Take a taxi, don't try to ride your bike.. we rode for 2 hours and underestimated the huge hills, and we were sweating buckets).

-Hike Mt. Bator! We were picked up at 1:30 am and hiked up the volcano to watch the sunset.. it was incredible.


We had a day layover in Dubai and decided to make the most of it! Since we only had one full day, we packed in all the sightseeing. We stumbled upon a taxi driver who offered to take us anywhere we wanted for a flat rate of $200 USD for the day; we snatched it up and started at the palm. We were in awe of how large the palm was (from Chicago, we thought it would be more like Navy Pier, but it was HUGE). We then went to the Burj Al Arab so we could see the world's only 7-star hotel- we looked at it from afar, which was super cool to see. We then went to the mall, where we took photos of the Burj Khalifa from down low- and then paid to go up high! I think it cost us $300 USD to take the elevator to the tippy top and enjoy the view with some appetizers to snack on. It was amazing and worth it for us! Also, a great photo opp! While in the mall, we also saw the aquarium, shopped a bit, and ate lunch. We spent a few hours here before calling back our driver to keep going. We then went to the Old Dubai, where we walked through the streets looking through hundreds of vendors and also had our heads wrapped with scarves! We then traveled to the Frame, which was super cool, fun, and entertaining! This was a quick stop, but awesome to see! We looked out the window the whole day and took in as much of Dubai as we could in 24 hours- and then went right back to the mall to play some VR *virtual reality*. After that, we watched the fountain show, which was the most incredible experience I have ever seen, we caught the last show of the night but I would have watched that fountain for hours if I had the opportunity.

Flight Home

Since we were flying out of Dubai, we had a shorter flight but we also lucked out because it wasn't full, and Alexander and I BOTH got our own row! So we spread out, lay down, and slept the whole time. What a great way to end the perfect honeymoon.

It would be impossible to pick a favorite location in Bali because they were all so unique and perfect in their own ways. I loved the luxury stay in Uluwatu, the remote feel of being on the tiny island of Gili, and the immense amount of culture and adventure that Ubud provided- and Dubai was the cherry on top! I felt like the only place we could have stayed longer was Dubai- but we were also only there for 24 hours!

Random Note:

I read a lot of things that talked about how to dress and behave in both of these spaces- all I have to say is that I never felt disrespectful, and everyone is so loving and welcoming. I highly recommend you keep a shirt on at all times when in public spaces (except beaches, of course), but besides that, everyone dressed and acted very similar to how we do here in America. (So yes, I was able to hold my husband's hand).

I was so happy that I packed hats, sunglasses, comfy shoes, and also a warm jacket. We were traveling from Chicago, so I knew I needed a coat, but at the top of Mt. Batur, I was SO HAPPY I packed warmer clothes. We were outside SO MUCH and walking the majority of our days- so comfy shoes and proper attire were a must!

Bali was a dream, we can't wait to go back.

Always, Jess

L E T ' S B E F R I E N D S!


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