This trip is SOLD OUT!
However, if you would like to be put on a waiting list or you would like to know about future trips with Nancy, please email [email protected]
For more 2015 trips to Bali & Lombok, and well as India & Nepal, please click the “RetreaTours™” link in the main menu.
|Bliss in Bali with Nancy Zampella|
Trip at a Glance:
April 19–May 1, 2015 (12 days and 12 nights)
Minimum 7 guests, maximum 12 guests
Guests are met at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
We travel to Sidemen& Ubud, Bali and Gili Trawangan & Mangsit Beach, Lombok
Daily yoga & body rolling with Nancy Zampella, MS, E-RYT
Accompanied by BJ & Lauren from Insight Travels
$3195 (double occupancy rate)
I Want In!
Send us an email to start the registration process immediately!
Click through the tabs below for a daily itinerary, price, registration, photo album, FAQ & more.
- Packing List
- About Nancy
- Daily Itinerary
- Yoga & Body Rolling details
- Price & Registration
- Registration Questions
- About our Accommodations
- Photo Album
- Food in Indonesia
- Optional Activities
- Optional add-on to Singapore
- Travel Insurance
- About BJ & Lauren
Bali Yoga Retreat Packing List (12 days/12 nights)
* You will be able to have laundry done and/or wash small things or undergarments by hand in your room.
We’ve designed the following recommendations with these facts in mind:
* Temples require that legs and shoulders be covered (which can be done with scarves/sarongs)
* Although very touristed and Westernized, Indonesian culture is still relatively modest.
* Keep in mind that Bj & Lauren travel year-round so we’re programmed to travel light; use this as a jumping off point, and know that the lighter your luggage is, the happier you will be while moving it. Plus, the more souvenirs you can bring back!!
* At the end of the day, you’d be able to purchase almost anything you need in Bali or Lombok, so you don’t need to pack as if you’re going to the moon or a deserted island. Just pack your favorites & have fun!
* Undergarments (up to you, but we’d recommend at least 5 pair)
* One pair of athletic shoes /some socks should you decide to participate in some hiking or bike riding
* One pair or more of sandals/flip-flops
* At least one light scarf or sarong for covering shoulders and/or legs if you go inside a temple and are wearing shorts or a sleeveless top. (Temples require that legs and shoulders be covered. They very often will have shawls ‘for rent.’) You can DEFINITELY buy a sarong in Bali or Lombok for just a few dollars.
* 1-2 pair modest shorts (around the knee or not too much above), skirts, or capri pants
* 1-3 pair light pants or long skirt to cover up at night (added mosquito protection) or when going to temples
* 3-5 lightweight shirts, short-sleeved or sleeveless/tanktops.
* 1-2 swimsuits, as every hotel will have at least one pool or ocean within a stone’s throw! A swimsuit cover up, too, if you want to lounge after taking a dip.
* While we don’t have anything too fancy on the agenda, feel free to bring any sundresses or lightweight dresses you enjoy wearing!
* Whatever you like to sleep in (especially for those of you with roommates! ;) )
* Some cozy clothes to bum around in by the pool or in your room, if that wasn’t already taken care of above.
* Hat with a brim for sun protection
* Preferred yoga clothes; it will be warm & humid, so base your decisions on that. If you want to participate in yoga more than once a day, you might not want to put on the same sweaty clothes, so consider bringing 2 to 3 sets of “yoga friendly clothing.” (What is “yoga friendly clothing”? Basically any clothes you feel comfortable stretching and moving in. That could mean shorts and a shirt, or that could mean a sports bra and ‘yoga pants.’ You may want to choose shirts that won’t rise up when you’re bent over, but it’s all a personal preference.)
* PASSPORT! ; ) Please also have a copy of your passport, as well. (Again, make sure it’s valid at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Bali.)
* Small towel for yoga class (for sweat or hand slippage)
* Sunscreen; although you can buy it in Bali, it’s MUCH more expensive.
* Small travel umbrella for rain OR shine.
* Insect repellant
* Prescription glasses and/or contact lenses & supplies
* Eyeshades or ear plugs if they help you sleep in a new place or on the airplane; there are also more than a few eager roosters around!
* Plug adaptor for Bali & Lombok (they use the 2-prong European-style one there): http://www.amazon.com/
* Notebook or journal is highly recommended!
* Alarm clock in some fashion, be it a watch or your phone.
* Camera / camera battery charger / memory cards
* If you bring your phone (for wifi, etc), don’t forget your charger!
* ATM card for any money for optional activities or souvenirs; please call the issuing bank beforehand to let them know you will be traveling in Indonesia (and any other layover stops) so they don’t put a hold on your card.
* A couple small packs of tissues, whether for running noses, sweaty foreheads, or emergency toilet paper.
* “Wet wipes” for your yoga mat after class–you’ll be thanking yourself the next time you open the mat!
* Small flashlight or flashlight app on your phone if you go exploring after dark (or just for walking back to your room some evenings!)
* Any prescription drugs you may need; although there are phramacies readily available in most of the cities we will be staying in, we’d prefer you are well-stocked on both prescription and over-the-counter products you anticipate needing, including things like painkillers (ibuprofren)
* Speaking of over-the-counter drugs, you may want to bring melatonin and/or Benadryl to help you fall & stay asleep the first few nights due to jetlag. If you have a sensitive stomach when adjusting to new food, some Imodium might also be a good idea.
* Speaking of drugs, we just want to reiterate that Indonesia has a zero tolerance policy on illegal drugs!
* TSA-approved locks for your suitcases
* Preferred toiletries; all of the places we will be staying have soap and even shampoo in the bathroom, but you may want to bring a small bottle of conditioner. Complimentary hotel toothpaste tends to be pretty gross, so don’t forget toothpaste, too!
* Reading material (print or electronic!) for the plane and lazy days by the pool
This is our intended itinerary, but we always remain open and flexible to the desires and needs of our guests. Plenty of time will be built into your experience to explore on your own, shop, and discover with friends old and new!
April 19th, Sunday ~ [Sidemen, Bali] You’ll be picked up at the airport in Denpasar (Ngurah Rai International Airport) when you arrive on the 19th. You’ll head straight to our magical retreat space in Sidemen, where you’ll have views of both Mt Agung and the Bali Sea. You can relax in one of three pools on site, each with their own distinct view. Nancy will offer suggestions for post-travel stretches and restorative poses that will help reduce the stiffness and fatigue of jetlag.
April 20th, Monday ~ [Sidemen] Sidemen is the perfect place to begin our RetreaTour™ of Bali & Lombok. You’ll be able to unwind in peace, listening to magnificent songs of Indonesian birds and taking in the fragrance of the frangipanis. Sidemen is a hidden gem in Bali, a thick carpet of verdant rice fields nestled between the mountains and the sea. Many say it reminiscent of Ubud 100 years ago!
Your feet will feel great as we roll away aches & pains, enhance the flow of energy throughout the entire body, and tone up all the organs by rolling out the feet in our daily practice.
April 21st, Tuesday ~ [Sidemen] We’ll have our own private open air yoga space next to a small temple, with views of holy Mt Agung to our right and the Bali Sea in the distance to our left. The mountains and water reflect our own ability to stand strong but still be flexible and pliant. There are two restaurants on site, each with different views of the landscape and each with their own take on Asian cuisine.
April 22nd, Wednesday~ [Sidemen, Bali to Gili Trawangan, Lombok] One of the many benefits of Sidemen is how close we are to Padangbai Harbor, where we’ll take a fast boat to Bali’s neighboring island, Lombok. Specifically we’re headed to one of the very small islands, or gilis, off Lombok’s NW coast, Gili Trawangan. We’ll stay at the quiet south end of Trawangan, with gorgeous views across the water to the mountains of Lombok.
April 23rd, Thursday~ [Gili Trawangan] Gili Trawangan might just be one of the best places on the planet for snorkeling and diving. (We’re including a snorkeling trip to all the gili islands for you). Just off shore on Trawangan you’ll find sea turtles contentedly drifting, schools of brilliant fish swirling, dynamic coral formations, and some of the most brilliant turquoise water you’ve ever been immersed in.
Yoga for the eyes will help you take in the astounding beauty without any strain. Plus, using a smaller ball can relieve the stress patterns that cause wrinkles, hydrate your tissues, and reduce congestion and inflammation with light pressure. Learn which yoga poses bring a blush to your cheeks, unclog your sinuses, and release the jaw. It’s a veritable yogic spa day!
April 24th, Friday ~ [Gili Trawangan] Did you know there are NO vehicles on the gili islands? The island is totally walkable, but there are also traditional horse carts. Can you imagine going several days without seeing or hearing any cars or motorcycles? Also, let’s talk about the food! You don’t know the meaning of fresh seafood until you’ve eaten on Gili Trawangan. Dozens of beach cafes serve the freshest fish possible, grilled to order; but there’s also some stellar Italian food, continental fare, vegetarian delights.
Did you know that both yoga & body rolling can enhance digestion and assist the body in detoxification? The day’s yoga session will show you how helpful both modalities can be in this regard.
April 25th, Saturday ~ [Gili Trawangan to Mangsit Beach, Lombok] Today we’ll take a quick boat ride to the mainland of Lombok and head a bit south to the Mangsit Beach area (just north of the tourist center of Senggigi). On the way to Mangsit, we’ll head to a pristine pair of waterfalls in the north part of the island. On the drive, we will stop to meditate at the famous Mount Rinjani. The rugged beauty of this mountain will transport you to ancient times.
April 26th, Sunday ~ [Mangsit Beach] Our resort on Mangsit sits on a delightful beach which offers surfing, swimming, and even fishing options. The pools look out onto the water and, more impressively, over the Lombok Strait onto Bali’s Mount Agung. This volcano on Bali provides a stunning sunset silhouette as the sun sinks behind the island of Bali each evening. With this topographical reminder to inspire us to tap our inner fire, we’ll delve deeper into the questions of what brings us bliss and how we can make sure to seek it in our daily routines.
This beach resort also has an impressive hillside spa where we can indulge our bodies in deep massage and treatments, enjoy the refreshing pools, gorgeous beachside yoga class. Here we may also explore the rescued animal farm with exotic birds and even deer. When we’re not practicing yoga “upstairs” at the hillside location, there’s also a beautiful yoga and meditation garden for some breezy morning or evening yoga outside
April 27th, Monday ~ [Mangsit Beach, Lombok to Ubud, Bali] From the beach we’ll drive inland and fly out from Lombok’s new international airport, heading back to Bali. Our accommodations are a stone’s throw from working rice fields, but a just short distance away from the central shopping district with local batik fabrics, artisan handicrafts, jewelry, scarves, wood carvings, coffee, spices, and one of a kind decor pieces.
April 28th, Tuesday ~ [Ubud, Bali] You won’t believe we’re in the center of buzzing Ubud as you listen to the birds sing while you’re lounging in one of the pools on site; sure enough, though, we’re in the beating heart of Bali’s cultural center, with dance performances, shows, museums, and world-class dining. You also have the opportunity for some add-on activities, such as downhill biking on Bali’s volcanoes or hiking.
April 29th, Wednesday ~ [Ubud] During our stay in Ubud we’ll attend a first class cooking class that includes a visit to the market; more than just learning how to prepare the food, you’ll understand more about the beating heart of Bali’s beautiful and rich culture. Our class at a family compound will help you understand daily life in this special part of the world and the role of each family member.
April 30th, Thursday ~ [Ubud] This is our last full day in Ubud, especially reserved to revisit any of your favorite places or performances or to keep exploring new nooks & crannies! Now’s the time to seek out those special souvenirs or presents for your friends that couldn’t make it on this trip. We can never get enough Ubud cuisine—is there anything left on your list you haven’t sampled yet? Gado-gado, nasi goreng, bakso, beef rendang… Did you know that beef rendang was voted by CNN readers as the best food on the planet? Click here to read that article and click here to read about 40 of Indonesia’s best dishes.
May 1st, Friday ~ [Ubud to home] We’ll enjoy a final breakfast together before heading back to the airport in Denpasar. You’ll return refreshed, rejuvenated, strong in body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga is more than postures and stretching. Like nutrition, it is a way to transform the body, mind and spirit to achieve a more positive state. While the practice of yoga brings flexibility, strength and balance to the whole person, the healing benefits of yoga are limitless and best of all, accessible to all!
Nancy teaches an exceptionally therapeutic style of yoga, and incorporates the lessons learned from training across a wide variety of yoga styles by knowledgeable teachers and healers. She has personally experienced yoga’s power to heal in reversing her own painful carpal tunnel syndrome, torn hamstring attachments, and chondromalacia patella. Today, she delights in helping her students empower themselves to reverse the effects of chronic postural imbalances through correct alignment and a balanced yoga practice.
She continues her studies across many modalities. Her recent pursuits include recognizing a desperate need for myofascial release which she brings to her students via ball rolling massage and Yin Yoga.
Tell me about Body Rolling!
Roll your body out like dough on a small ball, stretching and elongating your muscles, dislodging tensions and discomfort, increasing blood flow, and promoting healing. Body rolling can loosen the shrink-wrapped myofascia surrounding the joints, freeing the muscles to enjoy greater range of motion, openness & relief. Prepare your body for yoga or rejuvenate anytime with the benefits of a deep self-massage.
Learn how body rolling can ease pain, relieve stiffness, lubricate your joints, free muscles, and improve your posture. Experience how making this part of your daily practice that will ensure you every part of you feels fantastic. Plus, this type of bone-building exercise ensures strong bones regardless of age! Can you say win-win?
The all-inclusive price for this trip is $3195, based on double-occupancy rooms. If you wish to have your own private accommodation, there is an additional $570 single supplement in order to provide you with your own room. If you wish to join in a double-occupancy room but don’t have a roommate, please contact Lauren and we will do our best to match you with a suitable partner who is also looking for a roommate (although there are no guarantees we can find you a roommate!)
INCLUDED IN YOUR YOGA JOURNEY IS THE FOLLOWING: all lodging; breakfast, lunch, and dinner; all the water, tea, and coffee your heart desires; all transportation in and between Bali and Lombok; daily yoga classes; site entrance fees; all tips and donations; one spa massage; one cooking class; snorkeling trip around the Gilis. We also provide a dedicated guest phone for international calls home.
Guests are responsible for: plane fare to and from Bali, required travel insurance (we recommend World Nomads), Indonesian visa (on arrival, $25 USD), specialty beverages (alcohol, vegetable juices, smoothies), desserts, souvenirs, and extra excursions/optional activities.
How do I sign up?
1. Send Lauren an email at [email protected] and tell us that you’re interested! You can also leave a message at 941-363-1065; as we are most likely on Asia time, we will call you back as soon as we possibly can. We’ll also address any questions you may have about the trip. We will send you a contract that you will return with your deposit.
2. Fully reserve your spot by paying the deposit of $700 and returning the contract. We love checks (made out to “Insight Travels, LLC” and sent to the address on the contract) and we’re now accepting credit card payments via PayPal (you can find the form below). There is a minimum of 6 guests that must sign up in order for this trip to take place. We will hold your deposit & payments until the minimum number of guests have signed up. If the minimum number of guests have not signed up 3 months prior to the departure date, we’ll give you the option to transfer your reservation to another tour or fully refund your money.
3. Complete the Registration Questions in the next tab on this page.
4. You’re in! Now you need a plane ticket to Bali; we’ll help you with details about flights to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. Please click here to read about some good approaches to buying a ticket to Bali from the US, including questions about flight time and routes.
|Bliss in Bali with Nancy Zampella|
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We travel the world year-round looking for comfortable hotels in gorgeous areas that have stellar locations, relaxing spas, convenient amenities, and innovative yoga spaces–we boldly do yoga where no one has done yoga before! We have spent years and a small fortune traveling to, inspecting, and staying in all of these accommodations, so we like to protect them (like our babies!) We don’t publish the names on the website because we have worked very hard to establish this combination of hotels and we’d like to think of them as “trade secrets.” We can vouch for all of these accommodations, as we have stayed there ourselves and developed relationships with the owners and staff.
All hotels we use have hot and cold water, wifi (in the room or in common areas), and air conditioning. [Note: twin beds are available if you and your roommate request them in our Registration Questions.] Please see the info sheets below for photos (most of them taken by us!) and know that you can click on the pictures to see a larger size; enjoy these descriptions of our lodging for 2015’s Bali & Lombok trips, and contact us if you have any questions!
Click on a picture for the larger, higher resolution photo. Once inside the album, you can click through using your arrow keys!Access Token not set. You can generate Access Tokens for your Page or Profile on fb.srizon.com. After generating the access token, insert it on the backend
A big concern for many travelers is “What will I eat overseas?!” There are so many TV shows these days that showcase international dishes that seem unusual, bizarre, or even downright unappetizing to Western palates. As entertaining as these shows might be, I think they do a disservice to would-be travelers. My husband just reminded me that Andrew Zimmern’s show had me convinced that every dish in Indonesia used blood as an ingredient. (And let me tell you that after 4 months in Indonesia over the past 2 years, I have not seen it even once!)
Before we get into the basics of Indonesian food, let me tell you that the places we’ll be taking you in Bali & Lombok all have a huge Western food selection, as well: pizza, pastas, burgers, fries, etc. So, if you’re in need of some comfort food or familiar tastes, you’ll be well taken care of. (BJ & I maintain that Ubud, Bali has some of the best Italian food in the world!)
One more note: Vegetarians will find plenty to eat in these areas, particularly with the addition of tofu and tempeh. Pescatarians (those who eat fish) will be in heaven, and we’ve successfully toured with Celiacs (allergic to gluten) in this part of the world with no problem.
Indonesian food is extremely accessible to foreigners, even though it may go by unfamiliar names. In addition, tofu and tempeh are easier to find in Indonesia than anywhere else in SE Asia. (Tempeh is a soy protein similar to tofu but less processed and with greater health benefits due to its fermentation. It’s actually quite delicious!) Check it out!
- Nasi Goreng = fried rice (Nasi means rice, and Goreng means “fried.”) This can be served with meat or tofu/tempeh; typically has a fried egg on top and shrimp rice crackers on the side.
- Mie Goreng = fried noodles (Mie = noodles). Typically wheat noodles—think “Top Ramen” style.
- Sate (satay) = BBQed meat (or tofu/tempeh) on skewers.
- Bakso = meatball soup, but can be any sort of meat, including fish.
- Gado gado = bear with us on this one, as it sounds off-putting but is delightful. It’s a salad of cooked greens and sprouts with peanut sauce on top, served with tofu/tempeh, a boiled egg, and a fresh salad of tomatoes, cucumber, and sometimes green beans. Typically also served with rice crackers. Somehow it all works, and is a solid vegetarian choice.
Lumpia = fried spring rolls
- Cap Cay (chap chai) = stirfried vegetables, Chinese-style, with meat or tofu/tempeh
- Beef Rendang = recently won a CNN Reader Poll for best dish in the world (click here for that story). This dish features beef that is slooooow cooked in a flavorful curry until you’re left with melt-in-your-mouth brisket-style beef with just hints of spice. Addictive.
- Soto ayam = chicken soup
A Quick Glossary
Ayam = chicken
Ikan = fish
Tahu = tofu
Air = Water (I know!)
Teh = tea
Kopi = coffee (note: coffee is served as a fine powder that is mixed with hot water, not usually a drip-brew.)
Optional activities in Bali & Lombok We’ve included in the price activities we think everyone will enjoy. However, there is plenty more to make your time in Bali and Lombok either more exhilarating or more relaxing! Here is an example list of extra activities by town; we’ve included prices when they are available. Please note that these amounts are approximate, based on 2013 prices.
- Visit coffee, spice & fruit plantation and try Luwak coffee.
- Visit a temple and a family house/compound. Organic buffet lunch in the village.
- Climb Mt. Batur for sunrise. $100 Drive to start at 2am, back in Ubud by around 10:30am. Lonely Planet recently ranked it as the 2nd best sunrise in the world.
- Shopping trip for furniture/artifacts. $50 includes private transport and lunch. BJ will take you to places to look at furnishings for your home. Shipping & customs can be arranged (reasonable cost but takes ~2 months). You can furnish your whole house for the same cost as furnishing one room at a furniture store in the USA. (Note that the cost is only for transportation and lunch; BJ’s advice is complimentary!)
- Visit a local Balinese healer/shaman.
GILI TRAWANGAN & MAINLAND LOMBOK::
- Scuba diving trips around the island with reputable diving companies; will you see turtles, eels, maybe the namesake of Shark Point? It’s possible!
- Massage and spa treatments.
- Will I need a visa? What about a passport?
Yes and yes! Your passport should not expire 6 months before the end of the scheduled trip. That is, if the trip in January 1 – January 15, 2015, your passport should be valid until at least July 15th, 2015.
You will receive your Indonesian visa-on-arrival at the airport for $25 USD; please do bring US dollars for this (exact change) to make the process as smooth as possible.
- What vaccines do I need?
No vaccines are required for entry, but we encourage guests to work with their own physicians or their local health department’s travel vaccine department about these choices. The CDC’s site (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/indonesia) is also a good thing to check, but know that they tend toward the overly cautious side.
We recommend all people traveling in Asia receive a Hepatitis A vaccine, Typhoid vaccine, and make sure their Tetanus vaccines are up to date.
- What about Malaria?
When people envision traveling in Asia, they almost certainly imagine a landscape thick with killer mosquitoes; we’ve found that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We actually often comment to each that we can’t believe how few mosquitoes we encounter on our travels!
While you need to discuss this question with your doctor, we feel that the minimal risk of malaria only warrants a bit of “bite-prevention.” Neither of us take any anti-malarial medication; rather we use common sense approaches to prevent being bitten, including long sleeves/pants at dawn/dusk, mosquito repellant, and mosquito nets at night when necessary. There is no vaccine for dengue fever, which is also transmitted via mosquito bite, so taking the above precautions is important all around.
- How will I get by without knowing the local language?
If English is your first language, you are truly in luck. We are constantly amazed by how much Asia speaks English—and relatively well, considering it’s usually they’re 3rd or 4th language!
That said, we always like to provide you with a few words that will go a long way, including the local greetings and words like “Delicious!” (Enak Sekali!) and “See you later!” (Sampai Jumpa Lagi!) It’s not required, but it always elicits a smile and we think it’s only right to learn at least a few local words.
- What about food? I don’t know if I like Indonesian food!
This seems to be a common concern amongst our guests, and certainly within our own families. [Lauren’s mom thinks we don’t eat (HA!) and BJ’s mom thinks we live on nothing but fried tarantulas and intestines, thanks to shows like Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods. In all fairness, though…we have eaten tarantulas.
We will always give you the inside scoop on local foods and delicacies; sometimes the dishes often sound exotic (like Mie Goreng) but are usually quite accessible (Mie Goreng = “Fried Noodles.”) Even if you don’t want to venture into local fare, almost every single restaurant in Bali & Lombok have Western food on the menu, everything from pizza to French fries to spaghetti carbonara (we maintain that Bali has some of the best Italian food in the world!) No worries (and no judgment) if you’re craving comfort food—it’s available!
- I have food allergies/intolerances or I’m a vegetarian/vegan—will I be OK?
One of our Registration Questions you’ll answer when you sign up for a trip asks about any food allergies or intolerance you may have. We’ve had celiac guests successfully navigate Indonesia (including Bali and Lombok); vegetarians should have no problem anywhere on our travels. Vegans will have to work slightly harder to ensure that no fish sauce is used in their dishes, but it is entirely possible.
Celiactravel.com has GREAT printable cards in local languages to present to restaurants and hotels about your intolerance of gluten. Click here for the Indonesian version. If you have multiple dietary needs, it may be worth your while to check out these specialty cards, available in 60 different languages. Let’s talk more about your specific needs—drop us an email and ask!
- Do I have to hang out with the group or can I adventure on my own?
You are more than welcome to participate in all or none of our scheduled group activities. We don’t want you to feel like you are at Travel Boot Camp–this is your vacation after all! That said, we plan our outings carefully in order to make them the most pleasant (best weather, fewest tourists, etc) so some of our activities DO take place around dawn. If that’s not your cup of tea, feel free to snooze away! Just make sure you have the hotel business card to show to taxi drivers (or helpful people on the street) in case you get turned around during solo exploration.
- Do I need travel insurance?
We require that our guests carry travel insurance because it just makes sense. It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind!
When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We also recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances.
We like World Nomads, but ultimately you have to choose the one that is right for you. If you’re 70 years old or older, you’ll have to use a different company; we like Travel Guard. We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance 60 days before your departure. Please click on the “Travel Insurance” tab on this page to get a quote. We love the services of these companies so much that we became affiliates, so we would ask that if you do choose to purchase these policies, you do it through our links.
- What about money? Can I use credit cards? Will there be ATMs?
Don’t count on using credit cards except for very large purchases (furniture, rugs, etc); most stores will only take cash. Some high end boutiques and galleries in Ubud will also take credit cards.
There will be ATMs at every destination, they can be few and far between. ATM fees can be high (although some banks, like Charles Schwab, refund all foreign ATM fees) so plan to get out a large chunk of money instead of getting a lot of small withdrawals. ATMs are a very convenient way to get local currency, though.
Make sure you alert your bank and credit card companies that you will be traveling abroad so they don’t put a hold on your card when they see it being used overseas!
- Can I smoke? Will other people be smoking?
None of our hotels allow smoking in the room and we don’t allow it during group dinners or other group activities. Yes, that means no smoking during yoga class, even ;) That said, smoking is not uncommon (typically by other foreigners) and should you need to, you’ll be able to find a spot outside to do the deed. Otherwise, we’ll avoid smoking and breathe in that clean Bali air!
- How do I get there?
Read this blog by BJ for a better idea of how to fly from Bali to US: http://www.retreatours.com/2014/05/flying-from-the-us-to-bali; this articles covers travel time and route options. We can help you select a flight that suits your needs when the times comes.
- How many people are going?
A minimum of 7 guests is required to make this trip happen, and we’re only taking up to 12 guests total. We will hold your deposit & payments until the minimum number of guests have signed up. If the minimum number of guests have not signed up 3 months prior to the departure date, we’ll give you the option to transfer your reservation to another tour or fully refund your money.
Singapore is truly a city of superlatives! While you’re “in the neighborhood,” we would be remiss if we didn’t advise a stop in this island country. It boasts the world’s largest aquarium, one of the world’s best zoos, a phenomenal botanical garden that is under review by UNESCO for becoming a World Heritage Site, a prized National Orchid Garden, the world’s tallest ferris wheel, the best airport in the world, the most expensive building ever built (at $6B) that houses the world’s highest swimming pool (at 57 stories)…. And that’s to say nothing of the shopping and the eating!! This island country is a feast for ALL the senses. It’s a challenge not to run yourself ragged trying to see everything there is to see, which is why we’ve created a list of the “greatest hits” and a selection of hotels that are centrally located.
A must on this leg of the trip is eating at a hawker center—essentially a covered food court stuffed to the gills with the tastiest, least expensive foods from around the region. Singapore is a tantalizing culinary crossroads, heavily influenced by flavors from Malaysia, China, India, as well as Thailand, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. You can explore the city from hawker center to hawker center, if you wish! And seeing the laser show at Marina Bay Sands is a must; the only question is, which side of the bay do you want to see it from? And yes, “both” is an option, as it plays twice a night.
Singapore has something for everyone, but not everyone wants to do the same thing! That’s why we’re not offering a structured tour of Singapore. Some people might want to spend all day at the National Orchid Garden, while others might prefer a hefty dose of retail therapy on Orchard Road. To each their own, we say! Instead, we can customize a trip based on how long you want to stay there (we recommend 3 days, although 2 is doable and more is better!) and how much you’d like to spend. We can create an itinerary based on your interests that you can easily follow in your own; between the MRT trains (Mass Rapid Transit), buses, and taxis–not to mention how walkable much of the city is–we know you’ll find it a safe, easy, convenient place to navigate. Hotel options vary between $50 and $5000–it’s all up to you! Contact us today to start planning your Singapore 2015 extension!
Not only are you going to be under Nancy’s expert care, but you’ll have two more seasoned travel professionals accompanying you on your trip! BJ & Lauren created Insight Travels in 2010 with one goal in mind: to make world travel accessible, authentic, and astounding. In order to focus fully on this passion, they moved out of the U.S. in early 2013 to reside full-time in Asia. Each day is spent exploring new destinations, strengthening local ties & relationships, and creating memorable, transformative, engaging retreats and tours (aka, RetreaTours™!)
BJ & Lauren take great pride in the trips they offer, as they can personally vouch for every hotel, every restaurant, and every activity that you will experience. They craft each element of the trip with intention, and they understand that it is this careful attention to detail that sets them apart. Fueled by their passion, armed with know-how, and supported by knowledgeable local contacts in all of their destinations, BJ & Lauren set the scene for the vacation of a lifetime.
They provide not only on-the-ground support and guidance during the trip, but they are available to answer any and all questions before the trip begins. From giving advice on the best flights and travel insurance to providing a packing list, FAQ, information about local food, and even a tiny “phrasebook,” BJ & Lauren pride themselves on these ‘nuts & bolts’ of personalized service. In addition, as a guest, you receive free travel consulting services (normally a $200 value) should you choose to extend your travels in Asia; let them help you plan your post-retreat adventure in Singapore, Bangkok, or beyond!
As one of their most ‘frequent fliers’ put it recently, BJ & Lauren make everything easy for you. Once you arrive in your destination country, your trip is all-inclusive—your meals, transportation, lodging, site fees, donations, and tips are all taken care of. The research has been done, the itinerary carefully laid out, the reservations made, the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. All you have to do is show up and take in all your destination has to show you! So….let’s get going!
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