How to Travel to Aruba with a Toddler
When most people think of Aruba, I assume they are singing the Beach Boy’s song in their head. At least that’s what I used to do. We had the opportunity to explore this slice of paradise as a young family and we found it important to share how to travel to Aruba with a toddler.
Traveling with young children can appear daunting. However, with some useful tips, a flexible attitude, and preplanning, everyone can have a fantastic time!
Keep reading to see how to travel to Aruba with a toddler in tow!
Check Your Passports & Other Travel Documents
This part is especially important since the pandemic hit. Be sure that your little one has a passport, as this is a requirement to enter this country. Keep up to date on the most recent entry restrictions for Aruba as well. When we went, our toddler did not need to provide a negative PCR test, but my husband and I did. We also kept this documentation on hand, as they were requested at a few different checkpoints along the way. Aruba also has a QR code entry system, so you must fill out an online health form prior to your departure. There are entry requirements for your return to the USA, if that is where you are from. The most recent updates can be found on the CDC website.
Before your trip, it helps to plan some things ahead, such as whether you will be renting a car, which part of the island you’ll be staying in, and what activities you would like to do. For our trip, we decided to rent a car so that we could explore the island on our time. This is especially helpful when traveling with young children. You can return to your accommodation when you need to (example of our tired toddler in his travel high chair) and get out before the rest of the island wakes up too!
Pro Tip: If you need help planning, check out our FREE Travel Planner!
Buy a Seat on the Plane
Although not a requirement till your babes hit 2 years or older, this can create a smoother traveling experience overall. We realize that everyone travels differently, but have found this to be a success on this trip since we were coming from the Pacific Northwest. As I am sure you’ve noticed your little one likes to move around! This way, whether they are sitting in the seat or in their car seat, they will have their own space and you will be able to be handsfree (at least some of the time), while you fly. Here is a picture of Max and I looking out the window together before taking off.
Pro Tip: This car seat has been the best for us during travel. Ridiculously lightweight and easy to transport.
We are a huge fan of gate-checking our stroller. We use a travel car seat on longer flights, so this can add to the hassle of your airport transit. If you find it easier, check your car seat with your luggage (usually free of charge) and only worry about the stroller and little one during your airport transit. If you paid for a seat for your toddler, then they also are allowed carry-on and baggage allowance (based on the ticket you purchased). With our little one, we pack his “liquids” bag with food pouches that meet TSA ounce requirements, so that he has snacks. With a picky eater, this gives us peace of mind knowing we have something on hand that he will eat.
Head to the Grocery Store
When you get to Aruba, we recommend heading to a grocery store. This is part of how we mind our budget when we travel. Eating out for each meal can truly add up in cost! We went to a few different stores on the island and enjoyed Ling & Sons Food Market to be the best. They carried many brands and had a huge selection for almost anything.
Pro Tip: When you do decide to eat out, try Surfside Beach during sunset, for some amazing views and great seafood from one of the eateries. This is also a kid-friendly area!
Visit Family Friendly Spots
The island has plenty of children-friendly activities to partake in. A couple of places we enjoyed were the Butterfly Farm and Baby Beach. In fact, we went back to Baby Beach more than once because the water was so calm compared to other parts of the island. Our son was able to truly enjoy himself too!
Stay Somewhere that has a Kitchen
Initially, it was tough choosing a spot to stay, but we ultimately decided on an Airbnb. This was one of the best decisions! The property and location were perfect. Having a kitchen to cook our meals, not only saved us expense, but we were also able to cater to our picky little eater. Another point that we like is packing our lunches to the beach, as not all beaches had somewhere to buy snacks.
Photo: I didn’t get a photo of the fully stocked kitchen, but this was the private (to us since we were the only guests at the duplex property) saltwater pool.
These are the tips that truly helped us on our family trip to Aruba with our toddler. When they say that Aruba is “One Happy Island”, they aren’t joking! We loved it and would absolutely go back again.
Have you journeyed to Aruba? If so, please share your experiences below!
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