What to Do In Indonesia During the Monsoon

If you are planning a trip to Indonesia, you are likely to find that tickets are much cheaper during the Monsoon season. If you don't mind the inconvenience of getting wet every now and then, and would like to explore this stunning country on a budget, traveling before and after the monsoon can be a good idea.

It is hard to determine when the rain arrives, due to the changes in the gulf streams strength and direction in the past few years. It is almost impossible to predict how heavy the rain will be. Still, if you choose to travel between January to April or October to November, you will have to be prepared for some travel disruption and inconvenience. Once you know the risks and have made all the precautions, you can plan your vacation accordingly.

Take Advantage of the Lower Prices

One of the main advantages of traveling to Indonesia during monsoon is that you get better prices on accommodation, tours, and plane tickets. This applies to long term apartment rentals, too. You can find plenty of great offers in Jakarta and find out how much money you can save by booking during the rainy months.

Likewise, as there are fewer tourists, you will get the ticket prices for regional flights and boat trips reduced. Therefore, if you would like to see more and stretch your budget, you can do that during the winter. From eating out to luxury hotels, you will get a discount on everything. Even your haggling skills will go further at the market.

Get a Stable and Comfortable Base

It is important that you have a set base where you start off on an adventure. It has to be in a big city, such as in Jakarta. So if the roads are flooded and you can't get out of the city, you can still fend for yourself and see some of the sights on foot. You can rent a room in the center or an apartment, and stay dry on the days when it is simply impossible to get out and explore. You might need heating in your apartment, as the temperatures drop when the heavy rain comes and the sun is covered by clouds.

Engage with a Local Tour Operator

If you would like to know what you can see and do during the monsoon in Indonesia, you will have to ask a local. International tour operators will try and sell you the most expensive tours and trips without considering the season. If you contact a local agency, however, you will not only get better prices and customer service, but can also customize your trip to the weather.

Some of the smaller local companies will include the price of private transfer from one place to the next, too. So you can avoid getting wet while waiting for a taxi or the train to get to where you want to be.

Get a Car or Private Transfer

It is much easier to get a private transfer company to be ready to pick you up whenever you need them than trying to figure out how locals get around. You can get the transfer cheap from a travel agent or contact a company directly, if you have already designed your itinerary and know where you want to go and when. Even private taxi to and from the airport can be cheap, but if it is prearranged, it is even more affordable. Don't forget to haggle, as companies will be in a fierce competition with each other when there are not many tourists around.

Pack Loads of Waterproofs

You should invest in waterproof kits and have a spare one in your backpack every time. Unfortunately, normal umbrellas will not do much during the monsoon alone. You will need waterproof overtrousers and jackets with a hood to protect your health. Pay attention to your shoes, as well. Most of the time you will have to face roads that have inches of water on the surface, and puddles that are simply too big to jump over.

A waterproof high ankle boot or Wellington boots will be necessary. Have an extra pair of socks and a poncho handy, just in case you are facing a torrential downfall. Remember that it is not very cold, only damp during the monsoon, so you only need light layers.

Don't Camp; Book Hotels

While most of the time it is best to explore the breathtaking islands of Indonesia on foot and camp under the stars, this is not recommended during the rainy season. The ground can become very muddy, and landslides are very common. Instead, you should ask your local travel agent in Bali or other islands to get your accommodation booked upon arrival.

Get the transfer arranged, and avoid the risk of a chest infection when traveling to Indonesia during the wet season. Take a portable hair dryer or a small heater with you, so you can dry your clothes when you arrive at your accommodation.

Improve Your Immune System

Before you set out on your journey to Indonesia, it is recommended that you start taking vitamin and mineral supplements to improve your immune system. Visit your clinic before you travel so you can get all the vaccinations to kick in before you arrive in Indonesia.

You might even get an immune boost supplement or injection, so you can prevent the weather and related illnesses from ruining your vacation. If you are not fit and healthy, it might also be a good time to step up your exercise routine, so you can walk the trails and deal with the challenging terrains.

Be Prepared for Migraines

All year round, the air in Indonesia is very humid, and this is true during the monsoon. If you suffer from headaches related to the weather, it is important that you take loads of painkillers and homeopathic supplements. Whatever works for your migraines at home will come handy, but you are likely to need a larger dose.

While you might find similar products in Indonesia, you will have no guarantee that they will work for you. Check with your travel company and airline to make sure you are not taking too much medication, though, or you can get into trouble at the airport.

Plan Indoor Programs

The monsoon season might be a good time to explore some of the museums and temples of Indonesia. While you might not be able to go on a hiking trip in the forest, you can still visit some of the zoos and animal sanctuaries. If you would like to take the opportunity to get closer to nature, you can also become a volunteer at a national reserve, and have your accommodation and food provided. This is a good way of seeing more of the country without having to go on wet hikes and walks.

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Boat Trips

To take in the natural beauty of the islands and the rock formations, volcanoes, and green spaces, you can book yourself a boat trip around Indonesia. You will have your own dry cabin and only have to leave the boat when you feel like it. If you are generally not suffering from seasickness, this can be your idea way of exploring the different islands. Choose a boat trip that offers a covered deck, so you can sit outside staying dry and take in the scenery.

Be Aware of Regional Differences in Rainfall

The monsoon spread and strength will change when you move from one island to another. You have to ask locals and monitor the situation so you can avoid being stuck on an island or getting your plans canceled. Moreover, the monsoon changes from one year to the next. It is important that you listen to weather forecasts, as well as local people. Some of the lower regions of the islands are more likely to flood than others, but if you choose your accommodation on the hillside, you might face landslides and have to plan an escape route.

Keep Mosquitoes at Bay

One of the main health risks of traveling during the monsoon is getting mosquito bites. The humid air and the swollen waters will attract the animals and help them breed. If you are booking a hotel or private accommodation, you need to make sure that you have adequate repellents and mosquito nets on the windows.

It is also a good idea to take some repellent with you every time you venture out, as you don't want to end up with a new strain of Malaria that your current vaccination doesn't provide protection against. Cover your arms, hands, and ankles, as well as your neck, as those are the areas mosquitoes are most likely to attack.

It is possible to make the most out of your trip to Indonesia during the monsoon season. However, you need to arrive prepared and adjust your plans according to the predicted and past rainfall. If you don't mind getting wet and want to save money, you might start planning your perfect rainy season and avoid the crowds this winter.

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