What to Expect and What to Know
First-time travelers to Bali may experience feelings of anxiety for the unknown or make assumptions of the airport arrival process. In either case, here are a few tips and information to make your arrival into Bali easier and less stressful:
Aside from your passport and filled-out arrival form, make sure to also have your boarding pass as it is required from the immigration officer to complete your entrance into Bali. (Also, check online before your arrival if you need a visa to enter the country.)
Baggage Claim & Customs
Expect a long waiting time for your luggage. Bali is a travel hotspot with multiple flights arriving at the same time and sharing the same conveyer belt.
Once you finally collect all your luggage, proceed to customs where you will likely have to wait in line for a luggage and hand carry security check. Place all items on the scanner. Pick up your belongings and walk out towards the exit.
As soon as you exit, expect a massive sea of signboards and pagers from all the hotels, resorts, and private drivers on the island. It will undoubtedly overwhelm you. As overwhelming as it is, I highly suggest arranging for a hotel car. Taxis are known to take advantage of passengers coming out of the airport, and Ubers/Grabs are currently not allowed to enter the premises to pick up passengers (though rules are constantly changing).
Go as slow as necessary to spot your name or hotel name. Wave to the guy who will tell you to walk out towards the left. After walking towards the left, make the first right and you will finally exit the airport to a crowded arrival terminal.
Find the guy with your signboard, either as soon as you exit or walk towards where you saw him standing. And then he will escort you to the exit. You can also stop to exchange some money at the airport for the convenience of already having local currency.
Finally, once you enter your vehicle, expect crawling traffic out of the airport. As soon as you exit the airport grounds, welcome yourself to Bali!
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