I guess I am looking for advice, information and whatever else people are willing to throw out there.
We chose Aruba since my in-laws are Brazilian and they are having issues getting visas to the US for the connecting flight.
If anyone can think of another place that would work I would like to hear it too. We are looking for a two week getaway that the US and Brazilian citizens could get to for a nice vacation and won't break the bank, I would like to hear it too.
I am currently planning a trip to Aruba from May 1 - May 14 or a 9-14 day period around that time frame. My wife, daughter and I will be leaving Boston to meet with my mother and sister in law in Aruba. They would leave Sao Paulo with a changeover in Bogota.
There will be 4 adults with 1 child with a possible 5th adult staying for a few days if my brother can make it down.
In these types of trips what would people suggest? An all inclusive suite for the 5 of us, a timeshare rental, house/apartment rental or bring some tents and live on the beach?
So far I am leaning towards some sort of rental with a kitchen and we can feed ourselves but will that defeat the purpose of going down there and experiencing Aruba?
Do priceline, hotwire or other sites give a better discount than tripadvisor or going through an agent?
I've read some posts where people recommend the Tam or Divi but for the group I described, what would be a 9 or 14 day stay at one of them?
Thanks for all the help in the advance and ask anything you can think of if the info will help.
Over Christmas our family was looking for a place to stay with NO cooking involved and chose the Tamarijn. Worked out terrfic. Everyone ate and drank as much as they liked, no cleanups, no fuss or mess. Kids never complained about the all they could eat popcorn, ice cream or endless sodas either.
Last edited by Arubalisa; 01-09-2008 at 02:49 PM.
Reason: additional info
Thanks for the Costa Rica idea. It seems the Caribbean side takes a lot of travel from the airports to get to.
Thanks for the time share page. It looks like it has a few places in my price range if we decide to go that route. I put a few requests for more info in and am waiting for some responses.
Has anyone any input on going and staying at a rental vs a resort. Does it kill the feeling you are getting away if you have to end up cooking and cleaning at a place where you would hope to have every little thing taken care of for you or is being there enough of an experience that you don't realize it? I guess what I am wondering is "Are the resorts the reason to go there or is it Aruba that is the attraction?"
If we stay somewhere off the resorts are there activities to keep us busy for 9-14 days or do you think boredom might sneak in?
On the resorts, is May a time period where they have activities for kids or would that be a low period where they would mostly be canceled for lack of participants.
In most peoples experience, what is the most cost effective way of buying the trip? I will read the links on priceline and hotwire bidding to get some background but are there other places that people personally use to get discounted stays at hotels for extended trips ~10-14 days?
imo, i'd stick with a place like the tamarijn
it is laid back and easy and the food is good
all rooms are oceanfront
there will be activities there for the kids daily...........no matter what time of the year
still using aruba4u.com (amy) see what package deals are out there for the other resorts.
i have done the priceline for hotel nights in aruba just 2 days as pre or post timehsare nights.
i did priceline for our air this past christmas break and it was very reasonable
($388) it was boston to atlanta to aruba and return it was aruba to washington dc to boston.
we did have problems with delays and missed flight due to delays, priceline was unhelpful but delta was somewhat helpful.
remember kids stay and eat free at the tamarijn or divi
We had originally considered a villa for our family of 10 for Christmas and New Years, but without a cook and no activities for the kids, that idea was trashed quickly!
If you do not object to a resort, I highly recommend Andrea's suggestion of the Tamarijn as well as MCM Tours www.aruba4u.com We have been using MCM Tours to book our travel to Aruba for 8 years now. MCM suggested the Tamarijn and it was the perfect vacation in every way.
I'm kinda weird, I don't like to eat out all the time, I prefer to cook occasionally and the added bonus to that is saving $$$. Our family would rather stay in a villa or condo than a hotel room, we love having the space. Everyone has their preferences, most timeshares have pools and some level of activites, a private home will not have activites but some have pools. Take your time and decide what will work best for YOUR family.
Check out the Tierra Del Sol -http://www.tierradelsol.com/, click on tabe VILLA RENTALS, You will need a car if you stay here however the accomodations are great. Full Kitchen, Private Pool, On the Golf Course or Ocean View. The have Condo's, Villas and Houses. Not sure you will save much by cooking - I found things at the grocery stores a bit expensive in Aruba.
I would definately check out a timeshare such as the Costa Linda, Playa Linda, LaCabana, etc. The CL has 2 bedroom (or 3) units that sound perfect for your size family. Having a kitchen is a blessing especially for those trying to save a few bucks! The supermarkets are wonderful in Aruba and the cabbies and bellhops are more than happy to help you with a weeks worth of groceries!
Try to rent from an owner after you decide on your resort/location. Here's the website for Costa Linda and just click on Members on the tab to the right to view their BB to see whats for rent during your time period.