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, everyone can have a fantastic time with some useful tips, a flexible attitude, and preplanning!
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 if you are an international traveler. Be sure that your little one has a passport, as this is a requirement to enter this country.
Another piece that’s required to enter Aruba is an Embarkation and Disembarkation (ED) card.
According to their site, “The online ED card is mandatory for all travelers to Aruba, including minors and infants.”
Keep up to date on the most recent entry restrictions for Aruba as well.
*Update: Since we are now post-pandemic, this tip has been updated with relevant information for entry into Aruba (February 2024).
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.
We recommend using Google Maps and the “Save” feature to research must-see places and reviews, as well as have them in one central place to refer to.
For our trip, we decided to rent a car to explore the island at our leisure.
We found having a car was especially helpful when traveling with a young child.
You can return to your accommodation when you need to (for example our tired toddler in his travel high chair) and get out before the rest of the island wakes up too!
Pro Tip: Invest in a travel car seat like this one. It makes your journey so much better!
You might also be interested in this post: Top 10 Things to Do Before Your Next International Trip
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 their car seat, they will have their own space and you will be able to be hands-free (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 load 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.
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!
Other great places were Mangel Halto, Eagle Beach, and the California Lighthouse.
You might also be interested in this post: How to Plan a Family Trip on a Budget
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 expenses, but we were also able to cater to our picky little eater.
Another point that we liked was packing our lunches to the beach, as not all beaches had somewhere to buy snacks.
If you are interested in the Airbnb we stayed at, drop a comment on this post, and I will reach out to you!
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.
Other Things to Consider
Here are some thoughts to consider while exploring this island destination.
Bring a Quality Stroller
An umbrella stroller may not hold up with beach terrain. You can opt for a baby carrier as well, instead of a stroller. For toddlers, a hiking pack is a great option as well. Look into a quality stroller to handle the beach and airport alike.
Wear Close toed Sandals or Water Shoes
Our little one typically wears these sandals when we are headed for the beach. They are perfect for playing in the sand or walking in the water where there may be coral. The last thing you need on vacation is for the kids to have cuts on their feet!
Boat Travel for Little Ones
This is especially true for the young ones who suffer from motion or seasickness. Wearing a SeaBand has been a go-to for years, so it makes sense for little ones to wear them too! A huge selling point is that it focuses on pressure points, versus having to take medication.
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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