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Aruba Nights Island Guide
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Thread: Budget Traveling to Aruba

  1. #31
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Since we are there for 3 months, we only dine out a few times a week-usually one breakfast, one lunch and one or two dinners-but it varies depending on if we are dining alone or with others. We mix up casual with fine dining as we don't have a lot of fine dining were we live at home. I shop various stores to get what I need. I make meals and freeze the extra for future meals when I don't want to cook. We bring as much as we can from home(non food items)-such as sunscreen, contact solution, other personal care products that are super expensive or not available in Aruba. Plus we bring other things such as beach towels, bedding(what they have in Aruba is crappy), and other household, decor and kitchen items. The pile on our ping pong table is large and I will have to see how much we can take this year. We do not fly first class and try to book flights early and manipulate the dates for a better price. However; this year we had a ton of AA credit that we had to use or lose, so we are taking a more expensive(by date) flight just to use the credits.

  2. #32
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    So we were there for 1 month in October and plan to go back in Dec for 4 months . First off is searching for decent flight prices which isn't easy to
    find anymore. We found that eating out is nice but not all the time and not really big on fine dining so mostly go casual, not so pricey. Since we don't care to do much cooking, we buy prepared meals at supermarkets or take out at local markets or local restaurants. Save money on wine and drinks at home also.
    We might go out to breakfast once or twice a week otherwise it's simple items picked up at the store like bagels, yogurt, muffins or cereal.
    Lunch is whatever we have at home or buy when out and about like sandwiches or maybe fruit and ice cream
    We also usually take our own "beverages" and some snacks to the beach which is where we spend most days.
    Not much for the casinos so don't need to budget for that.
    Also take sunblock and personal toiletries etc from home but not much else.
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  3. #33
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    We try and rent a timeshare from an owner- we are going for 2 weeks in May and the 2 weeks rental and fees are less than 1 week at Holiday Inn. We will bring coffee,oatmeal( for overnight oats),cold cereal,English muffins so most breakfasts are covered and coffee out adds up. We will visit grocery store for fruit,snacks,beer etc. We have a budget for casinos,dinners out and taxis. We do not rent a car for our whole time but may rent a day or two- my husband drives for a living so likes to not drive on vacation. Our biggest splurge is on massages. Lunch is leftovers from dinner or snack at happy hour(12-1). We do not gamble at home and I rarely drink anymore so we splurge on those things but save all year so all is paid off.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    We always budget our trips, especially now that we are retired. We own one week at Renaissance and book a timeshare on Eagle Beach for an additional week, usually at Costa Linda. However, the rates there have doubled since we started staying there 10 years ago, so this year we will be staying at ABC for a week. We go in February, during peak rate season. We also use air miles for travel. I watch the rates and can occasionally book first class with our miles. This year, I was able to book first class both ways. I chose this so we would not have to sit close to anyone. We are hoping to make it through the entire trip without catching covid. We eat most of our breakfasts and lunches in the condo. We mix up our dinners between places like Yemanja and Barefoot, to pizzas and burgers. Sometimes we grill and eat eat in. We rarely go to casinos and only rent cars for a few days. If we rent any longer, we find that the car just stays mostly in the parking lot, because we spend most of our time at the resort. We like to walk, and we walk to most restaurants downtown and along Eagle Beach. We use taxis a few times. I can't drink much alcohol so we usually get a drink during happy hour and Tom picks up beer at the store.
    Last edited by hatteras; 11-08-2022 at 07:52 PM.
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  5. #35
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Well, booked airfare today and it's about 300 more than last trip for us. I'm considering booking garden view at Manchebo this year instead of ocean front to save 100 +/- per night...... That will keep our cost within a few hundred of last trip. Yup, we're finally planning to budget this trip....fewer grand meals, fewer drinks.... although we really don't drink a lot and fewer taxi rides. Also need some good sessions at the casino!
    A wise man never knows all......only fools know everything!
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  6. #36
    Aruba since 1979
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    you can travel midweek too right?
    I understand that you and patty need to do what works best for you both.

    we have come to the reluctant conclusion that our 2x annual trip to Aruba is now going to be just once a year.
    the airfares are just too much for us to do 2x a year.

    late nov/early dec will be our time...that is when our timeshare is at LaCabana.

    if we win the lottery or the economy gives us back the money it took from our IRAs, we'll go back to our 2 weeks


    QUOTE=cpjones;397032]Well, booked airfare today and it's about 300 more than last trip for us. I'm considering booking garden view at Manchebo this year instead of ocean front to save 100 +/- per night...... That will keep our cost within a few hundred of last trip. Yup, we're finally planning to budget this trip....fewer grand meals, fewer drinks.... although we really don't drink a lot and fewer taxi rides. Also need some good sessions at the casino![/QUOTE]
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 11-11-2022 at 10:20 PM.
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind? sidtm
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  7. #37
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    you can travel midweek too right?
    I understand that you and patty need to do what works best for you both.

    we have come to the reluctant conclusion that our 2x annual trip to Aruba is now going to be just once a year.
    the airfares are just too much for us to do 2x a year.

    late nov/early dec will be our time...that is when our timeshare is at LaCabana.

    if we win the lottery or the economy gives us back the moves it took from our IRAs, we'll go back to our 2 weeks


    QUOTE=cpjones;397032]Well, booked airfare today and it's about 300 more than last trip for us. I'm considering booking garden view at Manchebo this year instead of ocean front to save 100 +/- per night...... That will keep our cost within a few hundred of last trip. Yup, we're finally planning to budget this trip....fewer grand meals, fewer drinks.... although we really don't drink a lot and fewer taxi rides. Also need some good sessions at the casino!
    [/QUOTE]

    Yup for mid-week. Wed out and Mon return. We normally do Thu to Tue for 12 nights....and it's 12 nights for us this year. We won't give up non-stop flight or even more space seats.... I just really don't like the flying experience.

    Regarding the IRA thingy..... yep, same boat here and don't have the time for recovery that a 40 YO has!!!!!
    A wise man never knows all......only fools know everything!
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  8. #38
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjones View Post
    Well, booked airfare today and it's about 300 more than last trip for us. I'm considering booking garden view at Manchebo this year instead of ocean front to save 100 +/- per night...... That will keep our cost within a few hundred of last trip. Yup, we're finally planning to budget this trip....fewer grand meals, fewer drinks.... although we really don't drink a lot and fewer taxi rides. Also need some good sessions at the casino!

    I had been looking at rates at the Manchebo for May and noticed a large increase from our last stay which, of course, was pre-pandemic. I can understand switching to a garden view. After all how much time do you really spend in the room? Since we haven’t flown much over the last few years, I have a fair amount points and since JetBlue now let’s you use points and cash, it’s a good way to get the airfare down to a more palatable rate

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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjones View Post
    Well, booked airfare today and it's about 300 more than last trip for us. I'm considering booking garden view at Manchebo this year instead of ocean front to save 100 +/- per night...... That will keep our cost within a few hundred of last trip. Yup, we're finally planning to budget this trip....fewer grand meals, fewer drinks.... although we really don't drink a lot and fewer taxi rides. Also need some good sessions at the casino!
    We stayed in a garden view room at Manchebo in June. We booked late and that was all they had. It was lovely, so quiet and peaceful! The plantings are beautiful and we were by one of the waterfalls. This trip we’re in an ocean view room but I think going forward we’d book a garden room. The rooms are the same size. Airfares are crazy and I don’t see them coming down. It’s a crap shoot when to pull the trigger and book. They say book when it’s a price you’re comfortable with. I love Manchebo and it would be hard to stay anywhere else.
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  10. #40
    Senior Member schexc's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Pegmeister;397037]I had been looking at rates at the Manchebo for May and noticed a large increase from our last stay which, of course, was pre-pandemic. I can understand switching to a garden view. After all how much time do you really spend in the room? Since we haven’t flown much over the last few years, I have a fair amount points and since JetBlue now let’s you use points and cash, it’s a good way to get the airfare down to a more palatable rate[/QUOTE

    With regards to airfare. We had to use our air credits from A/A by 10/16. Ended up paying an additional $150.00 for the two of us. We used out travel credits form Capitol1, to cover the difference, so nothing extra OOP. If we booked last week, it wouldn't have cost us any travel credits. No crying here. Just hate the way the airlines bounce airfare around.

    At least we don't have to pay for accommodations. Purchasing a condo was the best budgeting decision we could have made. I know, it sounds contradictory, but with our rental income and travel credits from Capitol1, we are on the island for a couple of months, with no OOP expenses. The real property value has appreciated at least 50%, based on current listings, so far, it has been a win, win. Compared to owning a home in Central NY, it is less expensive for us to stay in Aruba.

    We also purchased a used car, which saved us a ton on car rental, as we had always rented a car for our length of stay.

    We do pay for food and beverage though, but we'd be paying for that if we were in the states anyway. We tend to eat breakfast and lunch at the condo. We only go out to the more expensive restaurants a few times each trip. Most dinners are either combined with appetizers at a happy hour or at the condo. It works for us, as we're really not big eaters. We also tend to eat at more "local" establishments.

    We have a membership at Price Smart. There are some savings there, compared to the other stores.

    We stop at Duty Free, before leaving the airport, and purchase the maximum allowed. There are some real cost savings there too.

    The casinos...I'll let the bride explain that one.
    Last edited by schexc; 11-12-2022 at 08:40 AM.




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