Aruba: The Budget-Friendly Family Destination You’ve Been Looking For!

Budget-friendly family vacation ideas

Today, we’re going to talk about a hidden gem in the Caribbean – Aruba! Many people assume that a vacation in the Caribbean is out of reach for those on a budget, but Aruba proves them wrong. In this article, we’ll explore why Aruba is a great destination for families and how you can make the most of your trip without breaking the bank.

About Aruba

Eagle Beach by Julia Sayers

Aruba is a stunning island located only 18 miles off the coast of Venezuela, making it a part of the southern Caribbean. Its unique climate and location set it apart from other Caribbean destinations. With an arid, desert climate, Aruba enjoys sunny weather year-round. Plus, it’s located outside the hurricane belt, ensuring that bad weather won’t spoil your vacation. In fact, Aruba boasts the most sunny days of any island in the Caribbean.

Getting There

When it comes to finding affordable flight deals, planning your trip to Aruba during the “off-season” is key. While technically Aruba doesn’t have a specific off-season, travel from mid-December to mid-April tends to be more expensive. However, since the weather in Aruba remains constant throughout the year, any time can be a good time to visit. September, although the hottest month, is also the least busy.

To give you an idea of the savings you can enjoy, I booked a flight from Birmingham, AL to Aruba at the end of April, just outside of high season, for only $350! That’s often cheaper than domestic flights within the US. Aruba’s airport, Queen Beatrix International, offers direct flights from major American cities, making it easily accessible.

When booking your flights, check your hotel’s check-in and check-out days. Some hotels offer Thursday-Thursday options, which can be cheaper for flights compared to weekend travel. Additionally, consider staying a few days short of a full week, as this can save you money on airfare.

Staying There

Snorkeling Baby Beach by Julia Sayers

While all-inclusive resorts are popular in the Caribbean, they can be pricey, especially when traveling with kids. Fortunately, Aruba offers alternative options that are more budget-friendly. Look for resorts that have flexible plans or consider staying in a timeshare resort. My friend and I stayed at La Cabana Beach and Racquet Club, a beachfront resort, for only $550 for the week. Another option is to check sites like VRBO for rentals.

Eagle Beach, one of the most family-friendly beaches on the island, is where you’ll find the low-rise resorts. With its sparkling white sand and clear blue water, it is perfect for a relaxing family getaway. Just a short distance from Eagle Beach is Palm Beach, known for its towering resorts and vibrant nightlife. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, opt for Eagle Beach over Palm Beach.

Eating There

Arashi Beach Aruba by Julia Sayers

Eating out every night in Aruba can be expensive, but there’s a way to save money and still enjoy delicious meals. Since Aruba is a desert island, most fresh vegetables and food items need to be imported, making them pricier. However, if your resort has a kitchenette or grills outside (which many do), consider grocery shopping and cooking your own meals. Even if you choose to eat out a few times, buying breakfast and lunch items and packing a picnic for the beach can save you a significant amount of money.

For the best grocery shopping options, head to Super Food Plaza in Eagle Beach. Aruba, being a part of the Dutch Caribbean, has a strong Dutch influence in its food and products. While American brands might be more expensive, there are plenty of Aruban and Dutch brands that offer similar products at a lower cost. And don’t worry, Aruba accepts the US dollar.

Bringing Your Gear

Divi Tree Aruba Sunset by Julia Sayers

One of the highlights of Aruba is the incredible snorkeling spots right off the beach. Instead of spending money on snorkeling excursions, consider purchasing your own snorkeling gear. We bought our sets at Costco before the trip for $40, and we were able to use them whenever and wherever we wanted. Some of the best snorkeling can be found at Baby Beach and between Arashi and Malmok beaches. However, even if you have your own gear, you can still enjoy snorkeling at any beach in Aruba.

Getting Around

Renting a car is a popular option for exploring Aruba, but if you only plan to venture out from your resort occasionally, taxis can be a more cost-effective choice. In Eagle Beach and Palm Beach, many restaurants and grocery stores are within walking distance, so you’ll only need a car to reach other parts of the island, such as snorkeling spots.

Taxis in Aruba charge a flat rate based on the destination, rather than using a meter. During the week, you can expect to pay between $8 and $25 for most destinations, with an additional $3 fee for late-night, weekend, and holiday travel. It’s always a good idea to check with the taxi service for the most accurate rates.

Aruba truly is a fantastic, family-friendly destination with breathtaking beaches and a wide range of activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re snorkeling, exploring the island, or simply relaxing on the beach, Aruba offers an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.


Q: Is Aruba safe for families?
A: Yes, Aruba is generally considered safe for families. The island has a low crime rate and is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Q: Can I find affordable accommodations in Aruba for a family vacation?
A: Absolutely! While all-inclusive resorts can be expensive, there are many budget-friendly options available, including flexible plans and timeshares.

Q: What are some other activities to do in Aruba besides snorkeling?
A: Aruba offers a wide range of activities for the whole family, including exploring the Arikok National Park, visiting the Butterfly Farm, and taking a tour of the Natural Pool.


Aruba is a hidden gem in the Caribbean that offers a budget-friendly vacation experience for families. With its beautiful beaches, sunny weather, and a variety of affordable accommodation options, Aruba is the perfect destination for those looking to make the most of their vacation without breaking the bank. So start planning your family getaway to Aruba and create memories that will last a lifetime!

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