You’re excited! You’ve booked a great deal to Aruba and you’ve got your airline and hotel reservations all set – you a ready to go. The next question is “what do I pack?” If there could be two words to describe the contents of your suit case when you arrive for your vacation in Aruba they would be Comfortable and Casual.
Aruba is a country where people are very friendly and “go with the flow.” Walking down the street near the “high-rise” and “low-rise” hotels you see people in all sorts of casual wear. In the evening vacationers might don their “dress-up” casual but the rule for clothing on the island is keeping comfortable and cool.
Remember that Aruba is a tropical country – the temperature during the day often is close to 90 degrees F and in the evening drops into the high 70 degree F range. The humidity can be high even though it’s primarily a desert island. Also keep in-mind that the island has a constant trade wind blowing. This keeps things comfortable even with the warm temperatures.
So, given all of this what should you pack?
1. First, pack light. If you are staying on the island for a week you can easily fit everything you need into a carry-on bag. The benefit of this is you get out of the airport more quickly when you arrive, and also when you get back home.
2. Swim Suits – The most important clothing item in Aruba – in our opinion – is your swim suit. Bring at least two of them. You can wash / rinse them in your hotel room and hang them to dry on the line that most hotels have in their showers or bath tubs.
3. Shorts and T-Shirts are the next vital clothing items to put in your suitcase. We usually pack two to three pair of shorts and four to five t-shirts. If you are shopping for clothes for your trip look for light-weight shorts and t-shirts used for outdoor activities such as hiking. These can be easily washed and dry quickly and that means you can re-use clothing while you are on vacation.
4. Shoes, Sneakers, Sandals, Beach Shoes, Etc. – The sand on the beach gets hot and depending on your location on the island the sand along the water may contain small stones and shells. You’ll want to have sandals or beach shoes to wear to the beach and possibly in the water. Sneakers or comfortable casual shoes are great for walking through the shopping and restaurant areas in the evening. If you’ll be doing some hiking you may want to bring some hiking shoes or sneakers. If you are golfing you can bring your own shoes or rent some at the course.
5. Hat and sunglasses – Protection for your head and eyes are important – the sun hits Aruba with very direct rays since it is near the equator. A hat is a great idea and sunglasses are almost vital for your days at the beach. Don’t skimp on either for your trip.
6. Evening wear – If you feel more comfortable “dressing-up” for dinner men can pack a pair of light slacks and a golf shirt. Woman might want to pack a light sun dress. Remember, casual is the word even in the nicer restaurants on the island.
7. Sunblock Beach Shirt – If your skin burns easily – and even if it does not – you may want to pack a sunblock beach shirt. These shirts are intended to be worn in the water and offer Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 50.
OK – these ideas should give you a great start packing your suit case. Remember the two key words, Comfortable and Casual!