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Thread: Planning in advance or Winging it?

  1. #1
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    Planning in advance or Winging it?

    When I take a vacation, I usually have a list of things I might like to do and ideas for restaurants/bars. The last time I visited Aruba, we didn’t plan in advance to rent a jeep or do a booze cruise. We just stumbled and bumbled along and it all went well.

    For our Trip in May we will be traveling with our older children. They have no expectations as they are first timers. One of my sons said, I don’t know what I want because I have never been. My list of “might like to do’s" this time are:

    Renting a Jeep for a day and/or
    ATV’s
    Horseback riding
    Shopping!
    Jolly Pirates

    We are definitely wing it people. Can you still do this in Aruba especially with activities?
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  2. #2
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    sure, WING IT!

    you will be in aruba for 5 days right?

    i have another question.....are you beach people?
    if you are, then your list of activities is too much and not much beach time awaits.

    quite honestly shopping is really nothing earth shattering.
    if y0u love high end stores and never get to them in your own home town, then yes.....keep shopping on your list.
    if you are expecting bahama-like flea market open air stands, you will be somewhat disappointed.
    yes there are some, but nothing really special.
    jewelry stores, YES........but again, nothing that cannot be bought elsewhere in the states (like boston or nyc or chicago jewelry/diamond districts)

    so, are you willing to give up beach time?
    if so, keep all those activities.

    if your kidlets will look at you with the stink eye when you tell them of the plans, then give up one or 2 of those adventures.


    Quote Originally Posted by Susan&Sunshine View Post
    When I take a vacation, I usually have a list of things I might like to do and ideas for restaurants/bars. The last time I visited Aruba, we didn’t plan in advance to rent a jeep or do a booze cruise. We just stumbled and bumbled along and it all went well.

    For our Trip in May we will be traveling with our older children. They have no expectations as they are first timers. One of my sons said, I don’t know what I want because I have never been. My list of “might like to do’s" this time are:

    Renting a Jeep for a day and/or
    ATV’s
    Horseback riding
    Shopping!
    Jolly Pirates

    We are definitely wing it people. Can you still do this in Aruba especially with activities?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    yes you can totally wing it! Some of my favorite excursion memories are the ones that started out as a trip to the grocery store that wound up being much longer, much more intense experiences

    Andrea has some great advice there, especially re: shopping. Grab some of the Aruban culture too - hit the Bon Bini festival on a Tuesday night! http://www.aruba.com/things-to-do/bon-bini-festival
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    I'm all for the wing it attitude. Every trip I make a list and really never stick to it. I prefer not to make dinner reservations. That generally works out as we eat out early. I guess one exception would be when we go to Madame Janette I always make a reservation.

    As for shopping, we have many high end stores here at home so I don't have as much interest BUT I just love poking in local artisan stores like Coscheca, downtown. Also, local vendors set up at the various resorts on certain days. At the Divi AI it's Tuesday and Thursday evenings. At the Renaissance they have pop up art events (check their Facebook page) and they also set up a on the sidewalk across from the Hilton in the high rise area.
    Last edited by Pegmeister; 03-22-2017 at 09:54 AM.
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  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i have moved this thread to Activities and will copy it also to shopping

    if you are on Facebook, check out Aruba's Hands for custom beautiful hand made Aruba jewelry
    https://www.facebook.com/arubashands...WSFEED&fref=nf

  6. #6
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Both! I make elaborate well thought out plans months in advance, but when we arrive those plans seems to go out the window and we end up winging it. This is especially true for restaurants. We found that if we have a reservation, we spend all day waiting for that, and don't have the freedom to just do whatever strikes us that day. For excursions, we make plans but sometimes cancel them. There are exceptions, like Aruba Bob Snorkeling that we planned in advance and loved. We rented utvs at the last minute once and had so much fun we did it again a few days later. We've booked and cancelled both Jolly Pirates and Kukoo Kunuku because we just didn't feel like participating that day. Expert tip: don't schedule anything on your last full beach day, just relax and enjoy, well that's what works for us. I always have things I want to do and have an itinerary in my head, but my husband is a wait and see kind of guy so sometimes I just wait to tell him the plan so we have the best of both worlds.
    Always planning our next trip
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  7. #7
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    Traceyd - Any worry about cancellation fees with the activities like Jolly Pirates? That is one of the reasons I don't want to schedule anything because...out the window could happen. I would love to add KuKoo Kunuku to the maybe list but, my daughter is too young. (15 yrs old).

    I agree with the dinner reservation. My husband and I do this sometimes and we aren't even hungry yet when we get there or we watch the clock to time out the day. I don't like that feeling. I want to go with the flow of the day at home and on vacation.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan&Sunshine View Post
    Traceyd - Any worry about cancellation fees with the activities like Jolly Pirates? That is one of the reasons I don't want to schedule anything because...out the window could happen. I would love to add KuKoo Kunuku to the maybe list but, my daughter is too young. (15 yrs old).

    I agree with the dinner reservation. My husband and I do this sometimes and we aren't even hungry yet when we get there or we watch the clock to time out the day. I don't like that feeling. I want to go with the flow of the day at home and on vacation.
    We hadn't paid ahead of time for Jolly Pirates when we cancelled. Usually we book online for the discount, but for some reason the time we cancelled I hadn't done that. I can't remember what happened with Kukoo Kunuku, but I don't think we paid, or maybe we got a refund, I really can't remember. I should point out these cancellations happened on our first few visits. Now we just make a lot less firm plans. If it was a smaller business that usually sells out or if we were there during a busy time, I would feel guilty taking a spot from someone who wanted to go, or cutting into the revenue of a small business.
    Always planning our next trip
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