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Tips & Advice

Top 10 Things to Know Before Visiting Aruba


by Cassidy Wilson
5 months ago

If you're planning a trip to the sunny and vibrant island of Aruba, these are the top 10 things you need to know before visiting! As a female solo traveler, I chose to visit Aruba because it is one of the safest Caribbean islands and has so much to offer. I learned so much about the island once I got there (that Google did not tell me), so I'm here to share these tips with you! 

1. No Stop Signs or Traffic Lights

When you first hit the roads of Aruba, you might notice something unusual—there are no stop signs or traffic lights. At intersections, drivers practice the "first-come, first-go" rule, creating a seamless flow of traffic. You will notice that instead of stop signs or traffic lights, there are also roundabouts everywhere. This was confusing for me at first, but you will get used to it!  

2. No Uber, Only Taxi 

While Aruba doesn't have Uber services, their taxi system is almost identical. I didn't rent a car there, so I relied on taxis and public transportation. Whenever I needed a ride, I called the Aruba Taxi Company. You can also just flag a taxi down on the sidewalk, but I called ahead to avoid this. Taxi drivers here are super friendly, and most of them only accept cash (U.S. dollars or Aruban Florin).

3. Sunscreen is a Must-Have (and a Bit Pricey)

The glorious Caribbean sun is the perfect companion for your beach days, but don't forget to protect your skin. I'm used to the Tampa heat, but wow, I did not expect the sun to be this intense. If you choose to buy your sunscreen on the island, be prepared for the price tag. At first, I went to a tourist shop to buy some, and the woman said $38 (yeah, not happening). I found the same bottle at the grocery store for $15. It is also important to buy reef-safe sunscreen here.

Photo Credit: Flashpacking America Official Website

4. The 4 Languages 

Alongside the official languages of Dutch and Papiamento (a unique Creole language), English and Spanish are widely spoken. As I made friends with locals, I learned that in order to get a job here, even at a restaurant, they require you to speak all four languages. I had no issue communicating with anyone, and the locals really appreciate it when you say "Bon Bini" (welcome) in Papiamento.

5. A Dollar-Friendly Destination

Aruba accepts U.S. dollars almost everywhere, making it a dollar-friendly destination for travelers. This was great for me, as math is not really my thing and I didn't have my dad to help me. I mostly used U.S. dollars and my credit card, but at the end of the trip, I exchanged some U.S. dollars for Florin. Locally known as the "Awg," this cute currency is colorful and has local animals on it. This was a souvenir I just had to take home.

Photo Credit: Aruba Tourism Official Website

6. Embrace the Wind

As you step onto Aruba's sandy shores, be prepared to befriend a constant companion—the wind. If you have long hair like me, make sure to tie it back in a braid or wear a bandana. I didn't do this the first two days, and was truly humbled. However, the year-round wind is perfect for kite surfing, windsurfing, and simply keeping you cool under the Caribbean sun.

Photo Credit: PlanetWare Official Website

7. Leave Sand and Shells Behind

Whenever I travel, I like to take a little jar of sand and shells home with me. I learned that this was strictly prohibited, and I was lowkey annoyed at first. However, after experiencing the island's commitment to preserving its natural beauty, I felt okay leaving the sand behind. If they find sand or shells in your suitcase at security in the airport, you will receive a large fine, and that's no way to end a vacation.  

8. Bring Cash to the Grocery Store

When you head to the grocery store for snacks, keep in mind that most grocery stores in Aruba are Chinese-owned and often only accept cash payments. I did not realize this at first and was very confused when I walked into the store. So, make sure you have some cash on hand so you can buy that sunscreen I mentioned earlier!

Photo Credit: Fodor's Travel Guide Official Website

9. Take It Easy on Sundays

Sundays are a time to relax and take it easy, Aruban style. Most businesses, shops, and restaurants outside the tourist areas are closed on Sundays. I knew this before visiting, but I didn't realize how dead the island would actually be. Instead, I took this day as an opportunity to go to the beach, as all beaches are public and open 24/7. 

10. Embrace Eco-Friendly Practices 

At restaurants, you will notice the absence of plastic straws and cups. For example, I ordered an iced coffee at Starbucks, and it was served in a paper cup with a sip lid. At first, I thought maybe they just ran out of plastic cups, but after visiting multiple restaurants, I realized this is normal here. Be prepared to drink your iced coffee fast, as the heat will make your cup super squishy. You can also choose to bring a reusable water bottle with you to avoid this.

If you have any questions about Aruba or solo travel, please feel free to reach out! To learn more about this trip and about my solo travel journey, you can follow my blog, Chasing Cassidy. To see the reality of my first solo trip in Aruba, feel free to check out my TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube

As you prepare for your Aruba getaway, keep these tips in mind to make sure your trip is smooth sailing.

Bon Bini to the adventure of a lifetime!


Cassidy Wilson

Hello! I am an aspiring travel blogger and content creator and I want to bring a unique approach to the industry. I want to focus on how travel and service can be used to develop one's personal growth and leadership skills!

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