Indonesia is the perfect getaway far from home, for when you are travelling far for the first time with your kids. It’s safe, the distances aren’t that long, and you can combine culture and nature by relaxing at the beach.
Most people combine a trip to Bali with Lombok and usually visit the well-known Gili islands. Which is a bit of a waste because although the Gili islands are great, Lombok is really worth a visit with kids. Lombok is the Bali of 30 years ago. The tourism is still developing so the moment to visit is now. On Lombok you will find beautiful and deserted beaches, the infamous volcano, rice fields and a jungle full of surprising waterfalls. We’ve enjoyed multiple wonderful holidays here together with our kids. That’s why I’m happy to share all you need to know to visit Lombok with kids!
We haven’t visited it since the volcano eruption and earthquakes of the past year, but we sure hope to so soon.
How to travel from Bali to Lombok with kids
You can travel to Lombok from Bali by boat or plane. Every hour boats will leave from Sanur or Padang Bay for Lombok or the Gili’s. The slow boat takes about 6 hours (depending on the weather) and the fast boat will get you there in 1.5. If you experience seasickness, don’t take the boat. Even if you take the fast boat and the weather is calm, it will be 1.5 hours of sloshing at sea that will seemingly take much longer. The plastic bags that hang on the wall are well needed by a lot of people. Do you have small children? Take the plane. The plane is not more expensive than the boat, it’ll get you there faster (half hour) and it’s much more comfortable. Do check to see if the airline company is well reviewed. Tip: Garuda Airlines is the best airline company of Indonesia and flies regularly from Bali to Lombok.
Transportation on Lombok, how do you manage with kids?
Lombok has good meter-taxis. You can discuss a price for longer distances or arrange a chauffeur through your hostel or hotel. Be sure to negotiate or you’ll pay the highest price. For a few euros per day, you can rent a scooter. With us, the boys sit on the back with their father and my daughter joins me on the scooter.
If you travel by plane to Lombok, you arrive near Kuta (not to be confused with Kuta on Bali). If you go by boat, you will probably arrive in Senggigi.
Senggigi is a fun place that exists of a long street with some little diners and shops. There isn’t much to do here really, you visit mainly for the beach and the beautiful sunsets. We recommend the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort. The hotel has a turtle rescue center too and together with personnel, kids can let a turtle loose at sea every now and again. From Senggigi it’s possible to travel to the well-known islands Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno or to the waterfalls and the volcano Rinjani.
On the beach you will find several boys from which you can rent a fisherman’s boat for a day trip to the islands. If you are in any luck, you may run into a giant turtle. Be sure to bring your snorkeling set and put a life vest on your kids (even if they can swim). The sea can be a bit boisterous here.
Mount Rinjani, climbing a volcano
The villages Senaru and Sembalun are the place where you depart from for trips to the Rinjani volcano and the waterfalls of Sendag Gile and Tiu Kelep. If your kids are a bit older, it’s worth climbing the volcano. These hikes last 2 to 3 days. The paths are good but it’s rather rough, cold and steep. You’ll be rewarded greatly though, with a beautiful sunrise. A lot of people choose to hike to Pergasingan Hill, which is a 3 to 4-hour hike. You can set up a tent here, spend the night and view the sunrise the next morning over Rinjani.
Visit the most beautiful waterfalls: Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep
To visit the waterfalls you need to pay an entrance fee (less than a euro). A lot of guides want to show you around, but you don’t need them to show you the waterfalls. The first waterfall, Sendang Gile, is found after a 10 minute walk. The second, Tiu Kelep, is a lot prettier, but you need a bit more effort to witness it. It’s about a 30 minute walk and quite the climb onto rocks and through little rivers, but it’s a real adventure for the kids.
Kuta en Sekotong
If you love beautiful beaches, surfing and hip restaurants, you need to visit Kuta. There is always something to do here but it’s not to be compared with Kuta in Bali! We chose to visit the more quiet Sekotong and stay in hotel Silver Fern Beach Retreat. A basic little hotel with a beautiful beach in front, so cozy! From here you can take boat trips to the beautiful islands Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis and Gili Sudak. If you like bounty beaches, snorkeling or diving, this really is the place to be!
Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis and Gili Sudak
From Sekotong you can rent a boat to go on a trip to the islands Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis and Gili Sudak. These islands are not discovered yet by mass tourism, so despite the day trippers, this isn’t a very crowded place. The islands are beautiful and seem to be copied right from an advertising booklet. You can snorkel here all day. Beautiful, colorful coral and lots of fish, starfish and sea-serpents. Truly wonderful!
A holiday to Lombok with kids, what are the cost?
To give you an idea of the costs of a holiday to Lombok with kids, I’ve made a list of what we spend on:
Plane ticket to Bali: € 650
Tip: Travel form Brussels during the May holiday, it’s much cheaper then.
> Hotel: € 200,-
You can make this as cheap or expensive as you like. We assume €200/€ 250 a night for five people.
> Boat- or plane ticket from Bali to Lombok: € 25,-.
> Food: € 10,-
The food on Bali is really cheap. For a couple of euro’s, you can have a plate of rice with sate. For € 8/10,- per person you can dine well.
Malaria pills, yes or no?
Lombok is a malaria country according to the GGD. We didn’t take any tablets but sprayed ourselves with Deet (at least 30%). You need to make that choice for yourself.
This article “Lombok with kids; all you need to know!” is written by Danielle, mother of three kids and a young Labrador, who has a passion for traveling and photography. She has seen some of the most wonderful places on earth and experienced incredible things. She would like to share these with her kids. The kids join her on her travels from a very young age and luckily, they really enjoy it. Our trips are a mixture of luxury, boutique hotels and infinity pools, combined with whatever crosses their path. Having dinner at a local family home, at a simple beach hut, touring on a scooter or sailing a small fisherman’s boat. You can follow all here adventures on Mom’s Travel Treasures and on Facebook.