Indonesia Travel Experience with a Baby (Covid Pandemic)

November 2021. Moving all our life from Morocco to Indonesia with a 20-month-old baby.  Carrying 6 large suitcases, 3 cabin luggage, 3 hand-carry bags. And a baby who refused to sleep on the 20 hours of travel.

We traveled to Jakarta Indonesia with a baby and this was our experience. Sharing some tips and advice for those who are planning to do the same. 

Travel Requirements

  • Covid vaccination is required upon entry to Indonesia.  1- 2 dose is accepted. 
  • Face masks are required in public areas. Including inside the plane.
  • Covid Vaccine Card with QR Code – Vaccine card translated in English. More important is the QR code.
  • Doctor certificate – Verifying Covid vaccination and certifying fit to travel. In English
  • PCR test on departure – valid for 72 hours from the date of release to the date of travel. They also required a PCR test for my 20 months old. Results should be in English.  Make sure that results reflect the address of the country it was done.
  • Visa – There are a lot of travel agents that assist in the visa application. We took a B211A which is a company-sponsored visa. If you do not have a company or person that can sponsor, you can contact a travel agent and they help in sponsorship.
  • Airline Ticket – We did a return flight booking . Usually, our airline booking is done with Expedia and they have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you are not sure of your return this flight cancellation is useful. Make sure the airline has free cancellation available as it could vary per airline policy.
  • Travel insurance – We have international insurance and it was accepted
  • Hotel Reservation with QR Code – upon booking and payment of hotel quarantine. A QR code of confirmation of reservation will be sent by the quarantine hotel. Print the hotel quarantine confirmation with a QR code.

 Tips Before Booking Hotel: 

  • Check the current travel requirements for Indonesia as it can change day per day. Length of quarantine changes regularly.
  • See accredited quarantine hotels
  • Inform hotel that it is for travel quarantine
  • Book the number of nights as per quarantine requirement

In our case, the required travel quarantine period changed after our booking. We had to email the hotel several times and eventually they replied back stating that they will automatically change our booking as required. Make sure to ask the breakdown cost of changes (if there is). The hotel booking includes food and Covid testing in the quarantine package.  

  • PeduliLindungi – The Indonesian Covid tracking app. They checked the phone if the application was installed when we checked in at the departure counter. Download the app and register with an email. PeduliLindungi app will ask for a phone number, unless you have an already registered phone in Indonesia your phone sim will not work.
    • In the section of E-HAC input your flight and hotel details. 
    • Upload a copy of your vaccination card with a QR code. 

Arrival Process

  • Verification of Documents – Visa, Hotel Quarantine, Vaccination, PeduliLindungi
  • PCR Test at Airport Arrival – Registration. PCR test. Results will be sent to the hotel. Ask for a copy sent to your email. We have a baby and Little One was also required to have the nasal and throat swab. I asked if it is really required for babies and they replied yes. Swabbing for babies is not deep and was only a shallow poke at the nostrils and swab at the cheeks.
  • Immigration – checking of documents and taking of the photo
  • Customs declaration for high valued items if you have any
  • Luggage – By this time most luggage are taken from the assigned airline carousel and lined up next to it
  • Airport Pick-up by Hotel – Hotel welcome staff will check documents and passports. Photo before leaving the airport

Travel Advice

  • Print all documents and print extra copies. Put the extra copies in a separate bag in case one document bag gets lost.
  • Bring a large envelope or folder. There will be a lot of document checking. It is easier to give the whole folder and let the airline/airport/hotel staff sort out and look for what they need. 
  • Keep all papers with QR codes. Indonesia likes QR codes and is constantly used for verification and registration.

Hotel Check-in

  • Registration
  • Give a copy of the hotel booking with a QR code
  • Papers from airport
  • Pieces of Luggage are disinfected. Make sure all are closed properly as they can get slightly wet (or very moist)

Hotel Quarantine – Most hotel quarantine food is not amazing.

Tips on Travelling to Indonesia with a Baby

  • Bring your favorite snacks. 
  • Choose a hotel with a balcony – some fresh air and change of view can be good for adults and childrens’ mood
  • Download baby’s favorite videos on phone or tablet – I do not usually allow a lot of screen time but this was very helpful
  • PeduliLindungi  – Download on phone using email, Put necessary information specially the E-HaC section that requires travel information and upload of covid vaccination card
  • QR code scanner – Download QR code scanner on phone. Almost all services in Indonesia uses a QR code
  • Whatsapp – Download Whatsapp messaging application. Indonesians like WhatsApp messaging. Almost everyone uses Whatsapp. Service confirmations such as hotel and delivery are also using Whatsapp.
  • Phone registration –  Foreign phones are locked in Indonesia. Meaning if you have a phone bought from outside of Indonesia the signal of a foreign sim card (even if your phone is on roaming) and the use of a local sim card is blocked. You can connect to Wi-fi with your phone with messaging applications. Only after quarantine, you can go back to the airport to register and unblock the phone. I heard some say that they were able to register and unlock phones from some telecom (sim card) shops. However, we chose the safest way to go back to the airport after quarantine to unlock the phone.
  • Airline requirements – Upon booking your airline ticket carefully check the travel requirements of the airline before departure. Airlines also post on their websites the travel requirements of destination countries to prepare for arrival.  

Travel requirements are often changed and it is better to visit official Indonesia travel sites to get updates. There are several online group discussions for Indonesia where travelers share their experiences, tips, and updates on traveling. See the links below for some suggestions.

Useful Travel Sources:

Indonesia Immigration

Accepted Visas and Requirements

Facebook Group

Visa & Law in Indonesia

Sherpa Travel Restrictions

Garuda Airlines (Indonesia Airline Carrier)

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