Aruba isn't reserved for travelers spending $600 a night at all-inclusive resorts. It is entirely possible to visit and enjoy Aruba on a budget and some would even call Aruba a budget destination. Here are my tips on how to not break the bank on your next trip.
Read on: Aruba Travel Guide
Pack a water bottle
Not only is it better for the environment but most hotels have free water in their lobby. Just jump inside and fill up your bottle for free water the whole trip.
Travel in the Off-Season
Aruba has amazing weather year-round, but fall months tend to see the biggest discounts on hotels. Stay away from the island during the months of January to March when prices are highest.
Cheap Flights to Aruba
Instead of looking for a cheap fare to Aruba, look for cheap flights to Ft. Lauderdale from your hometown. Year-round you can find great fares to Aruba from Ft Lauderdale Airport (code: FLL) and this is usually the cheapest way to get to Aruba in the US.
Beware: You may have to pack light or pay for luggage since Spirit Air is one of the cheapest airlines flying to Aruba.
Budget Hotels in Aruba
Although you may not have instaworthy views you can find budget hotels all around the island of Aruba. Just be sure to book early since the budget options sell out fast.
Rent a timeshare in Aruba
I know timeshares bring up visions of sitting through lengthy presentations and dealing with pushy sales people, however there's a new way to experience the luxuries of timeshare resorts in Aruba. Online resellers like SellMyTimeshareNow feature an impressive inventory of Aruba timeshares for sale by-owner as well as tons of Aruba timeshare rentals. Because they’re offered through private owners, you can save as much as 70% off what a resort developer charges.
Taxies are everywhere in Aruba but they add up quickly. Luckily, Aruba has a great bus system that is extremely cheap, perfect for budget travelers to Aruba! Look for Arubus N.V. - the public bus in Aruba that services all major areas of the island.
For the main bus station, head across the street from the Cruise Terminal in Oranjestad. Line 10, Line 10A, and Line 10B will take you from there to the beach and the main hotel areas. A single bus trip costs 2.50 florins (with a Smartcard) or $2.50 U.S. dollars.
Do be aware that the bus stops running at 9 PM. If you need help Arubans are SO nice. Most of the time you'll find friendly drivers and riders who will help you choose routes and provide commentary on stops and sights.
Stay somewhere with a Kitchen
Because Aruba isn't the cheapest island to eat on, one of the best ways to save money is staying in a hotel with a kitchen. You can hit up local markets for fresh food and cook yourself a feast at home.
Along with cooking your own food, think about packing a bunch of snacks from home. I always travel with RX bars - they make a perfect morning meal replacement and save me $10 that I might have spent on some mediocre eggs. You can also pack dry goods like pasta and rice to really cut down on costs.
Pack Snorkel Gear
Speaking of packing things from home, if you're trying to do a trip to Aruba on a budget thing about packing snorkel gear in your bag. Of course, first check to make sure your hotel doesn't provide any for free. If they don't order your snorkel gear on Amazon before you leave. Once you're actually in Aruba, rental rates are sky high.
Read on: Best activities to do while in Aruba
Stay away from beach bars
Yes, we all want to enjoy a cocktail or three on the beach but those drinks can really bust your budget. Instead, pack up a cooler (or backpack) and head to the beach with drinks from a local grocery stores. You'll save money and still experience a classic Aruban sunset with cocktail in hand.
Beach Towels are expensive
This is often overlooked, but if you're staying in budget accommodations you won't be given beach towels. Tourist shops anticipate this and the markup on towels is insane. Instead, bring your own from home.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).