nip takes a trip: aruba

hi all my travelbugs! I have a fun new post for you guys so you can get an inside look on my spring break trip to ARUBA! I went with my bff Jodi for a few days to have a little island getaway and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. Unless we could’ve stayed longer… 😉 Unfortunately we couldn’t go to a few places that we really wanted to (the Natural Pool, Renaissance Island where flamingoes live!) but that just leaves more to do for next time! So read on and check out my photo slideshow, drink slideshow, favorite places on the island, travel tips and a travel video! While you’re checking everything out before the video, listen to She Moves (Far Away) by Alle Farben (feat. Graham Candy) Club Mix (what a mouthful).

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I’m that girl who’ll take her phone and DSLR camera everywhere and take way too many photos. I think I took over 500 photos in the three days we were there but I won’t crash your computers/phones/tablets with all of those. Below are some of my favorite photos/moments!

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If you’re like Jodi and me, you love a good cocktail. We’re always going to happy hour at home to grab some drinks and chat. So we definitely didn’t want to stop doing that in Aruba! We splurged and got a good cocktail at almost every meal but the best drinks and best deals were at Reflexions Pool Bar. They had a happy hour everyday from 4pm to 6pm and drinks were half off! The drinks we got were only $4 and absolutely delicious.

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Make sure to check the first photo slideshow above and video below to see pictures and videos of the below recommendations!

  • The West Deck

This was my favorite restaurant BY FAR. It was only a short 5-7 minute walk along the beach from our hotel. The restaurant was really on a wooden deck with beautiful beachy decorations and RIGHT on the beach. The view and vibe was incredible and the food was just as amazing. They had a ton of delicious appetizers and entrees. I got a grouper filet that came with rice pilaf, plantains, a salad and some other unidentifiable but delicious sides. Our waiter was so genuine and friendly, just like everyone in Aruba so it was a great experience.

  • Eagle Beach

Our taxi driver told us that this is one of the top three most beautiful beaches rated by “one of those websites like Trip Advisor or something” (LOL). And he was definitely right! Eagle Beach was huge and had the most beautiful water (50 shades of blue am I right?). It also had a bunch of watersport rentals and tiki bars. There was one bar called Koko Loco where you can get a pineapple drink that’s blended and served in the actual pineapple itself! Dream come true.

  • Renaissance Marketplace

If you need to get Aruban goodies and gifts, this is the place to go. The marketplace had a bunch of different little stores with souvenirs and women who can braid your hair for $1! I bought some hand made dreamcatchers for only $4-$8 and some gifts for under $5! If you go to other places on the island (for example, Renaissance Plaza stores), it’s a lot more expensive for the same items.

  • Talk of the Town Hotel & Beach Club

The beach club we stayed at was perfect. It was a small hotel only a 5 minute drive from the airport and a 30 second walk to the beach! It was also a 15 minute walk to the Renaissance area in Oranjestad. The staff was so friendly and accommodating in every way possible. They provide beach towels and a card to get chairs on the beach (right next to Reflexions Pool Bar) and are always willing to get you what you need! The pool was incredible and the rooms were nice and very clean. The wifi was really strong in all parts of the hotel so we never had a problem with that.

  • Reflexions Pool Bar

OUR FAVORITE PLACE! We went to Reflexions everyday we were there. Like I said above, they had a happy hour everyday from 4pm to 6pm so cocktails, beers and wine (I believe) were half off. The cocktails were all $8 so we got $4 cocktails that were absolutely delicious. Not just the drinks (and yummy reasonably-priced food) but the whole atmosphere was to die for. They play the best music (I Shazamed every single song and the song you’re listening to right now is Shazamed as well as the song I used in the video below). The pool had a bar in it so you could sit on little seats in the pool and have a drink and some food while watching the sun go down. It’s an outside area so you’re right on the beach with an amazing view. After relaxing in the pool, we walked right out to the beach and got a bed (for free!) to watch the sunset. It was never really crowded when we went (surprisingly) so it was really relaxing.

  • Craft

This restaurant is in the high rise area by Palm Beach. We went there for breakfast one day and got amazing waffles with a bunch of chocolate and fruit toppings. You’ll see in the video that I got a waffle with nutella, strawberries and bananas for only $4-$5! I also got a delicious mocktail mojito drink and the total of my check was $7-$8 and I was STUFFED. So the prices are more than reasonable and you get a great view of the blue sky, palm trees and high rise hotels. Our waitress was also so nice with a smile on her face the whole time (not to mention cool tattoos and really pretty #girlcrush).

  • Natural Pool

Like I said, we didn’t get to go to the Natural Pool because we just ran out of time but it seems to be one of the main attractions in Aruba so it definitely seems like it would be worth a day trip! First thing I’m going to do next time I’m there 🙂

There were a lot of other amazing places we went to (you’ll see in the video) but those were just some that stood our.

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  • Jodi and I both felt very safe in Aruba. Maybe even more safe than I do in Miami!?! The locals are very helpful and friendly. We went out in the morning and at night and never had any problems or scares.
  • They accept USD as well as Aruban Florins so Jodi and I brought our USD cash and credit cards. I know my bank charges me a transaction fee internationally so I just used cash the whole time but Jodi used her card for everything and had no problems. If you’re taking a taxi (we didn’t rent a car), make sure to bring cash for that. Our taxi rides ranged from $5 (close by) to $18 (farther places and at night the fare goes up). We both splurged on food and drinks so I spent perhaps $80/day but I could’ve easily spent half of that if I had gotten different meals. I opt in for the $20-$25 seafood meals instead of the $8 chicken wings for pretty much every meal.
  • Aruba has the same voltage standard as in the US which is 110 volts AC. So if you’re from the US you don’t need to take a converter to charge up or plug in any of your wires.
  •  If you’re there for awhile I think that renting a car would end up being cheaper than taking taxis everywhere but it’s a small island and taxis are very safe and easily available (if you can’t get one, just go into any hotel/restaurant and ask them to call one for you).
  • Everyone speaks English, Dutch and Spanish in Aruba so you’ll pretty much be able to take your pick and communicate easily! One of our taxi drivers actually spoke 6 languages and said “it’s just part of his job” so you already know they’re ready for whatever you’re gonna throw at them.
  • Clothing is very casual. Jodi and I are fashionistas so we dressed island-chic I guess and definitely got some looks. The front desk lady at our hotel said “I can tell you’re from Miami because of how you dress.” It’s a very chill/laid back island so I wouldn’t take heels or any really nice clothes. We dressed up a bit (you’ll see what we wore in the video below or pictures above) but if you are stressed about clothes, don’t be because all you need are bathing suits, t-shirts and shorts!

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FINALLY, words can only do so much justice. Watch this video I made to get the real Aruba experience and hopefully get the itch to go see it for yourself! ❤

Thank you guys for reading this loaded travel post! Happy traveling ❤

stay on point,

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