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10 reasons why you should book a solo trip to Bali

May 17, 2024 by Steph Herron

At Go Ahead, we know that solo travel can be life-changing—just ask Staffer Steph. She took an unforgettable solo trip to Bali and is sharing her top 10 reasons why you should take our new Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour.

There’s no place like Bali. The Indonesian oasis is chock-full of stunning beaches, ancient temples, stop-you-in-your-tracks scenery, and delightful cuisine. Known as the Island of the Gods, this spiritual paradise makes the ideal setting for a solo adventure—and I’m speaking from personal experience. In 2019, I spent over a month traveling solo around Bali. It’s been years, but I still smile remembering the sweet, woody scent of incense in the air and the almost-electric energy of the island. Planning travel to Bali from U.S. and Canadian cities takes time, but the good news is that you can set off on your own epic, 10-day solo adventure on our Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour. I can think of so many reasons why Bali solo travel should be on your bucket list, and I’ve compiled my top ones for you.

1. To get your own “Eat, Pray, Love” moment

The island of Bali is practically synonymous with solo travel thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. A large portion of the book (and its film adaptation) acts as a love letter to the island. Who can forget Julia Roberts peacefully cycling by rice fields? But what makes Bali one of the best places to travel solo? And, why was Bali solo travel the key to the “love” part of Gilbert’s journey? I’d argue that treating yourself to a solo trip to paradise is a fantastic way to lean into self-love. Going solo means spending more time with yourself—and quality time with yourself on this spiritual island is powerful. Bali is an oasis of holistic therapies (think: sound bowl healing, meditation, juice cleanses, even ecstatic dance classes to let out your inner child). If you’re looking to unlock a new level of self-acceptance, a solo trip to Bali may be the key.

On our Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour, whether you opt to lose yourself in Ubud’s spirituality or let the island’s natural wonders move you, you’ll appreciate the time with yourself and the moments surrounded by other solo travelers.

Fall in love with yourself on tour

2. To sample the local flavors

If you’re not already familiar with the sensational tastes of Indonesian food, you’re in for a treat. The country’s cuisine bursts with flavor thanks to the bountiful local herbs and spices. Rice is also a staple in Balinese dishes—thanks to the island’s many terraced rice fields—and it’s seasoned so spectacularly that you’ll never tire of it. My favorite dish I tried in Bali had to be nasi goreng. This fried rice dish is something I still crave to this day.

I recommend diving into Indonesian delicacies during free time by swinging by local warungs (small, traditional restaurants). On any of our Bali tours, just ask your expert Tour Director for their restaurant recommendations, and prepare to be blown away by the stellar service, low prices, filling portions, and top-notch flavors. Plus, don’t forget to order a cold Bintang (Indonesian beer) or fresh coconut water to accompany your meal!

If you’d like to learn more about the island’s iconic dishes while on our Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour, you’re in luck: You’ll take a Balinese cooking class to practice making some local dishes yourself. No Bali tour package would be complete without a focus on food, and this is a unique opportunity to learn the techniques behind the island’s culinary traditions. (Plus, the recipes you’ll bring back home will become travel gifts that keep on giving.)

Enjoy Balinese delicacies

3. To meet new friends who love travel as much as you do

One of the best parts of solo travel? Befriending other curious globe-trotters! When you take our Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour, you’ll spend your days exploring this stunning island with 15-28 other solo travelers. While you traverse rice fields, mingle with monkeys, and explore temples, you won’t only be making memories—you’ll be forging new friendships as well. Before you go, be sure to check out some top tips on finding a travel buddy on our Solo Tours.

Before my solo trip to Bali, I remember being nervous at the thought of trying to meet new people. That’s always an exhilarating aspect of solo travel. Your experience will be shaped by and shared with friends you haven’t met yet. In my case, any apprehension I felt evaporated completely once I began exploring the island. There are solo travelers everywhere on Bali—including the ones in your tour group! It’s perfectly normal to sit down at a shared table in a restaurant and strike up conversations with fellow explorers. You’ll hear the most fascinating stories, and you may just make a few new friends for life. It’s been five years since my solo trip to Bali, and reflecting on the beautiful connections I made on the island still brings a smile to my face.

Make new friends on your solo tour

4. To embrace your adventurous spirit

Solo travel is all about leaving your comfort zone, and what better way to do so than by trying something new? Bali offers plenty of opportunities to embrace your adventurous spirit. Whether you opt to rent a bike and cycle by rice fields, take a dip in the Indian Ocean, visit jungle waterfalls, meet monkeys in the Ubud Monkey Forest, or simply set off on a stroll in Ubud to discover the town’s hidden gems with your fellow solo travelers, there are so many unforgettable things to do on Bali.

During my time on the island, I pushed myself to rent a bike and ride around the island. It’s one of the most common forms of transportation in Bali, but the thought of navigating the foreign, winding streets intimidated me. Working up the courage to cycle around took some mental gymnastics, but the reward of pushing myself outside my comfort zone was so liberating! There was an added sense of pride I felt zooming down the island roads knowing that I’d challenged myself to leave my bubble. In Bali, anything feels possible, so I’d encourage adding something that challenges you to your Bali itinerary.

Bike ride around Bali

5. To focus on health and wellness

Bali is a renowned locale in the wellness world, so if you’re looking for a trip that gives you time to focus on yourself, our Bali travel package promises to deliver. It’s fun to embrace this side of the island, so we build in activities on our Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour to help you do just that. We’ll immerse you in the local yoga culture with an included sunrise class in Ubud. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, you’ll enjoy the backdrop of lush rice paddies and tranquil jungle landscapes. If you’re looking for even more wellness, I recommend filling your free time on tour with additional classes. Ubud has everything ranging from traditional hatha and vinyasa to more specialized practices like yin and kundalini, as well as meditation and reiki. Your options are endless!

On my solo trip to Bali, I definitely leaned into the health and wellness side of the island and found it to be both fun and healing. I tried out reflexology in Ubud with a local legend affectionately known as “Papa,” treated myself to a weeklong yoga retreat, challenged myself with meditation classes (and learned quickly how hard it is to quiet your mind), ate vegan, and even got my star chart analyzed in a Vedic astrology reading. The island has so many options, and you can use your free time on your Bali itinerary to focus on the things that call to you.

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6. To see the island’s stunning natural beauty

Bali is a paradise in so many ways, and this is only amplified for nature lovers. The island boasts truly breathtaking landscapes that range from tiered, emerald rice terraces, to cascading jungle waterfalls, to vibrant turquoise coasts, to volcanic backdrops. When you choose a solo trip to Bali, you’ll enjoy the freedom to marvel at these natural wonders at your own pace. And if you’re looking for more can’t-miss Southeast Asian sights, see whether a trip to Bali or Thailand is the perfect fit for you.

Nature enthusiasts on our new Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour should definitely opt to add the Rice Terraces, Ulun Danu Temple & Lunch excursion to their Bali tour package. This outing showcases the wondrous beauty of Pura Ulun Danu, a Hindu temple complex on the shores of Lake Beratan that seemingly floats atop the water. You’ll enjoy lunch with an awe-inspiring view of the lake before taking a stroll through some of the island’s famed rice terraces. If legendary landscapes are high on your bucket list when choosing Bali travel packages, then the rice paddies are a must-see. On my trip, I felt as though I discovered new shades of green while exploring these lush fields. They’re otherworldly!

Enjoy jaw-dropping views on tour

7. To meet the locals and embrace the culture

Solo travel is all about immersive experiences. Absorbing Balinese culture means engaging with the island’s friendly, hospitable people and learning about their ways of life. On my solo trip to Bali, I was continuously awed by the kindness of the locals. I remember one day I was walking through a remote part of Ubud when I tripped and hurt my leg. A Balinese woman nearby not only checked if I was okay, but ushered me into her home and tended to my injury. Despite a language barrier between us, there was a beautiful kindness to the interaction as she cut open an aloe vera leaf and placed it on my leg to soothe the pain. I find that this sweet moment is indicative of the warmheartedness of the local culture.

Our Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour overflows with opportunities to engage with the island’s people and culture. In Ubud, you’ll participate in a hands-on basket weaving workshop that’ll teach you to prepare your own canang sari (a small gift of gratitude locals prepare daily for Hindu deities), visit a nearby farming village to discover local customs, and take part in melukat, the local purification ceremony meant to cleanse mind, body, and spirit. Then, as you head south to Nusa Dua, you’ll explore temples and get the chance to observe an evening kecak, or fire dance. Prepare to be amazed as you watch dozens of locals create pulsing rhythms with only their voices, telling the tale of the Ramayana, a Hindu epic narrating the life of an exiled deity. This type of cultural deep dive will quickly demonstrate why Bali is known as the Island of the Gods.

Get to know the Island of the Gods

8. To discover the island’s powerful history

Bali’s rich history is evident in its temples, palaces, and archaeological sites. When you take a solo trip to Bali, you’ll feel connected to the past as you tour ancient sites and feel the powerful energy of the island. One unforgettable stop? The ninth-century Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, near Ubud. The famous temple offers a glimpse into Bali’s pre-Hindu past, with its mysterious demonic rock carvings (meant to ward off evil) and sacred bathing pools dating back over a thousand years. You’ll visit it on our Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour and get the chance to step inside its haunting entryway to feel for yourself the centuries of history that have unfolded beneath your feet.

Prepare for more than just temples, though. Even though the island is known as an epicenter of love and healing, Bali’s history is not without tragic moments. You’ll unpack it all alongside your expert Tour Director, leaving with an understanding of how the island has been impacted over the years by natural disasters, colonialism, and devastating genocide. These are heavy topics, but they’re crucial to cover to understand the island’s past, present, and future.

Learn all about Bali’s rich history on tour

9. To find coastal fun under the Balinese sun

Bali’s tropical climate and vibrant atmosphere make it the perfect playground for solo travelers seeking some sunny R & R. It’s an island oasis after all, so no solo trip to Bali would be complete without plenty of time to bask in the Balinese sun and dip your toes in the water. The island does seaside relaxation well, with countless beach clubs and spectacular spots to enjoy the warm, turquoise water. After my solo trip to Bali, I felt so rejuvenated from the moments spent sunbathing on the stunning coasts, swimming under waterfalls, and snorkeling among schools of colorful fish. Whichever island activity will fill your solo travel cup, chances are Bali has it.

Our Bali travel packages are designed to give you the opportunity to customize your tour with the leisure activities that you’ll enjoy. Maybe you want to try a surfing lesson during free time? Or relax during sunrise yoga on the beach? Or take to the seas and explore the smaller islands off Bali? You can do it all on our Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour. On this Bali itinerary, you’ll spend three nights in Nusa Dua on the island’s southern coast. While there, you have free time to fill your way. Either ask your Tour Director to help you arrange whichever activity would bring you bliss, or add our Nusa Lembongan Catamaran Cruise & Lunch excursion for a full day of fun in the sun. On the outing, you’ll board a luxury catamaran, sail in style to the tiny island of Nusa Lembongan, and disembark at a beach club where you can kayak, snorkel, and bop around the bay on banana boats. If you’re in the mood for something more low-key, relax on the sand, laze in the shade of the gardens, or lounge in the club’s lagoon pool—the choice is yours!

Bask in the Balinese sun

10. To slow down and practice mindfulness

Bali’s allure stretches beyond its stunning landscapes and rich history—it’s also a place where solo travelers can embrace a slower pace of life. Just wait for the tranquility you’ll feel as you immerse yourself in the island’s laid-back culture. From dewy morning yoga classes, to leisurely afternoon lunches, and evenings spent watching mesmerizing sunsets with a chilled Bintang beer in hand, Bali offers so many beautiful moments that encourage mindfulness and relaxation.

To truly practice mindfulness on the island is to embrace these everyday instances. Throughout my solo trip, Bali gave me so much serenity even when I was seemingly doing nothing extraordinary. But the taste of the rich cuisine, the warmth of the sun, and the laughter of new friends was all fuel for my soul. Bali’s warm, loving island culture makes finding inner peace and gratitude a breeze if you lean into it. Each moment on this tropical paradise can surprise and delight you, so slow down to soak up every moment. If you’re like me, you’ll cherish your memories from your solo trip to Bali for years to come.

Ready to find bliss on the Island of the Gods during a solo trip to Bali? Explore our new Bali for Solo Travelers: Beaches, Temples & Culture tour.

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About the author | Steph Herron
Since moving abroad for college at the age of 18, Steph’s never doubted that travel is her passion in life. When she isn’t seeking opportunities to satisfy her wanderlust—and inspiring others to do the same—you’ll find her exploring Boston’s vegan food scene, shopping for eclectic pieces to add to her closet, or rewatching 90s romantic comedies.

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