What to Pack for a Week in Bali

Courtyard by Marriott, Seminyak, Bali

See that pic?

That was the view from our balcony at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Seminyak. Such a lovely sight to wake up to the first few mornings of our week in Bali and boy did we make the most of that pool!

But let’s rewind for a second…

When I shared a video of me packing for Bali on the Sonia Styling Facebook page, some people thought I was packing too much.

At the time? I thought I had packed just enough.

Looking back now? They were right!

Here’s what I (actually) packed for a week in Bali:

  • 7 x shoes (including flip flops, sandals, wedges, sneakers and my bridesmaid heels)
  • 6 x tops
  • 6 x dresses (including my bridesmaid dress)
  • 4 x shorts
  • 3 x swimsuits
  • 3 x activewear tops
  • 2 x activewear bottoms
  • 2 x kaftans
  • Underwear
  • Accessories (a few pairs of earrings, a beach bag and a smaller handbag)
  • Toiletries
  • Chargers and adaptors
  • Hair Straightener

That does look like a lot of stuff … but … it did come in at under 19kg and I was quite proud of that!

Our week was spent mostly in the pool, catching up with friends, eating out and enjoying cocktails. We skipped any and all sightseeing as we’d all been to Bali before and wanted to spend the time in the lead up to the wedding just hanging out and relaxing. Then of course we had the wedding day itself, followed by another full day of relaxation before heading home.

If I was to pack for the same trip again, I’d reduce the number of dresses, tops, shorts, swimsuits and shoes that I took. I didn’t end up wearing my kaftans, but they barely took up any space (or weight) in my suitcase, so if you’re a kaftan wearer, then by all means pack one or two.

The one item that I forgot to pack? A hat. Whoops! Adelaide’s long, cold, wet winter must have given me sunshine amnesia or something, as I managed to get sunburnt on my first full day in Bali. I blame being in and out of the pool and not being totally vigilant with reapplying sunscreen – as well as not having a hat to wear. So please – do as I say, not as I did!

Speaking of which…

Here’s what I would recommend to pack for a week in Bali:

  • 4 x tops
  • 3 x bottoms (shorts and/or skirts)
  • 3 x dresses
  • 3 x shoes
  • 2 x bags (1 x tote, 1 x crossbody)
  • 2 x swimsuits
  • 1 x hat
  • Plus of course underwear, accessories, toiletries, chargers and adaptors.

Optional extras:

  • Activewear (ie: 2 x tops and 2 x bottoms)
  • Sneakers

What to pack for a week in Bali
(my shopping suggestions)

What to pack for a week in Bali

2 x Bags

I recommend taking two bags with you on holiday – one for travel and one for everyday. A tote bag is big enough to carry everything you need to take with you on the plane (phone, passports, magazines, headphones, etc) and it can then be used as a beach bag to take down to the pool. The other style of bag I like is a small crossbody bag. This is your perfect option to take out with you during the day or night and can be slung across your body to keep your valuables safe and secure.

Tote Bag: Lady Fox ‘Brigette’ Leather Tote $490
Crossbody Bag: Sportsgirl ‘Alicia’ Bag $39.95

3 x Dresses

I love dresses, as they are an instant outfit – just thrown them on and go. You can also throw them over a swimsuit as a cover-up. Take a mix of styles and lengths of dresses, so that you can create different looks with a simple shoe change or addition of accessories such as earrings. Again, if you’re a kaftan fan, you could substitute one dress for a kaftan or simply pack a couple, as they really don’t take up much luggage space or weight at all.

Off The Shoulder: Katies Embroidered Ruffle Strap Dress $79.95
Blush Pink: Seed Embroidered Frill Sleeve Dress $129.95
Black Maxi: Katies Double Strap Maxi Dress $69.95

4 x Tops

Packing four tops means you can wear a different one each day and then rotate. It’s also handy to have this number of options in case you spill something on one – you know you’ve got backups. I wore sleeveless tops the entire time I was away as it was so hot and humid, however no matter what sleeve length you choose, just make sure you choose light and breathable fabrics to keep you cool and comfortable. And a packing tip? Roll rather than fold. It saves space and ironing.

Black Tank: Katies Sleeveless Tank $14.95
Grey Tank: Seed V Front Back Tank $39.95
White Tank: Katies Sleeveless Tank $14.95
Stripe Tee: Seed Splice Stripe Tee $49.95

1 x Hat

I confessed that I forgot to pack and hat, and boy did I regret it! Had I remembered, I would have taken a trilby style because it doesn’t take up too much room in your luggage, nor will it be squashed out of shape. If this isn’t your favourite shape or you like a little more coverage, try a floppy wide brimmed hat. Whichever style of hat you choose, to ensure it makes to your destination in one piece, pack it in the middle of your suitcase, stuff the inside of the hat with rolled up items of clothing and carefully pack clothing all around it. Or simply carry it on board with you!

Hat: Piping Hot ‘Paloma’ Trilby Hat from Target $15

3 x Bottoms

Something happened to me on this trip to Bali … I became an avid shorts lover! I found them so easy to throw on and I felt totally comfortable in them. It all came down to trying on different styles to find the right ones for me. One night, I wore a black tank with my black Witchery shorts and black FRANKiE4 sandals out to dinner and absolutely loved this outfit – one I’ll be repeating at home this summer. If you’re not a shorts lover, sub them out for skirts instead. Just be sure to pack a mix of colours and fabrics to create different outfits with your tops.

Chambray Shorts: Witchery Tuck Pocket Shorts $79.95
Khaki Shorts: Katies Stitch Detail Shorts $39.95
Black Shorts: Witchery Sateen Shorts $89.95

2 x Swimsuits

I packed three swimsuits but only ended up wearing two, as I just alternated them each day. I’m a one piece fan myself, so have included them in this post but please pack the style of swimsuit you’re most comfortable in and – most importantly – wear them! Don’t sit on the sidelines! Get in the pool, get in the ocean, get out there and enjoy your holiday. Life’s too short! And if you do plan on getting a hint of colour while you’re away, pack a style that can be worn strapless to avoid the dreaded tan lines (and be sure to religiously apply and reapply sunscreen).

Polka Dot Swimsuit: Target Shape Your Body One Piece Swimsuit $49
Floral Swimsuit: Target Shape Your Body One Piece Swimsuit $49

3 x Shoes

And finally – shoes! I admitted to packing seven pairs of shoes. This included a pair of flip flops, two pairs of sandals, two pairs of wedges, sneakers and my bridesmaid heels. Yes, I wore them all! But in reality, if you’re simply going on a weeklong holiday (with no wedding or special event to consider) you really can get away with just packing three pairs. My ratio tends to be two flats and one pair of wedges. And generally speaking, when I travel, I tend to pack FRANKiE4 shoes as they are designed by a podiatrist and I’ve worn them walking around all day and still been able to dance the night away. Comfort that doesn’t compromise on style. It really does pay to pack good quality shoes when you go away, as it means you won’t miss a second of your holiday. Your feet will thank you for it!

Tan Sandals: FRANKiE4 ‘KAT’ Sandals $189.95
Black Sandals: FRANKiE4 ‘ViCTORiA’ Sandals $190.95
Wedges: FRANKiE4 ‘CHLOE’ Wedges $209.95

Last but not least, my biggest packing tip is to make sure everything mixes and matches. Tops match bottoms match shoes match bags. This will ensure you wear everything you pack and everything you wear will look like a great outfit.


And pack an empty carry on bag inside your suitcase for any fabulous purchases you might make while you’re away.

What are your top tips for packing for a holiday?

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click to buy the item, I earn a little commission but you don’t pay any extra.


  1. Nevenka says

    Heading off to Bali in one week and your tips for packing have been fantastic. I also managed to find some amazing shorts in Target that are fantastic for women our height 😀Tencel short $29 and Soft pull on short $12. They are so lightweight and comfortable. Looking forward to a fun week with some of my girlfriends in Bali🍸

    • Sonia says

      Oh I’m so glad I could help! I’ve seen the shorts you’re talking about and I’m mighty tempted to get them for myself. Enjoy Bali – have a cocktail for me!


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