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Thread: I'm going on my first solo vacation to Aruba... I've got some questions.

  1. #1
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    I'm going on my first solo vacation to Aruba... I've got some questions.

    I was originally supposed to go on a trip to Italy with some friends this summer, but due to some unforeseen external factors they all had to drop out. I had already secured the vacation time so I said screw it and cashed in some points and booked a 6 day solo trip to Aruba (Only cost me $450 for airfare, lodging, and rental car for the week). I've never been to the Caribbean or been on a solo trip of this scale before so I have some basic questions... Sorry if they sound ridiculous:


    1. Being by myself how the hell do I apply sunscreen without constantly asking strangers to apply it?


    2. I've never been this close to the equator... is a hat necessary?


    3. I live in NYC and haven't owned a car in 10 years, but I'll be renting one for the duration of the trip. How strict are the drunk driving laws compared to the US? I'm not going to get wasted and jump behind the wheel, but should I be worried about having a cocktail and driving within an hour of consumption?


    4. I'm staying in an apartment behind the Marriott and according to google maps it's about a .5 mile drive/walk to entrance of the Palm Beach next to the Marriott. How busy are the roads around that area? Would it be better to drive to that the beach?


    5. How abundant is free parking on the island? I'll undoubtedly want to go explore other beaches and I was wondering if I was going to have a hard time finding parking?


    6. Do all rental cars in Aruba have liability coverage include? I've read some conflicting things about this. I'm renting a car through National since I get a discounted rate and they were having a sale for the Caribbean if that makes a difference.


    7. Is free wifi easily found? I'm not sure if I should get a local sim for data for the week or just try to survive on free wifi when I can find it.


    8. How concerned should I be about my car getting broken into? I was planning on using it as a mobile stash point so I could put extra clothes and electronics in case I wanted to go on a photo adventure while out and about. I intentionally got a car that wasn't one of the common rentals that most places had... incase people targeted tourist rentals.


    9. As a solo male should I be worried about being targeted for any sort of crime? I'm not a big guy so I feel somewhat vulnerable being alone in a unfamiliar country. Also has there been any spill over crime due to the turmoil in Venezuela? Or has that been more or less a none issue on the island?


    All in all I'm very excited for this trip. I'm kind of glad my original plans fell apart as this will be the first relaxing vacation where I can do exactly what I want. Sorry again if my questions seem basic, but I've tried researching over the last month and these are the only questions I couldn't find answers to (from current/recent sources). Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.... the home of 'no question is stupid here'........

    I love the sunscreen question and I guess it'd quite an ice breaker....! Is there a spray sunscreen that would do the trick. Definately have a hat available... the sun so close to the equator is quite intense. Safety wise.... just use the same precautions as you would at home and you should be fine. Drinking and driving.... just plain don't take chances...... not worth it! Cabs are cheap for those nights you do have a few... and there are lots of drinking options near where you are staying... have fun, it's a great place to visit!

  3. #3
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    Yeah I was thinking about getting a spray sunscreen, but you still have to rub it in for it to be effective. I guess I'll just have to get creative.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Welcome. I would not leave any valuables in my car, I would actually leave it unlocked so they can check for themselves that nothing is in there. The "V" on your plate says its a rental...but I would not be overly concerned, break-ins happen everywhere in this world. If you have verizon call them and see about their plan options, they are very good IMO. I am getting ready for my second solo trip and my 18th overall to the island, I never worry about my safety but I don't do dumb things home or abroad....so that limits my chances of anything bad happening, Aruba is a very safe island that is one of the many reasons we return so often.
    Last edited by Aruba4ever; 06-14-2016 at 06:02 PM.

  5. #5
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    Would my valuables be unsafe in a locked trunk of a sedan? I avoided hatchbacks because they didn't seem secure.

    Now I'm sort of wondering what I should do with my valuables while I'm at the beach alone. The most I would bring would be my wallet with 1 CC (I'll have backups in my room) and maybe my phone or kindle.

    I have AT&T and their data roaming packages aren't the best. I see that I can get a local sim with a couple gigs of data for $20-30 so that may be a viable option. Just need something to be able to look up information, activities, and whatnot while on the go.
    Last edited by iamWALRUS77; 06-14-2016 at 06:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    1. Being by myself how the hell do I apply sunscreen without constantly asking strangers to apply it?

    If you're using lotion, squeeze it on to a towel and then rub the towel across your back (like you're drying off).

    I've used spray sunscreen for five years in Aruba - you don't need to rub it in, it just creates a protective layer on top of your skin. I haven't been burned and I'm pretty fair skinned.

    2. I've never been this close to the equator... is a hat necessary?

    Yes. Definitely. If you're susceptible to burning, you might want to look at a UV protection hat like a Nike Dri-Fit.


    3. I live in NYC and haven't owned a car in 10 years, but I'll be renting one for the duration of the trip. How strict are the drunk driving laws compared to the US? I'm not going to get wasted and jump behind the wheel, but should I be worried about having a cocktail and driving within an hour of consumption?

    I would advise against driving drunk - you'll get tossed into holding with no guarantee of bail (remember: it's not North America). There's a thermometer just outside of Palm Beach that tallies up the number of people killed by drunk drivers and there's been a recent campaign to increase awareness. I wouldn't risk it. Taxis are cheap.


    4. I'm staying in an apartment behind the Marriott and according to google maps it's about a .5 mile drive/walk to entrance of the Palm Beach next to the Marriott. How busy are the roads around that area? Would it be better to drive to that the beach?

    That's not a really busy roundabout there. You should be fine walking.


    5. How abundant is free parking on the island? I'll undoubtedly want to go explore other beaches and I was wondering if I was going to have a hard time finding parking?

    Parking at most beaches (particularly Baby and Arashi) is easy. Search the forum for more info on parking - it's mostly downtown you need to focus on paid parking.


    6. Do all rental cars in Aruba have liability coverage include? I've read some conflicting things about this. I'm renting a car through National since I get a discounted rate and they were having a sale for the Caribbean if that makes a difference.

    No. Liability is an option that's offered to you at rental time - check to see if you're covered under the credit card you'll be using to pay for the rental car.



    7. Is free wifi easily found? I'm not sure if I should get a local sim for data for the week or just try to survive on free wifi when I can find it.

    It depends on how often you want to check email/texts and use things like Google Maps. Free wifi is hit and miss on the island. If you're just checking email once a day, I'd check with the place you're staying and see if they offer it. You can get a SIM right at the airport as you're exiting from SETAR - make sure your phone is unlocked though.


    8. How concerned should I be about my car getting broken into? I was planning on using it as a mobile stash point so I could put extra clothes and electronics in case I wanted to go on a photo adventure while out and about. I intentionally got a car that wasn't one of the common rentals that most places had... incase people targeted tourist rentals.

    I wouldn't leave anything in the car. Some people have had issues but, for the most part, Aruba is a lot more safe than other Caribbean islands.


    9. As a solo male should I be worried about being targeted for any sort of crime? I'm not a big guy so I feel somewhat vulnerable being alone in a unfamiliar country. Also has there been any spill over crime due to the turmoil in Venezuela? Or has that been more or less a none issue on the island?

    Non-issue.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by act1966; 06-14-2016 at 06:18 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    ..... be sure to advise your CC companies of your overseas plans so you don't get caught w/o an opportunity to charge something. Also, don't be concerned about local currency... US dollars are widely accepted everywhere.

  8. #8
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    welcome to the aruba.com community forum

    lots of great answers already given

    take some time and read as much of this forum as you can as well are the non forum section of aruba.com

    re: spray sunblock
    i use it daily, a few times.
    the only place where i rub it in is my scalp

  9. #9
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    I'm going to give a suggestion or two for the sunscreen:
    1. If you use spray sunscreen, please be aware of the surface you are on. If you on on a tile floor (and there are plenty in Aruba) the over-spray that gets on the tile make it slick as can be.
    2. This is an idea I've been kicking around but have never tried. Go to Walmart or the dollar store and buy one of those sponge dish washing things with a tube for the liquid dish washing soap and fill it with sunscreen.The tube is also a handle and might just be long enough to reach the middle of your back. The sunscreen should dispense on the sponge just like the soap would, making it apply easily since they are about the same consistency.

  10. #10
    Senior Member arubabob's Avatar
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    I take a hat but I also take a doo rag. The doo rag stays on better when its windy and I wear it in the pool and ocean. Not much hair on my head so need protection.

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