There is only a limited amount of time that I can consecutively remain in NYC before needing to hop on a plane; if you reside in NYC or the tristate area, I am MORE than sure that you can relate.
Traveling keeps me sane and always has; it's my go-to for de-stressing whether it's something concerning work or something personal that's getting me down. Being active helps, but there's nothing like flying away to help ease my body and mind. Especially being in the go-go-go lifestyle of New York; it is necessary to escape from time to time.
My last trip was perfectly planned for my birthday (thanks to my boyfriend) and it could not have been a more perfect destination:The Caribbean.
Just before New York City's chill got to us, we made the perfect escape to the happy little island of Aruba. We stayed in an AirBNB in Noord just a few minutes from the island's popular Palm Beach.
THINGS TO KNOW:
The best decision we made was renting a car and I HIGHLY recommend doing the same if you are planning to travel here. Aruba is a very small island - 69.08 sq miles to be exact- and, with means of transportation, all you need is just a few days to see the entirety of it. Uber and cab costs will rack up quickly here (keep in mind that tourism makes up 75% of the island) so I would prioritize having your own car for the trip.
Besides having a car, make sure you BRING SUNSCREEN and apply generously. Yes, I am yelling but it is totally necessary - believe me you do not want to be burnt to a crisp (there are already enough lobsters and crabs on the island). Also, do not push aside the sunblock if the weather calls for overcast, apply just the same!
US dollars are accepted everywhere so no need to exchange for Aruban currency. When it comes to cashing out, pay attention to the details on your check; certain restaurants will have tip already included.
If you're drinking, use those US dollars to buy local beers, everything else is imported and not worth the extra cost. Our fav was Balashi with Chill coming in a close second. These beers are sold smaller than we are used to at just 7.4 ounces per bottle.
PLACES TO GO:
Palm Beach. Our favorite beach with lots of cool on-the-beach bars and a lively downtown scene. If you're not headed to a beach bar feel free to pack a cooler filled with your favorite local beers and snacks!
MooMba Beach: Located in the heart of Palm Beach between the Holiday Inn Resort and Marriott Surf Club. This was our go-to spot and has all the vibes you want. From a romantic table- in-the-sand dinner to tequila shots at the bar for lunch (hehe), it is def a must! They also have live music and dancing at night - you really cannot go wrong with this spot!
Pelican Pier. Need a good place for lunch? This is it. Also located in Palm beach over the water on a pier, it is the perfect midday pit stop for delicious food and, of course, drinks.
Baby Beach. It's across the island but for sure worth the trek!This beach has the most beautiful views with the bluest water you ever did see. This makes it great for snorkeling BUT be sure to bring your water shoes if you are going to do so because the ground is a bit rocky and no one wants to cut up their feet on vacation.
The Flying Fishbone Restaurant: If you're going to go all out for one dinner on this trip, go here. Again, a bit of a trek from Palm Beach but it is SO worth it. Imagine dining with your toes in the sand, under beautiful palm trees with the sound of waves breaking as your background music and delicious menu options that have the perfect artistic presentation...yes, it is really as good as it sounds.
Be sure to make reservations in advance as it is a popular gourmet dining destination. I also would highly recommend doing what my boyfriend and I did and book a table just before
sunset. With the illuminating lights they place in the water and the changing colors of the sunset, it is truly the perfect romantic experience.
ATV tour: We booked a 4hour tour through Viator. On this excursion we explored various terrains of the island including its rocky coast lines, its desert interior (do NOT forget your bandana), its beautiful black sand beaches and some staple historical landmarks.
Riding ATVs through the streets of Aruba was fun in itself let alone venturing onto its cliffs. Be warned that this is not a simple tour and can be difficult at times; so do prepare yourself. Getting down to Aruba's Natural Pool was the most difficult because of its steep and rocky hills but once you arrive, it all makes sense.
Forget your camera. There is WAY too much to see and document. I would definitely suggest bringing a GoPro if you have one. This way you can take it along trips where it would be difficult to travel with an actual camera. And hey, GoPros are waterproof!
Forget to relax. :) It should be what this destination is all about!
Now #GETLOST :P