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Single Mom Indonesia Vacation for 2 months with 4 year old- suggestions please!

Single Mom Indonesia Vacation for 2 months with 4 year old- suggestions please!

Old Feb 4th, 2018, 10:16 PM
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Single Mom Indonesia Vacation for 2 months with 4 year old- suggestions please!

Hello all,
I'm trying to plan a vacation with my son to Indonesia this October/November. I am getting overwhelmed with the options and different areas. Some things you may want to know about me:
I would like to choose 3-4 different places to be during the two month trip. I only speak English, so it is necessary that I stay places where that isn't a problem. I'm not really a resort person. I wouldn't mind staying in a nice resort for a few nights as a treat, but I prefer to stay in AirBnbs with kitchens and a living space (and hopefully a pool!). I like to be near a town to walk around and explore in. I also would love to stay near a beach for a lot of the trip. I am a single mom traveling with my awesome 4 year old son, so I hope to stay places that will be safe for us. Big cities are not really our thing, but we wouldn't mind it for a small portion of the trip if there are worthwhile things to do there. I also love food, so places with great cheap restaurants are awesome too!

This is what I was thinking so far:
Fly in to Jakarta
Spend 4 nights in Jakarta (would this be too overwhelming for a kid who's just gotten off a 20 hour flight?- Should we go straight to Bali? It's $300 more though...)
Fly from Jakarta to Bali
Spend 49 nights in Bali area (is this too long?)
-During this time:
-Go to Lombok on ferry and stay for a bit (how long/which island?)
-Maybe fly to Sulawesi for a week?
-Go to Komodo?
Fly back to Jakarta
Stay for 1 night
Fly home (LAX)

Is Bali the right place for us? I don't want to be a traditional tourist, but it seems to be the place that is best for English speakers and it doesn't seem too expensive if we avoid the resorts.
Where to stay within Bali? Maybe most of the time near the beach, but take some time inland as well? Where?
Which beach area is best to stay in? (beautiful and no strong currents/safe for a kiddo, not too touristy or expensive)

Are there other places that I don't yet know about that I should be going too?

Thank you so much for any help you can give me!!
aubzy123 is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2018, 10:13 AM
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I'd suggest Yogyakarta, rather than Jakarta for your first stop. Depending on your proposed routing from LAX, you may be able to skip even landing in Jakarta on the way. For instance, I believe there are direct flights from Singapore to Yogya. Check. Jakarta doesn't have a very good reputation though I haven't been there (because of the rep) and maybe someone else can advise. I love Jogya. Then on to Bali where you'll be happy, I'm sure, for the duration.

Decide, too, how you want to handle the visa situation. If I understand it correctly, a visa on arrival in Indonesia is good for 30 days. One in advance of travel is 60 days. Both can be renewed, it'll just depend on whether you want to bother while you're there. It sounds easy enough to renew and save yourself the bother from home. On the other hand, having your 2 months in hand when you arrive has its advantages.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 11:26 AM
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I, too, recommend skipping Jakarta. I've been there and it makes other Asian cities look orderly.

MmePerdu's suggestion of Yogyakarta is a good one. It would allow you to visit Borobudur and Prambanam. I expect your 4 yo will not be very interested in this, however. I expect you will want to spend most of your time in Bali. Get yourself a guidebook for Bali. I'm not sure there is any beach where a 4 yo could play in the water without risk, but there are certainly calmer beaches and more wild ones. For an inland stay on Bali, consider areas near Ubud.

You may find that connecting to Bali through Singapore is more practical. Singapore is a big city, but far, far more manageable than Jakarta .
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 04:38 PM
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I skipped Jakarta, but loved Yogyakarta and agree that it would give you some options that are well worth considering.

If you haven't already seen it, you might get some useful ideas or information in my trip report:
A Memorable Solo Month in Singapore, Java, and Bali
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 05:49 PM
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I would also suggest giving Jakarta a miss. It doesn't seem to fulfill anything on your wishlist. AirAsia flies from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bali/Denpasar, Lombok and many other parts of Indonesia. Flights are cheap and efficient and it's easy to make reservations on their website.

If you and your son are Americans, you can enter Indonesia visa free and stay for 30 days. If you wish to stay longer you either have to get 60 day visas outside of Indonesia or get an extension while in Indonesia. If you get the 60 visas at an Indonesian Embassy or Consulate before you enter the country be sure to check the "use by" date. Also, your passports must be valid for 6 months after your arrival date in Indonesia.

If you plan to extend your visa while in Indonesia, DO NOT enter Indonesia visa free. You have to BUY visas on arrival which cost USD35. These are the only visas that can be extended. A visa agent will handle your visa extension. It costs about USD75 and takes about 10 days, so you'll want to stay in one place while it's being processed. Alternately you could just fly AirAsia to Singapore at the end of 30 days, then re-enter Indonesia for another 30 days.

I would agree that a few days in Central Java (Yogyakarta and the countryside around Borobudur) would be a good starting point. You might also like East Java -- Malang and the Mt. Bromo area. If you go overland to the west coast of Java you can take the ferry to Bali and spend a few days on the north coast around Menjangan Island and Pemuteran.

You'll find the most child friendly beaches on Bali's east coast (Sanur, Candidasa, Amed) and in Lombok and the Gilis. Don't expect to find life guards

There are many, many charming villages in Bali that would be welcoming spots for a few weeks, in the country side around Ubud, or further north around Munduk, further East around Sidemen. The beach community around Batu Bolong (part of Canggu) is full of Western families with small children. Not a safe swimming beach but a lively family friendly area.

Local transportation in Bali is limited, but there are quite a few walkable (or bicycle friendly) communities. I would urge you not to travel by motor bike with your child. Taxis -- both metered and unmetered -- are plentiful and cheap. Medical care is just okay in Bali and inadequate in other areas. Be sure to have medical evacuation insurance!

Whether you stay in the Java-Bali-Lombok triangle or venture to other islands really depends on what you want to see and do and your tolerance for travel with a small child. English is widely spoken in most tourist destinations. Be extremely cautious in choosing water transport as small boats are often not equipped with safety equipment.

You won't have any trouble finding inexpensive rental villas with or without pools, either through Airbnb or through private rentals which are widely advertised. Usually they come with dedicated staff who will clean and cook basic Indonesian food. Be very careful around the pool, though. Childproof fences and gates are rare and many child care givers don't know how to swim themselves. Also, don't choose a villa in isolated locations unless it has 24H security.
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Old Mar 5th, 2018, 09:39 PM
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Thank you so much for your thorough answer!
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Old Mar 5th, 2018, 09:40 PM
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Thanks! It looks like flights to Singapore are relatively cheap, so I'll probably go that route. I appreciate the advise!
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Old Mar 5th, 2018, 09:49 PM
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If routing through Singapore, consider spending a few days there.
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Old Mar 9th, 2018, 12:17 AM
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Hii,

Yes Bali is a right place for you to visit along with your Kid, best destinations in Bali are Hard Rock Hotel, Bali Dynasty Resort, Flora Kuta, Seminyak, Nusa Dua,Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Bali, Samabe Bali Suites and Villas, Ritz-Carlton, Sanur, Ubud etc.. you can visit these places in Bali as they are very beautiful and interesting.
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Old Mar 9th, 2018, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tralamo View Post
best destinations in Bali are Hard Rock Hotel, Bali Dynasty Resort, Flora Kuta, Seminyak, Nusa Dua,Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Bali, Samabe Bali Suites and Villas, Ritz-Carlton, Sanur, Ubud etc.. you can visit these places in Bali as they are very beautiful and interesting.
To each his/her own! Ubud is the only place on this list that made my list of priorities....
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