Aruba: One Happy Honeymoon (& some budget tips)


 

Over 44,000 Canadians visited Aruba last year but I have a feeling that if people really new what the island offered, the number would be a lot larger. WestJet and Air Canada fly to this island daily from Toronto so other Canadian cities can expect a layover which is the only bummer. The sacrifices we make, right 😉

 

 

Let’s just get this out of the way, I know the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Aruba: EXPENSIVE. And it definitely can be. For an all inclusive stay you are looking at anywhere from $2000-$2500 as your starting price for a 7 day vacation. According to financial post, the average amount Canadians spend yearly on vacations is $1800/person so Aruba definitely seems on the rich side. And although, I will never try and convince you Aruba is a budget destination, you don’t need to be spending all inclusive prices (although you certainly could splurge, especially for something like a honeymoon).

Just looking for budget tips? Scroll to the bottom of the post 🙂 First, I am going to talk about why Aruba should be on your bucket list anyway. Once you have been to Aruba, it is more likely than not that you will return. Aruba has the highest return visitor rate of any Caribbean island, according to the tourism board, over half of the visitors will return and more than a third will return multiple times. That doesn’t just happen, there is a reason everyone who visits wants to come back.

Is Aruba Right For Your Honeymoon?

Below I have laid out a few vacation personalities that Aruba would be a perfect fit for. Most importantly, if you and your future spouse have a different idea on what makes up a perfect vacation, Aruba has a lot to offer so may be the perfect compromise. Aruba is more than just a sun destination, it’s visitors desire intellectual stimulation, an appreciation of different cultures (Aruba is a melting pot of over  90 cultures), and want to feel safe and secure in their choice of destination.

 

 

 

#1 The Beach Bum

White Sand Beaches and Crystal Blue Waters. Perfectly Predictable Weather. I fall under this category 100%. Miles of beaches with Eagle Beach being ranked #7 in the whole world. The climate is dry and there are very few rainy days because it is located outside of the hurricane belt (just 15km north of Venezuela). The average temperature year round is 28 degrees celsius with cooling calm winds.

#2 The Convenience Traveler (or someone new to traveling)

Not everyone wants to give up the luxuries they are used to in their home country and Aruba’s high standards are sure to rise to the occasion. There are four languages spoke throughout Aruba and English is one of them. The currency is Awg but many places accept USD. The drinking water meets the highest quality of the World Health Organization so you can drink from the tap. Wifi is widely available throughout the island including on public beaches. The service is absolutely top-notch in Aruba, that is part of the reason why it is one happy island.

#3 The FIT Traveler

Gotcha! I bet you thought I meant in shape 😉 Actually, FIT is an industry term for “free independent traveler.” You might not want an all inclusive and you definitely want a tour -but you do want to explore. Aruba is one of the easier places to drive as most road signs are in english (you should familiarize yourself with them before you go!) and you drive on the right side of the road. Motorcycle or scooter rentals are also popular because of the size of the island, only 31km long and 9km wide. If you are interested in off-roading it 4×4’s are available for rentals as well!

#4 The Water Enthusiast

Mermaids and Mermen! As with any caribbean island, Aruba has their fair share of snorkeling, scuba diving and deep sea fishing. On top of that, the calm winds make it the ideal spot for kitesurfing, surfing, sailing, and parasailing.

#5 The Night Owl

Many hotels in Aruba have their own casino and night entertainment. The legal drinking age is 18 in Aruba but many places cater to 21+.

 


In case I haven’t convinced you that Aruba makes the perfect honeymoon spot yet

allow me to introduce their One Happy Honeymoon program 

 

Book with a participating resort or hotel (contact me and I will send you the list! or find it on the Aruba tourism site), and let them know it’s your honeymoon to receive:

•        Preferred check-in service
•        A bottle of champagne upon arrival
•        Special gifts for the two of you
•        A free night when you return for your anniversary
•        Discounts and special offers on activities and attractions

 

So, How Can We Make Aruba Affordable?

I mentioned earlier in this post that all inclusives are very expensive in Aruba and that is true. However, there is such a wide variety of accommodation choices in Aruba that the price of all inclusive resorts shouldn’t limit you. In fact, even though Canadians strongly favour the all inclusive market in Aruba, Americans traveling have been taking advantage of the other choices so I feel as though us Canadians should as well! For a honeymoon, apartment and condo rentals are popular throughout the island (some as low as $75/night!). These apartments are not always beachfront, but car rentals or motorcycle and scooter rentals are quite common to get around. All the beaches in Aruba are open to the public. Groups may save money by renting out a villa or private home with multiple rooms. Aruba suits a variety of vacation types which makes it well-suited for friends or families travelling together. If you prefer the luxury touches without needing an all-inclusive meal plan, there are many hotels around the island. Finally, of course, there are all inclusive resorts.

The Dine Around Plan

Save money by forgoing the all inclusive but don’t necessarily want to be deciding what to eat/budget for food everyday? I get that! Aruba developed a Dine Around program to encourage visitors to try some of the best restaurants around the island for a fixed rate. Basically, you pre-purchase a dine around pass for a set amount (there are a variety of packages to choose from) ad you can use them at 30 participating restaurants. Just one way to keep your budget it check. It is also a great item to add to your honeymoon registry!

 

Aruba Specialist Certificate

 

One final word, you’ll notice I haven’t suggested visiting Flamingo Island even though it is a popular tourist spot. Ultimately, what you do on your vacation is up to you. Without seeming “preachy” or “hypocritical”, I believe it is worth noting that Flamingos are not native to Aruba and they were brought into Aruba purely as a tourist attraction. Their wings are clipped, which many visitors do not realize until they visit Flamingo Island. If you are looking to have an amazing vacation, and watching flamingos is on your bucket list, I would love to help you find a different island or destination that would be a great match for you.

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