Here is a list of things you might want to bring to Aruba. Some folks say a toothbrush and bathing suit are all you need to bring, but for the more detail-oriented types out there here is a checklist of essentials:
- sunscreen (2 or 3 bottles)
- lip balm with sunscreen
- noxema or skin lotion (for burns)
- travel first aid kit (or at least bandaids for blisters or coral cuts)
- soft-sided cooler (buy sodas at the supermarket & keep in cooler to save money)
- ice packs (for soft-sided cooler)
- fanny packs/hip sack
- beach bag
- straw hat or ballcap
- sunglasses with UVA & UVB protection
- extra bathing suits (nothing grosser-feeling than putting on a wet suit the next day)
- a little jar of laundry detergent (to wash the salt out of your swimsuit)
- travel sewing kit, safety pins (might rip something on a cactus)
- a good book for the flight down & back
- a small notebook or journal to jot down your Aruba experience (to post a trip report later on the ABB)
- 1 pair sneakers (for climbing Hooiberg, hiking)
- 1 pair deck shoes
- 1 pair sandals
- 1 pair water socks/water shoes for swimming (protects you from coral cuts & hot sand)
- a light sweater for the heavily a/c casinos
- alarm clock
- disposable underwater cameras
- good camera & camera bag for carrying extra films around
- lots and lots of film
- extra batteries for camera, video camera, etc.
- toiletries, plus tweezers, nail clippers, travel mirror
- scissors for cutting out valuable coupons in tourism booklets
- extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts (just in case)
- plastic bags (to pack your damp bathing suits/swim shoes in for the trip home)
- small denomination U.S. bills for taxis, tipping, etc.
- seasonings, if you plan to do some cooking
A Few Packing Tips
||Pack half of your items in your partner's suitcase and vice versa. This way, if one of you loses your luggage en route, you won't be stranded without clothes or necessities. Also, pack anything you absolutely need in your carry-on - this includes medicine, swimsuit, glasses/contacts, etc. - to tide you over while your missing luggage is tracked down.
||A lot of people suggest packing one suitcase with food as food is very expensive in Aruba and you won't have the brand names you are used to. Pack everything in ziplock bags - double-bag any liquids or potentially messy items. Make sure to take a soft-sided cooler to keep your food in at the beach or on island tours.
||Do not hang your wet bathing suits/clothing out on your balcony as the tradewinds will carry them away.
||Once you're done packing all the clothes you think you'll need in Aruba, take out half the clothes. Everyone always overpacks - you won't use half of what you've packed.
||If you're at all nervous about leaving money/room keys/etc. on the beach while you are swimming, some of the resort shops sell watertight storage compartments for these items that you just hang around your neck or on your wrist while swimming.
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This site went online 1999.
Photos by Patti MacK copyrighted 1999 and may not be used without permission.
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