5. Northern Bali provided an escape from the tourist-filled beaches.
Traveler: mom + dad + baby + 4-year-old
Length of trip: 7 nights
What makes it perfect for a family vacation: The kindness of Balinese people and kid-friendly activities that introduce culture.
Living in Singapore, Bali has become a very accessible getaway — the flight is less than three hours long and tickets are often less than $200 roundtrip. It’s similar to how I saw Florida when I was living in New York.
As the kids have gotten older, we’ve been able to venture outside of Seminyak and Canggu — two towns in Bali that are often overpopulated with tourists — and explore places up north like Ubud and Monduk.
In Ubud, we brought the kids to the famous Sacred Monkey Forest. While it deserves a visit, we had to make sure to look after both children, as well as our hats, phones, and any snacks — these furry inhabitants love to snatch. Long walks along the rice fields were a welcome way to unwind and feel disconnected from day-to-day stress. For a bit of creativity, we popped into a homestay offering batik classes. My daughter and I enjoyed spending an afternoon learning this Indonesian technique of using wax and dyes to design patterns on cloth.
On a day when we needed a bit of time by the pool and a cocktail to help chill out, we rocked up to Jungle Fish Pool Bar. The pool looks out over the river valley and live DJs are usually around to set a great vibe.
Further north, Monduk is a mountain village in the highlands of northern Bali. We spotted only a few tourists as we hiked around water pools and bounced around on horseback.