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Thread: The joys of trip planning!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    The joys of trip planning!

    I have a serious addiction to trip planning. I pretty much plan the possibilities on a daily basis all year long. Lucky for me since we booked a last minute trip to Aruba, my cravings are being satisfied and planning is in overdrive!

    This trip will be much different than our last...maybe Our plan is primarily to sit on the beach and enjoy the sun, sand, and beautiful colors of Aruba. So far our only planned excursion is with ArubaBob snorkeling. We confirmed yesterday, and I am so excited. Mangel Halto was our favorite stop on our last trip. We may do a sunset sail, which have never done before. Black Pearl is already full for our dates, so we have some more investigating to do on that one.

    The rental car question is an ongoing debate. Someone recently posted that they are spending about $25 a day on their car. I figure that's about our average in taxis since somedays we need them and somedays not, so the cost savings isn't an issue. It's going to come down to whether or not we want to go to Baby Beach and/or Marina Pirata. We may do a car for a day to get those in. It really depends on whether Jon goes diving or not. Planning a 7 day trip is really so much different than a 10 trip. We need our beach time! Our first full day and last full day are going to usually be spent under a palapa relaxing.

    We are staying at the Surf Club, so I just ordered some cheap inflatables for the Lazy River. Sunblock order is in. Jon got new fins and booties yesterday. I ordered a new bathing suit top. So basically all of the pretrip shopping is done. Although, he is trying to convince me I need a new snorkeling mask. I feel like if I only use it once or twice a year, a cheap one is fine....the diver in the family feels otherwise.

    So the plan is days on the beach and a few good dinners, a few happy hours at Pelican's Nest, A lunch or two at Scott's Bratts and Bugaloe. Dinners will be Barneys for sure, Wacky Wahoo if we can work out the reservation, Marina Pirata if we rent a car. Either Quinta del Carmen or the Teirra del Sol restaurant, still looking at menus. We may do Tango again, we really liked their steak. Yemanji is also on the radar.

    I love planning!
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    well said traceyd

    i think that is what the forum is all about PLANNING

    you can take it to even another step (my ocd is showing) by making a spreadsheet.
    typically i do a spreadsheet with coulmns for activities, expenditures, restaurants, visiting friends, phone numbers
    for me it helps and makes things more organized upon arrival

    have you ever rented a car of a day or 2 while in aruba?
    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    I have a serious addiction to trip planning. I pretty much plan the possibilities on a daily basis all year long. Lucky for me since we booked a last minute trip to Aruba, my cravings are being satisfied and planning is in overdrive!

    This trip will be much different than our last...maybe Our plan is primarily to sit on the beach and enjoy the sun, sand, and beautiful colors of Aruba. So far our only planned excursion is with ArubaBob snorkeling. We confirmed yesterday, and I am so excited. Mangel Halto was our favorite stop on our last trip. We may do a sunset sail, which have never done before. Black Pearl is already full for our dates, so we have some more investigating to do on that one.

    The rental car question is an ongoing debate. Someone recently posted that they are spending about $25 a day on their car. I figure that's about our average in taxis since somedays we need them and somedays not, so the cost savings isn't an issue. It's going to come down to whether or not we want to go to Baby Beach and/or Marina Pirata. We may do a car for a day to get those in. It really depends on whether Jon goes diving or not. Planning a 7 day trip is really so much different than a 10 trip. We need our beach time! Our first full day and last full day are going to usually be spent under a palapa relaxing.

    We are staying at the Surf Club, so I just ordered some cheap inflatables for the Lazy River. Sunblock order is in. Jon got new fins and booties yesterday. I ordered a new bathing suit top. So basically all of the pretrip shopping is done. Although, he is trying to convince me I need a new snorkeling mask. I feel like if I only use it once or twice a year, a cheap one is fine....the diver in the family feels otherwise.

    So the plan is days on the beach and a few good dinners, a few happy hours at Pelican's Nest, A lunch or two at Scott's Bratts and Bugaloe. Dinners will be Barneys for sure, Wacky Wahoo if we can work out the reservation, Marina Pirata if we rent a car. Either Quinta del Carmen or the Teirra del Sol restaurant, still looking at menus. We may do Tango again, we really liked their steak. Yemanji is also on the radar.

    I love planning!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Oh I have a spreadsheet too for the budget part. It has pages for each trip so I can compare. I can tell you how much per day based on the resort and excursions...it's really sickness

    We have not rented a car yet. In November we rented the side-by-side 2 two seater rhino atvs and explored two days on those. We would love to do that again, but the budget this time is more suited to a rental car. I wanted to get one for our first few days and avoid the taxi ride from the airport and do a grocery store trip, but Jon (the driver) veto'd the idea. He said after the plane ride he just likes to sit back and relax and get to the hotel. To him, that relaxation is worth the cost of the taxi.
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  4. #4
    Senior Member DiviDiviFan's Avatar
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    Wow Tracey, you are so lucky to be going back to soon again! I remember you were there right before our Thanksgiving trip, good for you but I am a bit jealous but happy at the same time for you! Hopefully you will have some more of your famous trip reports and "best of" and "worst of" lists.

    I too LOVE, LOVE, LOVE planning trips especially to Aruba.

    I also have an excel spreadsheet for my vacation list. I am very organized and this helps. I used to forget to bring something now I never forget I pack and cross off things on my spreadsheet. If I think of or read good tips of other items to bring I easily add to my list, sometimes I even delete things I find I no longer need or use. Works out great.

    Happy planning to you!

  5. #5
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    I love to hear about everyone's planning.
    i say to myself, " do this, no don't go there"....
    everyone has different likes so it's hard!!
    keep us posted!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiviDiviFan View Post
    Wow Tracey, you are so lucky to be going back to soon again! I remember you were there right before our Thanksgiving trip, good for you but I am a bit jealous but happy at the same time for you! Hopefully you will have some more of your famous trip reports and "best of" and "worst of" lists.

    I too LOVE, LOVE, LOVE planning trips especially to Aruba.

    I also have an excel spreadsheet for my vacation list. I am very organized and this helps. I used to forget to bring something now I never forget I pack and cross off things on my spreadsheet. If I think of or read good tips of other items to bring I easily add to my list, sometimes I even delete things I find I no longer need or use. Works out great.

    Happy planning to you!
    We really are lucky to be going back so soon. I give the credit to my husband for his success at work that gives us these opportunities. We don't have kids so we can be a lot more flexible. Plus once spring comes around we are on the boat every weekend so we have to do something in the winter to make it through.

    Your post about having a list just reminded me that I still need a soft-sided cooler. My favorite Igloo bookbag cooler bit the dust on our last trip. One of the straps broke and I would prefer something that lays flat in the luggage now anyway.
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  7. #7
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Good job with the planning....... keep us posted.... and don't forget, the Surf Club got the vote partially for the lazy river.... give it plenty of time!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjones View Post
    Good job with the planning....... keep us posted.... and don't forget, the Surf Club got the vote partially for the lazy river.... give it plenty of time!
    For sure! We like to go to dinner early so last time we stayed at the Surf we could come back after dinner and float around when most people were out for the evening.
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  9. #9
    Senior Member ArubaMike's Avatar
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    Ya know, I thought I was the only one who have a spreadsheet. I actually use conditional formatting in the file. The cell with the item is yellow, meaning I need to pack it, when I pack that item, I under a X in the cell to the right, then the yellow goes away. The file is created in excel on my PC, then I open it with my phone or tablet while packing. Plus I use drop box so the file says synced no matter what device I open it with.

    Oh ya, glad you got a trip coming up in the next few weeks. Nice to escape winter. I have year to wait, so enjoy your time on the Island, happy for you!

  10. #10
    Senior Member AUA1989's Avatar
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    For our 8 night trip planned in April we rented a car from Tropic for 3 days. Those will be the days we will go further than the hotel area for wandering about and dinner; i.e. downtown, light house, beach hopping, M Pirata, Pinchos, LG Steak... We planned the car rental around the cruise ship schedule, as the beach is always more crowded on the days that the ships are docked. Granted downtown will be more crowded, but not unruly. We will also spend a day at DePalm when there is no cruise ship in port. Fortunately, those 3 days are mid trip when we want to spend a day or two out of the sun since we will have overdone it by then.

    I am obsessed with planning, but haven't taken it as far as a spreadsheet. I do have lists in my desk drawer that I add to as I see things online that I want to do or restaurants we want to try.

    I'm in the lull phase of planning. The important stuff reserved, too soon to pack.

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