Dream Big About a Caribbean Family Vacation in Aruba

Author: Family Travel Forum Staff

Tags : Beach, Blogs, Caribbean, Christmas Holiday, Spring Break, Watersports, Winter Getaway

With the temperatures dropping, it's easy to dream about a family beach vacation on the Caribbean island of Aruba. Located outside of the hurricane belt, a mere 19 miles north of the Venezuelan coast, Aruba's climate is perfect "bathing suit weather" -- an average 81º F year round. Picture yourself there, participate in our Families Dream Big giveaway, and you can soon experience an Aruba family beach getaway by winning this fabulous vacation for a family of four, including plane tickets.

Here's your chance to win a Big Dream Vacation which can be taken at any time of year (some blackout periods apply). The island is arid and its cactus-covered landscape is rugged, but its fine sand beaches are beautiful and the gentle Caribbean surf is always warm.  A unique combination of the Dutch and Caribbean cultures also make Aruba, an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, an interesting island to explore with the family.

No need to sprawl on the beach all day. You can tour an ostrich farm, horseback ride at Rancho Notorious, take a "submarine" tour offshore with your little ones, and walk the lanes of the colonial capital of Oranjestad. Families traveling with toddlers will definitely want to check out Baby Beach (pictured above), known for its fine white sand and warm, gentle surf. For more information and ideas on what to do in Aruba during your stay on the island, check out FTF's Family Attractions in Aruba Guide and visit the Aruba Tourism Office site.

How You Can Win this Families Dream Big Caribbean Giveaway

It couldn't be easier to enter this contest, which is a joint promotion with TravelingMom.com (see all the prize package details here) and our partner at Taking the Kids.

Simply watch this video about the Orlando family's visit to Aruba and TravelingMom founder Kim Orlando's battles with her family over electronics on vacation.

Then leave us a comment below sharing your rules for electronics on vacation or your suggestion for getting Kim’s kids to put down the electronics.

You can leave ONE new rule (or a tip for others trying to manage their family's electronics addiction) EACH DAY on EACH SITE between January 16, 2012 and February 6, 2012.  Each comment=one entry. (Read the contest fine print here.)    

The Twitter Party to talk even more about Aruba is Monday, January 23rd, 9-10pm EST. Follow #TMOM #DreamVacay.  

What are you waiting for? Check out the video and let us know in the Comments Section below how you manage the kids' (and husband's?) insatiable appetite for electronics when you go on vacation.  

Can you really unplug?  Tell us how and create another chance to win with every suggestion you make. Good luck!

Note! This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.

Comments

*TRIP RULE

I was just recently diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency.  This Aruba trip would be perfect for restoring the Sunshine I need :p   A little Sunshine is great for everyone.. and that is why my Family will not be taking ANY electronics on our special Vacations.  We will be enjoying EACH others company!   

  When I was little we did not have these "gadgets" and everyone got along just fine.    Singing songs, telling stories, learning from one another... most important making precious, treasured memories and having fun.   It is sad to see everyones face plastered into some type of electronic device and not conversing face to face.  

a trip to Aruba tips

i think the tip that kim O., did with her family was perfect, i think i would do the same, a little bribery and lots of guidance and keep busy, extra games and small things that are compact

Trip to Aruba , tip rule

Here is my best tip, tell them you are going to scrape book the trip and they are in charge or keeping tabs on your day to day involvment, for example a journal of your trip, they can do the writing and when it comes time to putting everything together they have the notes for this, thanks so much, really enjoyed this, Love traveling

Bribe with vacation-related pizes!

Maybe instead of just making it about money, let them get something fun for the vacation, like a chance to sleep in instead of doing your early morning hike, or getting to choose where the family goes for lunch.

Aruba

Choose a vacation spot that is kid-friendly and offers plenty of activities to keep your kids busy. 

I am getting married in Aruba

I am getting married in Aruba in May.We are planning a beach-side, sunset ceremony. My question is, which beach there is best for a small wedding ceremony?

Vladimir Jack

Great beach for Aruba Wedding

If you haven't chosen your hotel yet, consider the Manchebo or Amsterdam Manor, both on quieter beaches that are really beautiful. 

Otherwise, you will want to have the ceremony near the resort you are in for the convenience of all.  Keep in mind that Palm Beach is very busy and crowded, so you may want to plan a dusk event. Same with Eagle Beach, one of Aruba's most popular.  If your event includes lots of children who may be running in and out of the water, the calm, warm surf of Arashi Beach is best for them.

Congratulations!

Thanks for being part of our Family Travel Forum community!

Electronics Tip

Prepare your children before the trip, letting them know the rules of no electronics so they don't get upset on vacation. 

Last tip/Aruba trip

We all know there are times we need to just say, "O.K.", so be sure you are comfortable with what your kids are doing online/electronically. There will be times when we are on vacation that we all need some downtime, and those little devices can provide all of us a much needed break!

Aruba Trip

Practice with no electronic gadgets at home occasionally, by having family days without TV or electronic gadgets. Younger kids especially like this at night without electricity, use flashlights, candels, or lanterns to play games, or tell stories.

Trip to Aruba , tip rule

be firm and so no techy while on vacation, ready a book play beach volley ball that is an excellent way to pass some time and have fun

aruba

A new card game a day for the challange and there is a card game that is called Gulf and it is really good, that would be fun to learn alsoi

Camera

We bought our daughter a digital camera, don't know if that counts as an electronic, but she is more engaged in our activities on trips because she is the official "photographer". It's neat to see the trip from her perspective.

Aruba

Set rules on electronics before the trip.

Another tip/Aruba contest

We have a "rule" that is supposed to be in effect at all times (but parental oversight can be lacking at times!). The kids "earn" minutes/hours they can spend on mindless video games, etc. by spending time on mind-expanding electronic pursuits. They have learned how to program and do computer animation. There are great "learning" websites, like "Kahn Academy", National Geographic, "I Like to Learn", FreeRice, the wonderful new iPad app, "Tick Bait's Universe, etc. They spend time on these activities and learn in a fun way at their own pace. Then they can play. This rule is much easier to enforce while we're on vacation, when we can pay closer attention. 

Give the kids an hour in the

Give the kids an hour in the morning and early evening that's their own, so they can use their electronics if they want to without any family drama.

Another tip

After most of our trips we put together a photo book on the Mac site (so many websites do this, shutterfly, picasa, etc.). Before we organize the photos for the book, we have a fmaily photo contest, ranking our favorites. Whoever took the photo gets to write the caption/description in the book. So, there is a huge incentive for our kids to pay attention to interesting and unique things going on around them while we're on vacation. They never get bored with a camera in their hands and we end up with photos we never would have had otherwise. 

Trip to Aruba , tip rule

what ever rules make your expectations clear, but if you do allow texting and things, make sure they are aware of the costs. out of states

Aruba

I show my friends, and family and kids the scientific proof that all the electronic waves from electronics are not good, and some are worse than others

Leave the electronics at home!

When you are planning the trip, make it clear that the electronics will stay at home. Everyone will be excited about going on a vacation that they will be okay with leaving behind their phones, and then once you get there, you won't have any problems!

Trip to Aruba tips

I don't imagine kids get boarded, but when they do, they tend to want to do things that waste time, like taxing for hours, cross word puzzle are a good place to start, they take up the time and you are doing something with your hands

Set an example

My husband and I try to set a good  example. We don't use our cell phones except for emergencies. Truly, when we go on vacation, we are not reachable otherwise. If someone does have to work for some reason, we set a specific time and minimize the disruption (same goes for kids and homework). 

Let the kids plan!

Our 7 year old helps us plan the activities of the day. It gives her ownership, she gets to do things she is interested in, and it keeps her from whining about her DS in the hotel room/cruise ship cabin.

Aruba

Give your kids a job to do -- taking pictures or planning the next adventure.

Trip to Aruba

find out where  gym is and work out once a day, it is good for kids to do this too

I don't make plans for the

I don't make plans for the first or last day, so I don't feel so rushed and everyone can get into/out of vacation mode at their own pace.

Make 'em pay!

It's funny seeing all of these tips and wondering when I got so old--I'm only 25, and I can't EVER remember getting to send text messages or talk on the phone when I was on a family vacation! If I wanted to check my email, I had to walk to the internet cafe and use my own spending money to do so. My kids (when they are old enough!) will have the same rule.

Eliminate the possibility

We often take vacations where electronic distractions are minimal because of a lack of television, internet connection, 3G service, etc. The place we go in Maine during the summer is fantastically low-tech, we have to go to the local library for an internet connection!  We have gone to Costa Rica, Tanzania, a dude ranch in Montana, and more. Our kids never miss being "pugged-in"!

Aruba

Learn how to do a new sport or activity before the trip.   Then, your kids will be more motivated to put down the electronics.

Compromise!

Fine, it's difficult to tell the kids "NO." A nice compromise is to set aside time each day, perhaps as part of a "siesta" where each person can do whatever they want. (Within reason, obviously!) They can go to the pool, take a nap, watch TV, or, yes, text their friends.

Trip rule

Give them a daily limit on minutes they can use their gizmos. Once their time is up it's up. I bet by day 3 they won't even be close to their time being up. Let them choose some of the activities they would like to do and the gizmos will be left on the chargers....

Trip to Aruba , tip rule

let them decide what they want to do just to see what they will pick, its rare for my kids to want to sit on the computer, but i have heard them say they were bored with out thri iphone

Just say no

My vacations are always electronics--and drama--free! The kids know that vacations are a special treat, and that they are a time to do things they never get to do in their normal lives. They can text all day long at home, why waste their time in a beautiful location to do that? Of course, my husband and I need to follow that rule ourselves--no sneaking off to an internet cafe!

Be active!

Be as active as possible, whether hiking/swimming/snorkeling/etc. at the beach, or skiing/snowboarding/ nordic skiing/etc. at the mountain, or anything in between. The more active you are, the more tired the kids will be and tired kids go to sleep instead of trying to stay up all night playing video games!

aruba

Pick out a new toy/non-electronic game to take with you before the trip.  The kids will be excited to have it once you arrive. 

Aruba

Make sure we are always staying busy! No time to get bored!

Here is my best tip, tell

Here is my best tip, tell them you are going to scrap book the trip and they are in charge or keeping tabs on your day to day involvment, for example a journal of your trip, they can do the writing and when it comes time to putting everything together they have the notes for this, thanks so much, really enjoyed this, Love traveling

 

Trip to Aruba

give them a camera and tell them they are in charge of the photos for the scrapbooking when we get back

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