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Aruba Nights Island Guide
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Thread: SOLO travel to Aruba

  1. #1
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    SOLO travel to Aruba

    For those of you that travel to Aruba (to/from Aruba, staying on topic) alone/solo.
    What tips do you have for those that may be on the fence or have a solo trip planned?

    Benefits of solo travel to Aruba?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    While not to Aruba (yet) it’s definitely a spot that works for solo travel, especially if you are a beach person. Dining can be a challenge for some. I find that I prefer to sit at a bar if traveling solo. The bartender generally strikes up a conversation, as well as other patrons so I feel like it’s easy to blend in. For me, casinos are a solo event anyways because I always play the slots and wander about. People on the island are friendly and helpful. I’m perfectly comfortable taking a taxi on my own which is not always the case when traveling elsewhere.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Laura in NH's Avatar
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    I've been going to Aruba solo since 2011. But, I go the same week every year since 2000 (we bought in 99), and had already formed 'vacation friendships' before the SU stopped going, so I know people once I get there. Even though I have my Aruba family, I do go out a lot by myself. But I have many friends at my resort when I do want company. And they know I'm alone and help me keep track of myself hahaha.

    I'll go to some restaurants alone and try to eat at the bar. I went to the movies by myself in 2017. When out (in bars especially) I don't let on that I'm alone. I can elude to the fact that my companion is golfing or something. Just a security blanket for me. I don't even tell my resort I'm alone when I check in. I say SU is on a later flight because of work or something.

    Anyway, I'm a tad shy so I don't start much, but can join in a conversation when invited. I don't really drink much but I'm very aware of alcohol intake when I'm out solo so I can keep my wits about me. I have no problem dining or shopping or beaching solo. I had to get over that when I as younger due to the type of work I did for a while that left me solo often.

    Benefits to me are - I always get to choose where to go for dinner. I can stay as long as I want when I venture out, and leave when I'm ready without having to wait for anyone else. When I want alone time, it's easy to have and when I want to be with people, there are plenty around.
    ​Laura from NH/Divi Village
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  4. #4
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    I went solo to Aruba for the first time last month, and, as you regular forum readers know from my trip reports, had an amazing time. Now, I will state that had I not been to Aruba with friends several times previously, not sure I would have been brave enough to go alone. I'm a bit shy as well so needed that comfort level of already knowing my way around, that the people are so open and friendly, and that it is safe (with the usual precautions a single woman should take anywhere she goes!). Just like Laura, I wanted a vacation that didn't require compromise; completely planned by me, for me. I also wanted a stress-free and rejuvenating vacation after a hectic year. No getting up at the crack of dawn to get a palapa, no blasting music nonstop and screaming, unattended hordes of children (don't take that wrong; I love kids! just not on a relaxing beach vacation! LOL!) I didn't want to have to worry about anything so did my research and settled on Manchebo. Smaller, easy to get beach chair, restaurants on the premises. I chose to do all-inclusive just to take even more decision-making out of the mix. While it worked great this first time (I only left the resort once during my whole trip!), I wouldn't do that again. There are so many restaurants within a three-minute walk of the resort that I will explore those next year and save money. I was very comfortable dining by myself. All the staff quickly recognized that I was flying solo and many went out of their way to make me feel "at home". I interacted with them all and loved learning about their lives outside of work. Also, since I had been to the island several times before, I wasn't interested in doing a lot of activities (horseback riding, snorkeling trip, exploring, etc.). I know myself well enough that it would have been difficult for me to be that confident. If that wouldn't be a problem for you, then go for it. Not doing those things alone was more about me than any hesitation that I wouldn't be welcome or enjoy myself.
    In past years there were a few outings I did on my own that friends were not interested in and I had a great time (maybe the difference being I knew there were friends "somewhere" on the island; I know, silly). If anyone is considering a solo trip and would be interested in hearing about those, happy to report about them!


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Bri's Avatar
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    My first trip to Aruba was because initial plans for a vacation with a friend fell through. After much research, I found Aruba and have been hooked ever since. The best thing about solo travel is that you're on your own time and there is zero negotiating or compromising. You do what you want, when you want and there is no pressure to advance plan anything. I'm someone who doesn't mind dining alone so I'll sit at a table, but most restaurants allow dining at the bar. If you're a social person, it's not difficult to strike up a friendly conversation either at the bar or at the beach.

    Make sure someone back home knows you're going solo, and shoot them a text every so often to let them know you're okay.

    Purchase travel insurance, always. Even if you have a credit card that covers your luggage, flight and/or hotel - you want health/medical insurance. Doesn't matter your age or if you're "super healthy." Emergencies happen. Print your insurance policy and contact info.

    Make sure you have cell service - not just wifi. You want to have access to webdata at all times.

    It's important to note that depending on the time of year, it gets dark "early." And when it gets dark, it gets DARK. Map your route before you head out anywhere so you know how to get back, whether it's driving or walking. There's no DST in Aruba.

    Don't stand out if you can help it. (this is one of my general rules for solo travel anywhere). It's pretty easy to blend in in Aruba, but it's best to not make it obvious that you're a lone tourist.

    Ladies, carry a cross body bag/purse that goes across your torso.

    Keep a small amount of money in your pocket so you're not always opening your wallet.

    Be aware of your surroundings - head and eyes UP at all times.

    Smile at everyone you make eye contact with. It's polite

    When on the beach, just leave your valuables in the room. I always leave the cell in the safe. I'll stuff a few bucks in my book along with the room key. When visiting other beaches, this can be tricky. Either leave your phone in the glove box or in the trunk (without making it obvious if you can help it). Don't let anything out of your sight you aren't willing to lose. Depending on the beach, you can set up pretty close to the water and stay close, keep an eye out, and rely on your ninja like agility.

    Never tell anyone where you're staying.

    Be mindful of your casino wins. Don't walk away from the cash-out with money in hand.

    Have fun. Dance like no one's watching. Others will join you!


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  6. #6
    Senior Member DiviDiviFan's Avatar
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    All great advice!

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  7. #7
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    Andrea, ya got me!! Gotta log in and respond to such a great thread for me!! No just being a voyeur today.

    This year was my first solo vacation and it was awesome! I am a pretty active person, generally I don't sit still to much, vacationing alone, kept me from annoying others, lol! I decided a full week might be to much (WRONG!!) this trip was Saturday till Thursday and it was perfect for a first solo vacation for me. It was my fifth trip to Aruba and was just great. I am well aware of traveling as a single and being aware of surroundings and keeping valuables out of view.
    I would have liked to have stayed at the Surf Club and likely will on my next trip as they have so many activities that I enjoy, the morning stretch and volleyball, but I found a great deal at La Cabana and the people there are always very friendly and are a lot of the 'time share' friends, and will make friends with everyone.

    I don't have a lot of free time in day to day life, so since I would while I was traveling, I volunteered with 2 animal rescues on the island and found that to be so rewarding and set such a great tone for each day. Also, playing with the pups, assuaged my guilt about my Daisy (yellow lab) at home...I did need to set that up in advance, I am so glad I did, I started there each morning, found somewhere for late breakfast after and then beach or pool. I had one hiccup at La Cabana with the pool, the 'save the seat' game, but it was resolved and lesson learned so to speak. Usually a snack in the afternoon and then I did dinner on my own each night, sometimes a table sometimes the bar, depending on the place. I think I got to bed earlier on that trip then ever at home!! But, was up early each morning as well.
    I skipped snorkeling this year, but won't next time, that I did miss. I really only had 4 full days on the island and that is not enough, I won't do that again.
    I would be happy to go solo again or have others go, as long as it's Aruba, I'll go!!

    Thank you Andrea!!
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  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    I am so glad that the solo folks here have no issues and are giving great advice and insight!
    Thanks

  9. #9
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
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    Such great advise it's hard to add anything else but I will try.

    There are some restaurants I feel comfortable sitting at a table and some sitting at a bar. At Chalet Suise, Ive never seen anybody sitting at that tiny bar or dining. I was sit at a table and they take great care of you. Once I dinned there solo for Thanks Giving and I heard Benny (The Manager) tell his staff that I was dinning solo so to take very good care of me and they did. At Tulip at MVC which is out on a patio, I feel comfortable at a table. At Bavaria, I sit at a table and the owner Peter is so nice and always comes around. At Gostoso, at a table and the owner Jose, his staff come around and talk to you. They are so nice. At MJs I sit at a table and just order a nice drink, enjoy the performers. At Twist of Flavor, La Terrazza Italiana, Very casual rest so I sit at table. At Azia, I felt comfortable sitting at the bar and I received great service from the bartenders plus tried a new drink. They have great bartenders there they ear the title mixologist and they can create a drink for you on the spot just based on what spirits you like, juices, mixers etc.

    Last advice , venture out a little. You can book Bully for 2, 3.4 hours and he can create a personal tour for you including a stop at Bright Bakery not to be missed or go on a snorkel trip with Aruba Bob or try the blue melody sunset tour because Joanna is a great host and those grill cheese sandwiches are not to missed. I admit at first I was intimidated to go on the blue melody cruise because they only have 24 seats and its mostly couples. I email my concern and Jonna replied back not to worry come along you will have fun and I did. Actually I ended up doing the tour again 6 months later.





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  10. #10
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    Ace, thanks for posting about the restaurants! I've always wanted to eat at Chalet Suisse. Will put that one on the list of possibles for next year. Twist of Flavor will definitely be getting a few visits from me so glad to hear you felt comfortable there.
    Another outing I did by myself few years ago was with Wix Tours and their "Made in Aruba" tour. If you are interested in local Aruba products/businesses, this is really interesting. Small van (I think there were 10-12 people) that will pick you up/drop you off at your hotel. You spend time at the Aruhiba Cigar Company (was fun to watch them hand rolling the cigars and it smelled great); Aruba Aloe Factory tour (and their store with ALL their products); Balashi Beer Factory and tour (includes one beer and lunch); Terrafuse Glass Blowing; and Aruba Rum & Liquer (unlimited samples! no kidding! everyone was pretty tipsy by the time we left; guess that's why it's the last stop!). It was really fun. Check it out at www.wixtours.com
    I felt very comfortable being by myself; actually met a couple who were also staying at the Marriott and we ended up having breakfast together every day after that.


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