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27 Top Aruba Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

27 Top Aruba Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring
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Aruba’s exotic feel and lush, tropical climate make it an ideal place for a getaway. With a Dutch nationality, bustling cultural scene, and stunning beaches – relaxation and excitement are everywhere on this Caribbean Isle.

But knowing what to pack can be tough, especially if it’s your first trip to a place like this. So I’ve put together a list to help you! In it, you’ll find tips for seasons and what to wear in Aruba, plus what NOT to bring and answers to your Aruba FAQs.

asher with kingsley at the beach in aruba
My son and I enjoying a sand castle on the beach in Aruba.
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What to Pack for Aruba – 27 Essentials

  • 1. Mesh Slip-on Water Shoes

    As you hop between hiking trails like Arikok National Park, slick waterfalls, and Caribbean beaches – you’ll need a pair of shoes that can keep up with you! These mesh water shoes are better for a tropical environment than regular hiking shoes because they’re breathable, release water, and don’t trap sand. Skip the blisters and opt for this non-slip pair that will provide excellent traction in muddy or slippery conditions.

    mesh water shoes maui

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 2. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    Don’t travel to Aruba without packing a quick dry towel. Useful on so many occasions – this microfiber travel towel is lightweight, compact, and can easily be tossed into your beach bag or daypack for whatever adventure awaits you. Use it on a hike, at the beach, or as a bath towel; with endless possibilities, you’ll be so glad you packed it.

    Magenta travel towe

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Cyberattacks are consistently on the rise and you don’t want to risk your personal security while on vacation. An often overlooked but truly essential item to have on any trip abroad is a reliable VPN. Use it when connecting to Wi-Fi in public places like hotels, cafés, and airports to protect your sensitive information like your passwords, credit card numbers, and private data. Or you may wake up with stolen banking information like I did while traveling to France. Lesson learned!

    Our go-to provider is NordVPN because they are versatile and affordable. A good VPN will also give you access to websites from home that might be blocked or censored in the host country. It basically gives you a virtual disguise so no third-parties can track your location. You can hop on an American server (or one of the other 6,000 to choose from. That opens the doors to the entire internet) so you’re free to use Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more sites that could be blocked or censored in your host country. We never travel without it!

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    View NordVPN.com Options ➜

  • 4. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    Don’t risk losing your lifeline – your cell phone is vulnerable since you’ll be surrounded by water. This waterproof case allows you to take pictures and video underwater (with sound!) so that your selfie game will be off the charts! Additionally, it’s always a gamble to leave your phone alone on the beach while you swim, but with this, you won’t have to.

    waterproof phone pouch

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Beach Bag with Cooler

    A stylish yet practical beach bag is the best way to port your belongings from the hotel to the pool (or beach), and back. This option has plenty of room for everything you might need, including reading material, a towel, and a snack. Plus, the insulated cooler compartment is perfect for keeping your beverages cold while you lounge in the sand.

    Beach Bag with Cooler

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Aruba

    Your domestic provider will not follow you overseas and you don’t want to risk having spotty coverage. Travel insurance is vital whenever you’re traveling abroad to cover unforeseen medical expenses. Our friend learned this when he broke his wrists in Central America. Luckily, he was insured against the international hospital bill that would’ve cost nearly $10K out-of-pocket.

    We use Faye travel insurance because they offer plans that cover trip cancellations, theft, flight changes, lost items, and costly medical expenses. Everything is handled on their mobile app and it’s the best claims process I’ve ever witnessed. We were reimbursed super fast and they connected me with my doctor for a video chat. They are completely revolutionary, especially compared to most sleazy providers that make you jump through hoops for support. Point blank – no one plans to get sick and it’s always better to have someone else pay your medical bill rather than covering it yourself.

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Cooling Towels

    Tropical locations may sound appealing in theory, but they can be humid, muggy, and HOT! Pack along these self-cooling towels to keep yourself cool during long hikes or days at the beach. Simply add water and these babies will drop to 20-30 degrees colder than the outside temperature.

    cooling towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 8. Affordable Underwater Camera

    A waterproof action camera is ideal for a beach vacation! You can bring home footage of all the incredible sea creatures and take plenty of action shots as you splash around in the pool. These awesome cameras are really compact and won’t add extra weight to your day bag, plus they’re super affordable (especially compared to a GoPro).

    underwater camera

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 9. Neck Wallet

    Especially important when traveling to a foreign place, a neck wallet is really a godsend. It’s large enough to hold your passport, phone, wallet, and keys, and this handy pouch can be worn beneath your clothes to keep your valuables organized and secure. It also has RFID-blocking material to stop e-thieves from scanning your financial information.

    Available on HeroTravelSupply.com with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    Neck Wallet

    Or view on Amazon.com ➜

  • 10. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    A must-have item on any overseas vacation is a portable, lipstick-sized charger. Perfect for tossing into your beach bag or purse, you’ll never have to worry about your smartphone running out of battery. This is a great backup if you plan to use your phone all day and don’t have time to stop for a charge. It’s saved us when we needed to call for a ride back or look up directions.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 11. Luggage Locks

    After having items stolen out of our checked luggage, we never gamble with an unlocked suitcase. Bring along a couple of sets of these TSA-approved luggage locks for your bags, lockers, and anything else that needs securing.

    luggage locks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 12. Flotation Straps

    Don’t neglect to attach a flotation strap to your phone. I’ve sadly HAD my phone in a waterproof case, only to drop it in the water and watch it sink to the bottom of the ocean, where it landed smack dab in the middle of a sharp coral reef… Learn from my mistake and make sure your devices will float and become retrievable!

    Flotation Straps

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 13. Packing Cubes

    These packing cubes make the packing and unpacking process infinitely more manageable. You can pack your clothing into segments (labeling them pants, shirts, socks, essentials) and only take out what you need when you need it! They really are the best way to keep your luggage organized and contained.

    packing cubes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 14. Gorgeous Dress

    In a tropical destination like Aruba, you’ll want to keep your clothing light and breezy while at the same time looking your best! This gorgeous dress can be dressed up or down with the right accessories and is perfect for a night out to dinner or drinks. You can’t go wrong with bringing at least one stunning outfit on your trip to Aruba.

    dress

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 15. Discounted Tickets for Aruba Attractions

    Aruba has beauty in spades. Sail to an epic snorkeling spot, horseback ride through the lush national park, and cruise into the horizon at sunset. Adventurers will love off-roading and barhopping, while those looking for a calmer scene may enjoy a boat ride through the mangroves or indulge in champagne brunch.

    Get Your Guide is our favorite service for booking top-tier excursions. They have flexible cancelation and you can compare reviews to ensure you’re not stuck in a lackluster experience. Have fun creating your dream itinerary!

    Discounted Tickets for Aruba Attractions

    See all Aruba attractions at GetYourGuide.com ➜

  • 16. Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    While the tap water is safe to drink in Aruba, you’ll want to stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle. It’s nice to have autonomy over your water while exploring nature or out at sea where access to water may not be as readily available.

    Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 17. Lightweight Daypack

    A compact daypack is a must-have on every trip. This one is awesome because it fits everything you could possibly need for a day out in one compact space and is designed with water-resistant material. Leave what you don’t need in your hotel room and just bring the essentials in your convenient daypack.

    daypack

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 18. Sarong

    A sarong is an ideal accessory for a beach vacation. Sarongs are great because they’re versatile and compact. You can use it as a beach towel, a dress, or throw it around your shoulders for extra sun protection.

    Sarong

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 19. Activated Charcoal

    We never travel without activated charcoal, it’s a game-changer! There’s no doubt that in Aruba you’ll want to enjoy your vacation and eat to your heart’s content. That said, your body may not be used to the germs and ingredients on the island, so you’ll want to protect yourself with activated charcoal, which will quickly absorb and expel any toxins in your body.

    Activated Charcoal

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 20. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    The weather in Aruba can be unpredictable. Though you’ll hopefully experience plenty of sunshine, you’ll need to be prepared in case of rain. This handy windproof travel umbrella is perfect to throw in your daypack so you can pull it out at the first sight of rain clouds.

    travel umbrella

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 21. Mosquito-Repelling Wristbands

    As in any tropical destination, expect to come in contact with bugs and mosquitoes. We’ve found that the best way to protect against pesky and potentially disease-carrying bugs is with these mosquito-repelling wristbands. They last for days, so you can just slip it on and not have to think about it again.

    Mosquito-Repelling Wristbands

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 22. Dry Bag

    A dry bag is a wise precaution for any area surrounded by water. We’ve watched our backpack slosh around the deck of a boat, only to realize all of our cash had disintegrated into a mushy ball (tragic!) Prevent this situation with a bag that will keep your items 100% dry. And if you fill it with some air, it will float!

    EarthPak Dry bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 23. Convertible Hiking Pants/Shorts

    Between trails like Mount Hooiberg, Jamanota, Booshriabana Loop, and more – solid hiking pants are a thoughtful investment. This pair transforms from long to short, so if you get mud or water on your pant leg, you can easily unzip it to reveal a shorter option that cuts off at the knee.

    convertible hiking pants beige

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 24. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    Who doesn’t love to bring home souvenirs from their travels? Aruba has beautiful local goods like Dutch pottery, spices, Caribbean rum, jewelry, aloe vera products, and more. Use this “just in case” bag for those unexpected purchases you’ll make. It’s light as a feather when empty, then when full, you can use it as your personal item bag on the plane.

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 25. Motion Sickness Patches

    Most of the activities on Aruba will involve being on the water. If you’re prone to sea sickness or nausea on windy roads, use these motion sickness patches for relief. I put one behind my ear and it’s the only thing that works! If the illness is really bad, add another by your navel and you’ll feel almost instant relief.

    Motion Sickness Patches

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 26. Kid’s Snorkel & Life Jacket

    It may be easy to find adult snorkeling rentals, but children’s sizes will not be as easy to come by. You don’t want your little ones struggling with masks that fit poorly or fill with saltwater in the eyes. This one is good quality and keeps the breathing tube out of their face. Add a life jacket so your tots can have full confidence in their swimming!

    Kid’s Snorkel & Life Jacket

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 27. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Vacation rentals tend to have small bathrooms with little to no storage. We use this hanging toiletries bag to remedy that problem. It hooks onto any door, hook, or pole, unfolding to expose 4 giant compartments that hold all of your skincare, haircare, and shower products. Maintain your routine (and your sanity) without a chaotic countertop. You’ll never go back.

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

What should I wear in Aruba?

The Caribbean island of Aruba features some of the world’s best beaches, and an ideal climate to match. The consistent year-round temperature and the laid back feel of the island make packing for your trip an easy feat. Favor beach attire, and mix in some resort-wear pieces for dinners at elegant restaurants.

Remember that due to the heat, you will be sweating a lot, so be sure to pack a few extra outfits to change into in the evenings. Take care to protect yourself from the sun, as you’re sure to be spending extended time near the water.

What should WOMEN wear in Aruba? – (Click to expand)
When visiting Aruba, women should favor lightweight, breathable fabrics. The weather is consistently hot, so beach attire is ideal. Sundresses, shorts, and t-shirts, or maxi dresses are the name of the game. Sweat-wicking athletic attire is great for active days, but generally, you’ll feel cooler in loose-fitting, airy clothing. Linen, lightweight cotton, and silk are all great options.

The vibe on Aruba is mostly casual, though, swimsuits should be worn at the beach and pool, and not to explore beyond. Be sure to have a swimsuit coverup or sundress to throw on overtop. You may also wish to bring one or two more elegant outfit choices for dining out in nice restaurants.

When it comes to purses, a crossbody is great most of the time, but you may wish to pack a beach tote for carrying your belongings between the hotel and pool or beach. Sandals will be the ideal footwear for the majority of your stay. However, for active days you may prefer closed toe sandal options or lightweight running shoes to protect your feet.

What should MEN wear in Aruba? – (Click to expand)
Beach attire is ideal for Aruba. Men will feel most comfortable in light, airy clothing, like shorts and t-shirts. Though there’s no need to pack dressy clothes, it’s good to have a couple of nice, button-down shirts and a nice jacket for dinners out and visiting casinos. You’re bound to sweat a lot during the day, especially if your vacation is action-packed, so ensure you have a couple of extra, clean outfits to change into in the evenings after the day’s activities are done.

If you plan to spend a lot of time on the water, a rashguard is a wise investment. It will help protect you from a devastating sunburn. A sunhat and polarized sunglasses are also essential.

Packing for the Seasons in Aruba

Wet Season (October, November, December, January)

Aruba’s wet season lasts just 4 months, and despite the designation, it shouldn’t present any real obstacle to your visit. Yes, there will be sporadic downpours, but they generally don’t last very long. If you visit during this time of year, keep these showers in mind by packing contingencies like a compact rain poncho to stick in your purse. Wear synthetic clothing that will be easy to dry if you get caught in a shower. Temperatures average between 75°F to 90°F (24°C to 32°C)

Dry Season (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September)

The dry season in Aruba brings hot temperatures along with gusty winds to keep you feeling comfortable. During this time of year beach attire is ideal, but take precaution to protect yourself from the sun. Sun hats, high SPF sunscreen, and polarized shades will be welcome additions to your packing list. Temperatures average between 76°F to 91°F (25°C to 33°C)

How to dress for activities in Aruba – (Click to expand)
Snorkeling/Diving – For snorkeling or diving excursions, a daypack will help you transport everything you need for the outing. Be sure to pack a water bottle, sunscreen, a change of clothes and a towel or sarong. Flip flops are the perfect footwear because you can slip them on and off quickly as you’re in and out of the water.

Beach/Pool – There’s no question that much of your trip to Aruba will be spent by the water. Be sure you protect yourself from the sun. Polarized sunglasses, a sunhat, and high SPF sunscreen will prevent overexposure. A swimsuit coverup or long sleeved linen shirt will offer additional sun protection if you need it.

Casino Night – Aruba’s casinos offer a fun change from the sun and sand you’ll be experiencing during the day. If visiting a casino, be sure to wear a well-composed outfit. For women, a sundress or maxi dress paired with sandals or heels is perfect, and for men, a button shirt and jacket are ideal.

Arikok Park – Whether hiking or 4-wheeling through this national park, be sure you bring the appropriate footwear. Closed-toe shoes or sandals are ideal for protecting your feet as you explore. Athletic wear is a good option for staying cool, but shorts and a t-shirt will suffice as well. Whatever you wear, be sure to apply (and reapply) plenty of sunscreen.

What NOT to bring to Aruba

  • 1.Excess Cash

    Carrying large quantities of cash isn’t necessary for Aruba, as ATMs are relatively easy to find, whether in banks or casinos. Save yourself the stress of carting cash around, and plan to make a withdrawal part of the way through your trip.

  • 2.Expensive jewelry

    Traveling with expensive jewelry is never wise. While your valuables won’t necessarily be at risk on Aruba, they won’t be necessary either. Rather than risk losing something special during your trip, leave your jewels safely at home.

  • 3.Bulky Clothing

    While there may be the rare occasion that calls for a light sweater or an evening jacket, bulky clothing isn’t needed on Aruba, where the temperature rarely dips below 75 degrees.

  • 4.Books

    Books are a bulky addition to your luggage. Rather than sacrifice valuable space in your suitcase to paperbacks, pack a Kindle and leave room for souvenirs!

  • 5.Boots

    Even if they’re part of your signature look, boots are far too hot to be worn comfortably on Aruba. Instead pack practical footwear such as flip-flops and lightweight, breathable sneakers.

  • 6.Hairdryer

    Most hotels will provide hair dryers for your use. While they may not be as deluxe as the one you would have brought from home, using them will save you tons of room in your luggage. Better yet, go for an authentic beachy look and let the Caribbean breezes air dry your hair!

What NOT to wear in Aruba – (Click to expand)
When visiting Aruba, be sure to leave behind any heavy clothing. The average temperature is about 80 degrees, so you’re not liable to need pants unless they’re linen and used as sun protection. Leave your bulky clothes at home in favor of breathable beach attire. On that note, try not to wear anything too revealing when you’re exploring the resorts and communities. Bikinis and boardshorts are just fine for the pool or the beach, but when visiting local businesses, it’s best to cover up.

FAQs about traveling in Aruba

  • 1. What is the best time of year to visit?

    There is really no time of year that is bad to visit Aruba when it comes to weather. However, the prices can skyrocket during high season, November through January. To get the best rates, plan your visit for outside of that period.

  • 2. What language do they speak in Aruba?

    The official languages of Aruba are Dutch and Papamiento, a language that evolved from Spanish and Portuguese. Though, due to the presence of tourists from North America, and Latin America, it’s common for locals to speak English and Spanish.

  • 3. What is the local currency?

    Aruba’s currency is called the florin. However, most businesses will also accept US dollars.

  • 4. What type of food is eaten in Aruba?

    The food of Aruba is influenced by Caribbean, Latin American, and Dutch culinary styles. Expect to encounter plenty of seafood, soups, stews, and tropical fruits incorporated into dishes.

  • 5. What is the legal drinking age?

    The legal drinking age in Aruba is 18 years, and drinking on beaches is permitted, but be sure to collect your empties at the end of the night, because littering is not.

  • 6. Is it safe to drink the tap water?

    Aruba gets water from a desalination plant, which is a clean and reputable source. The cost of importing bottled water on the island is quite high, so it’s highly recommended to drink the tap water.