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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    8

    First Trip to Aruba

    Hi everyone my girlfriend and I will be visiting Aruba next month for the first time. I have been a lurker here while deciding between Aruba and other destinations. We will be there 5 full days. Can someone give me detail on renting a 4x4 to travel to the natural pools? Can that be done or is there restrictions and should I rent it for the whole 5 days or rent a smaller car? Can someone help plan activities while we are there. We are interested in snorkeling, hiking, good restaurants, and of course beaches. We are not very interested in nightlife activities such as clubs or bars. Also how does the money situation work. Will a MasterCard work? How much cash should I bring? Please feel free to input your own opinions and suggestions how how to spend our trip.

    Thank you in advance

    Chris
    Last edited by spursguy123; 07-08-2012 at 10:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    May 2007
    Posts
    29,912
    [B]http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/jeep%20rental.html/B]
    check out the above link of tagged threads re: jeep rental for travel to natural pool

    welcome to the aruba.com community forum

    i encourage you to visit the culinary section
    for restaurants.
    If you had to pick three...
    we all have our favorites.

    the US dollar $$ is accepted everywhere.
    as is mastercard.......but be aware of a foreign transaction fee.




    Quote Originally Posted by spursguy123 View Post
    Hi everyone my girlfriend and I will be visiting Aruba next month for the first time. I have been a lurker here while deciding between Aruba and other destinations. We will be there 5 full days. Can someone give me detail on renting a 4x4 to travel to the natural pools? Can that be done or is there restrictions and should I rent it for the whole 5 days or rent a smaller car? Can someone help plan activities while we are there. We are interested in snorkeling, hiking, good restaurants, and of course beaches. We are not very interested in nightlife activities such as clubs or bars. Also how does the money situation work. Will a MasterCard work? How much cash should I bring? Please feel free to input your own opinions and suggestions how how to spend our trip.

    Thank you in advance

    Chris
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 07-08-2012 at 10:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    May 2007
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    29,912
    http://www.aruba.com/forum/tags/snorkeling.html

    tagged threads re: snorkeling

    i encourage you to visit the ACTIVITIES section of the forum re: snorkeling.
    please post your specific snorkel question there

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    8
    Thank you I will take a look

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    8
    I was not aware of a foreign transaction fee. So is the best way of paying is cash? Is there another option I do not like carrying around a bunch of cash with me.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    29,912
    check with your credit card company re: foreign transaction fee.

    traveler's checks are always a good option and widely accepted.
    some resorts charge a small fee for cashing.
    casinos cash them for FREE with the hopes you will spend the money there.

    some restaurants will not accept trav checks

    taking a mix of cash and trav checks might be the way to go.

    make sure you have plenty of $1s and $5s for tips and incidentals.

    Quote Originally Posted by spursguy123 View Post
    I was not aware of a foreign transaction fee. So is the best way of paying is cash? Is there another option I do not like carrying around a bunch of cash with me.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    8
    Thank you. I have never traveled outside the U.S other than for a cruise and a deployment to Iraq. So I have never used a Travelers check nor do I know what they are. Can you explain to me how they work?

    Again thank you Andrea for your help!

  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    29,912
    https://www.americanexpress.com/us/c...s-cheques.html
    click above link for american express travelers checks

    typically my husband and i get $1,000 worth in $100 checks.
    we get them at our credit union.
    banks and AAA also has them
    some charge for them, some do not.
    our credit union provides them for free as a perk.
    we sign the check in front of the customer service person at the credit union and use them as cash.

    it is easy as pie!

    we usually cash them at the casino CASHIER window.
    they ask you to sign it, may or may not ask of id and ask which resort you are staying at.

    lots of folks bring a mixture of both, cash, trav checks and credit card.
    (we do)
    we NEVER use a debit card in aruba for anything except for hitting up an ATM if we are running low.


    our Discover and AMEX cards charge no foreign transaction fee.
    our Chase visa does charge a foreign transaction fee.

    you are most welcome.

    advice....
    read read read this forum.
    pour yourself a cup of coffee or decaf at this late hoursand get comfortable

    Quote Originally Posted by spursguy123 View Post
    Thank you. I have never traveled outside the U.S other than for a cruise and a deployment to Iraq. So I have never used a Travelers check nor do I know what they are. Can you explain to me how they work?

    Again thank you Andrea for your help!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Under a hut, walking Eagle Beach, lunch on the beach, Amstel Bright Beer on the beach, coffee in the morning on the beach, taking a dip in the sea,
    Posts
    316
    >>> "Can someone give me detail on renting a 4x4 to travel to the natural pools?"
    ----- Might want to take one of the "Jeep Tours" that take you there. That is a rough trip and most rentals will not cover off road damage to your rental.
    >>> "We are interested in snorkeling, hiking, good restaurants, and of course beaches."
    ----- Where are you staying? Best beach for swiming might be right at your resort. Great snorkeling might require some travel or a cruise tour.
    Foreign Tran. Fees are applied to some cards and not to others. Check with your bank/credit union. Its not the type of card but who you pay. Some Visa or Master Cards will have that fee while others will not. My Chase Visa Freedom and Costco American Express do not charge that fee but my wife's Bank of America Visa does charge that fee. Would always bring a second card to Aruba,
    Have used American Express Travel Checks in Aruba for years. Yes a small shop may not take them but your resort, casinos, restaurants will.
    >>> "we NEVER use a debit card in aruba for anything except for hitting up an ATM"
    ---- Ditto. Watch the type of machine you use. There are ATM's and Cash Advance Machines. Bigger fee with the Cash Advance.
    Last edited by TomFrederick; 07-09-2012 at 01:34 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    May 2007
    Location
    Mariott
    Age
    85
    Posts
    745
    Welcome to the "Forum," and congratulations on one of the wisest vacation choices you have ever made. You will love "Aruba," aka "One Happy Island." It truly is paradise and the people are the warmest and friendliest people you will ever meet.

    Have an absolutely wonderful time. Also, vacation.

    Ed

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