Hey y’all! This is my first content post of 2021, so if you’re reading this — THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
I visited Aruba a few months ago and I literally loved it! Me and my bestie spent literal hours in the clear, blue ocean-water, ate good, and drank better!! We fed donkeys, hiked over 500 stairs, and watched the most beautiful sunrise (photos on my IG: @dejatheexplorer). I’ll write another post soon about must-do/see activities on your budget trip to Aruba, so make sure you subscribe to get updates from my blog. Overall, the trip was great — but now, let’s get into what you’re really here for: THE TIPS!
Here are three tips that will make your trip to Aruba great (and not break your wallet):
1. Shop around for beach excursions (Party-boats, jet-skis, scuba-diving, etc)
First, like many Caribbean islands, there are many water-based excursions to make your trip great. My bestie and I chose Jet-Skis, Tube-Riding, and snorkeling as our three adventurous water experiences. I had never gone jet skiing or tube-riding before so I was super excited to try those, and it was my friend’s first time snorkeling too. You’ll find many “deals” on sites like TripAdvisor and Viator (and we used those as well), but the price we got for the jet skis was ALMOST HALF the price of any online reservation. That’s why I say: ask around! We walked down Palm Beach and got price quotes from four different booths. One guy asked “what did *other booth guy* say he would charge you? I’ll beat it” and he did! We ended up getting 45min of free ocean, single rider jet-skis (was supposed to be 30 min but they were nice) for less than $90 USD (TOTAL). Online, we were quoted rates of between $150-$180 USD for each of us to get our own jet ski. We were a little nervous since we hadn’t been jet-skiing before, but it was easy to get the hang of it. We did have to pay in cash, which was a downfall, but it was worth it. Asking around saved us money and gave us a better experience with free boat rides to and from Eagle Beach. Asking around also gave us good recommendations for local food (which is always a win)!
2. Stay near the Palm Beach Area
Next is about where to stay on the island. Aruba is not a huge island, but it is pretty sizable - which mean prices for transportation will add up. Y’all know, I’m all about the deals - and picking lodging in a nice area can make or break the amount of money you spend on a trip. We decided you get an Airbnb near Palm Beach (because it was cheaper than hotels and we were close enough to still get perks of being at hotels - like pickups/taxis/ATM access/etc). Our airbnb was not luxurious, but was perfect for the two of us. Being less than 10 minutes walking from Palm Beach meant it was easy to get to the beach and all of our excursions, and super easy to find restaurants. For the five days we were there, we walked everywhere for 3.5 of those days. We didn’t walk longer than about 20 minutes to find authentic Aruban food, a supermarket for last minute essentials, or mall with multiple souvenir shops. We also were close to a couple bars (but we went during covid so they weren’t open). Overall, Palm Beach had much more amenities than Eagle Beach - plus it was super easy to get a boat ride (included with our jet ski excursion) or public bus to Eagle Beach when we wanted to visit.
3. Wear and REAPPLY sunscreen!
Lastly, I know there’s always the thing about black folks not needing sunblock and all.. But, this is me when I came back from Aruba:
For literally 7-10 days after coming back my entire body was peeling. Face, lips, shoulders, back, arms, all that. Same for my friend. DO NOT BE LIKE US!! We went in mid-September and it was sunny everyday. That sun is truly not a joke, so be sure to wear sunscreen/sunblock and reapply often! Learn from my mistakes.
Aruba was literally a beautiful destination to celebrate a birthday (especially one in Sept/Oct during peak hurricane season for other popular islands). So if you’re thinking about it, just do it! You won’t regret it! Stay tuned for more blog posts about Aruba, and be sure to comment any questions you have!
Talk to you soon,