We have always separated our necessity pack for Aruba from the pack for Europe. Totally different items altogether! For me, it is more complicated traveling to a very warm country with a child. Two kinds of sunblock lotions (one for a kid and one for adults), although for the past two years, we have been using our son’s– same SPFs; bathing suits for the three of us, summer clothes (double the number because it’s hot and we sweat too much) and casual evening attires for dining out.
Where to stay? After more than 10 years of trying the hotels at the ‘high-rise’ section of Aruba, the time share units at the Divi Village, Manchebo, etc., we decided that an all-inclusive stay is the best setting for us. And for us, Tamarijn All-Inclusive is the best! With a child who is always hungry– it is pretty convenient that they have a place where we can always order drinks, pizza, hotdogs, popcorn and ice cream; food galore easily accessible anytime of the day into the night! And the bars are everywhere which, of course, is a necessity when relaxing! It is also nice that they have swimming pools that are kid-friendly. And it really helped that for a couple of years, we have K enrolled in swimming lessons and it really paid off because now he has more confidence around the water and this year he really enjoyed the pool and the beach. Most of Tamarijn’s units (if not all) face the Caribbean which is a big plus for us!
We love that what we save for food by staying all-inclusive (everything is expensive in Aruba), we can splurge on something else like souvenir shopping or every once in a while, going out to dine. We especially like Chalet Suisse, Benihana and our new discovery this year, The Kitchen!
Through the years of going there, we have tried so many activities such as visiting the Butterfly Farm and our favorite one as a family is when we went under the sea thru a submarine ride and of K looking for Spongebob and Patrick (he was a lot younger then). We also love visiting the California Lighthouse and the beach near it; of the coconut juice drinks that quenched our thirst (reminds me of the Philippines)!
I am a firm believer that in order to be happy, we should always take time to build our own paradise. For me, spending nice quality time with my family in the beautiful island of Aruba is one of my paradises! I hope you take time to build your own paradise! Happy trails!