Well folks, it’s that time of year again where I’m off to my favorite family destination: Aruba. Well, actually, I’m off to Cape May for my cousin’s bachelorette party, and then Aruba from there. Anyway, lots of people have asked me what I bring when I go to Aruba, and I love this question. Since I’ve been going for over 13 years, I’ve got my One Happy Island suitcase items down to a science. Here’s the list for a week-long vacation.
The long version:
The thing most first-timers don’t realize about Aruba is how windy it is. The wind automatically adds certain items to the no-pack list: short dresses, loose hats, lip gloss…
The breeze is always welcome to break up the basically-on-the-equator heat temperatures. The problem is, though, that you’re cold when you’re out of the water and hotels and restaurants are super air conditioned. Don’t let it all fool you – reapply sunscreen, reapply, reapply. And bring a shawl.
The other factor people wish they knew ahead of time is how casual the island is. When I was in my teens/early twenties, I’d bring makeup, clutches, wedges…the whole nighttime on vacation package. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve literally switched to midi-length sundresses, shorts and silk camis, Jack Rogers and espadrilles. There’s nothing like being comfortable after a long day in the sun.
Now the short version:
5-7 swim suits (the breeze makes them difficult to air dry overnight)
1-2 cover ups (one long-sleeves in case of a burn)
7 sundresses (day-to-night)
1-2 pairs of shorts, 1-2 camisoles or tops of preference
One wrap, sweater or shawl
1-2 sets of pajamas
1 loungewear outfit
1-2 workout outfits (if you exercise on vacation)
Pool sandals, pool hat, beach bag
1 pair of flat sandals, 1 pair of espadrilles or wedges, clutch
Refillable water bottle
Books/magazines (most at the resorts are outdated)
Tinted moisturizer, mascara, tinted lip color
Buy aloe there: best aloe in the literal world
So basically, the basics. I promise you will not feel under-prepared. This is not the Island of Pool Parties, with lots of jewelry and high-end luxuries. You will see lots of baseball caps and Old Navy flip flops. The hotels give out towels you must use. If you need any more advice please ask! I love talking about Aruba…nothing but fond memories and lots of experiences.