School is out and parents as well as kids can’t wait to trade in the daily woes for great family vacations. When all the final exams and graduation parties are done, it’s time to discuss family summer vacation ideas.
The summer is a great time to regroup as a family, have fun, and relax. In this blog post, you’ll find out why Aruba is one of the best family vacation destinations, and how to make your 2017 summer trip one of your best family vacations ever.
Fofoti Tree on Eagle Beach
Anyone who has been to Aruba before knows what makes the island so special, and why Aruba has the most repeat visitors out of all destinations in the entire Caribbean. If this is your first time considering the One happy island, the following will outline just a few reasons why Aruba should be on your list of places to visit in summer.
Safety is a top priority when traveling, especially when traveling with kids. Aruba is considered one of the safest islands in the entire Caribbean by the United Nations. The Aruba people are extremely diverse; over 90 nationalities make up the Aruban community. This has greatly contributed to our helpful and hospitable nature. You and your family will feel right at home!
Aside from the helpful and welcome community, Aruba is also very safe on a macro level. The island lays south of the hurricane belt, making our chances of getting hit by a severe storm slim to none!
View of Oranjestad from airplane
With over 100 direct flights arriving at the Aruba Airport every week, traveling to Aruba has never been easier.
Not only is your flight to Aruba easily arranged, all other preparations should be easily made as well. Since the US dollar is widely accepted in Aruba, you won’t have to go to the trouble of converting your spending money or the kids’ allowances. Packing will be a breeze too, since you won’t have to worry about packing for extreme weather conditions. Aruba’s weather is warm and pleasant year-round! Just be sure to bring cardigans as temperatures are a bit lower at night.
Communication won’t be a problem either! Most Arubans speak up to 4 languages. Papiamento, Dutch English and Spanish. Chances are you will have some great conversations with the locals in your own language.
Traveling with family can be pricey; you’re budgeting for a group of people after all. Thankfully there are many ways to make your Aruba vacation an affordable one. Very often, resorts have discounts for children of certain ages. If you are traveling with your extended family, be sure to ask hotels if they have any group rates available. How does Aruba sound for your next family reunion? For more tips, check out this blog post (by yours truly) on how to take an Aruba trip that’s easy on the wallet.
Fun Family-Friendly Things to Do
The best family vacation destinations are the ones that have something to offer for each member of the group. Stay tuned for some tips on must-go places to visit this summer.
Excitement, Adventure & Exploration
If your family is a fun loving adventure seeking union, Aruba is the island for you. Explore the beautiful rocky nature areas of the island or take on the Caribbean Sea by paddleboard. The possibilities are endless, but I have listed some visitor favorites below!
Arikok National Park
If you’ve ever been to Aruba, you probably know about the ever popular Arikok National Park. Locals and visitors frequently come back to this haven of diverse landscapes time and time again because there’s just soooo much to explore. I’ve been living on the One happy island for 12 years, and I can assure you that even I haven’t seen everything yet! Not only is the park huge (it takes up about 20% of the island), but it can also be explored in many different ways. Whether your family is a group of hikers, bikers, jeep safari fanatics or those who would prefer an air conditioned bus, traversing the park is a unique experience no matter how you decide to do it.
When people think of an Aruba vacation, horseback riding doesn’t often come to mind. To many visitors’ surprise, discovering Aruba on horseback is not only adventurous, but a great way for families to encourage one another to do something they may have never done before. Once you, your horse and your group leader have established a trusting friendship, it’s time to traverse the desert-like plains and rocky roads! It’s like hiking, but easier, and with a much better view! Here are some ranches that provide tours on horseback:
- Rancho Daimari http://www.aruba.com/things-to-do/rancho-daimari
- Rancho La Ponderosa http://www.aruba.com/things-to-do/rancho-la-ponderosa
- Rancho Loco http://www.aruba.com/things-to-do/rancho-loco
- The Gold Mine Ranch http://www.aruba.com/things-to-do/the-gold-mine-ranch
Fishing, the age-old family activity, is alive and well right here on the One happy island. You may frequently go out to the lake with the kids back home, but fishing in paradise is a very different experience! Aruba is the perfect environment for deep-sea fishing on an exciting fishing charter excursion. Despite what anyone says, we can assure you catching that huge mahi-mahi will earn you bragging rights with the entire family. Some of Aruba’s best fishing charter companies are listed below:
- Aruba Mahi Mahi Fishing
- Driftwood Fishing Charters
- Hatts Off Charters
- Natasha Sport Fishing
- Ola Sport Fishing Aruba
- Teaser Charters
Sunset Sailing in Aruba
Ever dreamt of being a real life pirate of the Caribbean? Consider sailing with the Jolly Pirates. They offer sunset and snorkel tours daily. If your family prefers a less themed experience, there are many other companies that provide beautiful sunset, snorkeling, and dinner tours on Aruba’s turquoise waters, including:
Relaxation (Family Time!)
After so much exciting family adventure, it’s time for some relaxing quality time. Here are some suggestions for the best family vacation spots for relaxation:
De Palm Island
This small off-shore gem is a playground for the entire family, but it’s especially one of the best vacation spots for kids. A day at De Palm Island is a day of unlimited food, drinks play and relaxation.
Philip’s Animal Garden
Philip’s Animal Garden is a safe haven and recovery center for abused and abandoned animals. Philip Merryweather has turned his love for exotic animals into this beautiful project. Philip’s Animal Garden offers interactive and educational tours, where you can enjoy an up close and personal experience with over 50 species of exotic animals.
The Donkey Sanctuary
Kids love animals, and what better way to let them interact with some of our animals, the donkeys, at the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary. Although not originally native to the small island of Aruba, they have existed here for 500 years, having been the primary mode of transportation until cars began to be introduced on the island in increasing numbers. Kids can feed them, pet them and your family can even adopt a donkey!
The Butterfly Farm
A beautiful tropical garden in the Palm Beach Area is the Aruba Butterfly Farm, home to a myriad of colorful butterflies from around the world. Not only is this a great activity for those who appreciate the beauty of nature, but it is also quite educational! The best part is, your purchase of an admission ticket gives you a free pass to come back for the rest of your vacation!
Most of you probably already know that there is nothing more soothing than a day at the beach in Aruba. Of course, this does not mean working on your tan is the only thing you can do there! Aruba has some great snorkeling and diving spots and just about every single water sport you can think of. Whether you’re planning to have a relaxing picnic or you plan to go on a riveting parasailing adventure, Aruba is sure to have a beach that’s just right for your tastes.
Kids in the kitchen at Hyatt Regency Aruba
For such a small island, Aruba has an incredibly vast amount of dining options available, with over 300 excellent eateries! Visit out Family Dining page for a listing of restaurants that offer kid’s menus.
Accommodations for families
When recommending accommodations for family vacations, we like to think practical and budget minded. Timeshare resorts are the perfect accommodation types for large families, as you can rent or buy up to 3 bedroom suites, with full kitchens, living room areas and balconies. Buy your groceries at our local supermarkets and you will save a bundle on not dining out each meal.
Another great accommodation option is staying at a vacation rental in local neighborhoods. Ranging from super deluxe villas to cute country cottages, vacation rentals provide you with the ambiance of being home away from home, whilst getting the opportunity to mingle with the friendly locals. Your kids might make life-long friends too, especially if your family becomes a group of Happy Returners!
Staying at one of our beachfront resorts doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to dig deep in your pockets to get that attention to service and detail. Most of our resorts offer special family packages, where kids can stay and dine for free. For these family packages visit our Deals and Offer page.
10 Family Summer Vacation Planning Tips
To make sure your family vacay isn’t a replica of a National Lampoon’s Vacation, here are some planning tips!
- Don’t get caught with cellular roaming charges. There are many affordable internet packages you can purchase from Aruba’s telecom companies. For more tips on how to stay in touch with the home front, check out this blog post.
- Pack a light sweater! Aruba may have the most sunny days of any Caribbean island, but don’t underestimate our cooling trade winds at night. It’s never cold, but it can get chilly!
- Plan ahead, but not too much. For families (on a budget) it may be a good idea to scour the internet for fun activities, and planning which ones your family will participate in.
- Carry small dollar bills. The US dollar is accepted all over the island, but some companies won’t have change for a hundred.
- Rent a car and roam around the island! Aruba is safe to explore from coast to coast, so you are not stuck on hotel properties.
- Check out our Aruba forum for family vacations, for more useful tips.
Book Your Family Summer Vacation Now!
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