As we stepped out of our hotel’s minivan we had no idea what was awaiting us as we walked up to Kuta Beach. Within minutes we were fully surrounded by about 20 people all trying to sell us something. There was yelling, grabbing and that was just us trying to get out of there. We tried to walk off and get away but it seemed that everyone just followed us and would not take no for an answer. For our daughters, it was just too much especially for the youngest. I thought then and there that we had made a massive mistake as Marley was in tears begging to go home. Our first visit to Kuta Beach Bali with kids was a massive fail.
Now you need the best beach gear for the whole family!
Fast forward a couple of days and as we got back into our hotel’s minivan I hoped that this trip to Kuta Beach would go much better. If it didn’t there was no way we would be going back and we would be those people that said they had not visited one of the biggest Kuta attractions! Everyone had said to us that a visit to Kuta Beach Bali was one of the best things to do in Bali with kids and I really wanted to experience it! We got dropped off in a different spot and before long we had found a good spot to sit and enjoy some time there. I wish we had have known some of these tips before we took on Kuta Beach Bali with kids so I hope our mistakes will help you!
Don’t get dropped off right at the start
I honestly think this was our biggest mistake on our first full day in Bali with kids. We got dropped off right at one of the main shopping parts of Kuta Beach and we got swarmed immediately. Shopping is also one of the biggest Kuta attractions for many visitors to Bali so most people think you are there to do a lot of it. The next day we got dropped off a little bit further down Kuta Beach and everyone seemed so much more relaxed and not as pushy. This is where we decided to sit. There were also toilets nearby which we needed so many times over the afternoon.
*There is a little sign at the toilets to say they are Rp.2000 to use them. There was a box and some guys who were standing there demanded it every time. I think we totally got conned with this as they weren’t there the day before but Willow was the first to use them and they scared her a little bit. At the end of the day, they were 20 cents to use and they were clean. Plus one thing we did notice was that there were so many parents wandering Kuta beach with kids looking for a toilet.
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Find a place you feel comfy to stay for a while
As we walked further down Kuta Beach people became less pushy and we picked some people to sit with because as soon as we said no thanks they went back to work. We decided for us these guys would be pretty good and they were fantastic. We ended up going back a few nights later and we deliberately found them again to sit under their umbrella and buy beer from them. Edu and Gahli were brilliant. It was these guys who made our visit to Kuta Beach Bali with kids amazing. They sure did make up for the first crazy experience.
Get ready to say no thanks a lot!
As you sit down and enjoy where you are there will be people walking the beach trying to sell you everything you can imagine. You don’t have to be rude or anything but they really will try to make you buy. You just have to keep saying no thanks and
*Most of the adults walking are pretty good but we warned about the cute little kids that approach you They have been .known to take off with people’s belongings before or swipe a little bit of money left on the table. Like anywhere be careful with our belongings and NEVER leave them unattended.
Do you need help kid wrangling?
Taking the kids to the beach can be hard work and that is the exact same in Bali! The best thing about it is that you don’t have to wrangle a friend to come along with you, you can hire an extra set of hands! Yep, in Bali, you can hire a nanny to help you out with the kids on Kuta Beach! If this is something you would love to do contact the reception at your hotel and they may be able to put you in touch with a nanny that will suit you and your children.
Nanny tips in Bali
- There are not the same regulations regarding childcarers in Bali as at home so maybe get a nanny for a small amount of time to test her out before you go on a huge day out together. This may help you see if you are comfortable enough with who you have chosen or if you need to find someone else
- These ladies are magnificent and they will work hard with your children but please they will say no to most food and drinks when you offer so if you are getting something for yourself grab an extra one for them too.
Get a great bag for everything you need to pack for your trip.
Enjoy a cold drink while watching the waves roll in
I am not a beer drinker at all but I can tell you the Bintang Radler’s have me hook, line and sinker! I loved just sitting under the umbrella on Kuta Beach Bali having a chat and a beer with my husband as the girls had a lemonade. It was one of my favourite things to do in Kuta in the first few days of
*We returned a third time to Kuta Beach to enjoy a sunset. Again this was top of the list of so many of our friends as one of the best things to do in Kuta Bali. Marley had a swim, made some friends and we sat chatting to Edward and Gahli.
- You can also hire lounge chairs if sitting in the plastic ones are too uncomfortable. There are two next to each other and the only reason we didn’t hire them is that all four of us did not fit under the umbrella that comes with them. We know people who hire them all day, enjoy a swim, massage, beer and a cheeky nap when they are there. It is one of their best things to do in Kuta on their holiday.
Keep the kids happy: Get a Kuta Beach surf lesson
As we sat our youngest started to get bored after a swim. The guys where we were sitting offered Kuta beach surf lessons and Marley was seriously keen to give it a go. Again we stayed sitting here as we were not bothered by anyone and felt really comfortable there. Gahli came over once and asked if Marley wanted a lesson and when we said no he was ok with that, he didn’t harass us again. After a little while, Marley went over and asked to have a Kuta Beach surf lesson. We paid $20 (Rp.200,000) for her to have a one on one lesson for over an hour and it was worth it!
*We are unsure if we should have bartered for a better price on the Kuta surf lesson but Marley very rarely has the courage to go and ask herself for something like this. We thought $20AUD for a one hour lesson was cheap. She spent about 10-15 minutes on the beach learning the basics before heading into the water. There was a quick 15-minute break after about 25 minutes for a drink and then they were back into the water again.
Make yourself happy: Get a massage
There are ladies that wander the beach offering to braid hair and even give you a massage. I could think of nothing better than having a massage on the beach but unfortunately, I am not able to have them done. I had one done once and it hurt for days.
*There are also people selling ice-cream, local food (which was awesome) henna tattoos, washable tattoos and sarongs. Whatever you need they just seem to wander up at some stage to you!
Don’t forget your sunscreen
It is an absolute must if you are going to brave Bali with kids. Just start putting it on as soon as you plan to go outside even if you are not even heading to the beach. The sun is super hot and I found that even with my darker skin I burnt quite easily. Willow and Mark are both redheads so they need to put sunscreen on continuously throughout the day. Even when we were under the umbrella they can become
Is Kuta Beach Bali safe for kids.
We found after a heavy rain that there was quite a lot of rubbish on the beach that had washed up and some large pieces of wood as well. When we posted a picture of it on our facebook page many of our friends who reulary visit Bali were really surprised. There were people picking up a lot of the rubbish at one stage a few days later.
Like many Australian beaches there are life guards that patrol the beach and look out for dangerous condidtions. They know the beach well and really do look out for you. It is not their job to baby-sit your children at Kuta beach though so do not leave them unattended there. They also have the same red and yellow flags so if you are not a great swimmer you need to be where these guys are.
*It was getting late in the afternoon when one of the guards came over to talk to Edward and Gahli. I asked what was going on and he said ‘look at the cloud, big storm coming’ He was spot on too. These guys know their stuff and if you are visiting Kuta beach for the first time these guys will help you if you get into trouble.
Should you visit Kuta Beach Bali with kids?
Many people will tell you to avoid it and in all honesty, we would have said the same thing if you asked us the first time we visited Kuta beach. Mind you there are some great beach clubs available in Bali. Visiting Bali with kids will be tough, the heat alone will knock them about. Getting out of the hotel or resort to a beach can be a great way to see some of Kuta while you are there and a good cheap day out.
They can play in the sand and get some swimming in, they may even make some new friends to play with. We do think a visit to Kuta should be on the list of things to do in Bali while you are there and we hope you have an amazing time sitting on the beach enjoying your relaxing holiday in beautiful Indonesia.
More about the Author
Bec Wyld is a mother, wife and once reluctant traveller. Bec has been to over 30 countries across the globe. I have planned and stressed in all of these places. Becs writing can be found on Wyld Family Travel and as a guest poster and contributor on many other travel websites including Lonely Planet Kids