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
aruba-coastline

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!

Comments

Submitted by 7cars on

I allow my kids to use electronics in the evening prior to bedtime.  Most often they are so busy during the day they don't even miss not using their electronics.  When they do, they are letting their friends know how much fun they're having!

Submitted by Beccavt on

When we stay at a resort or large hotel,  we will pick one night and designate it as "game night". This means the kids get to go to the arcade/game room for a set amount of time. This usually meets their "electronic" needs for the week!

Submitted by tomgirlbc on

on vacation it is a good idea not to be in the sun so much, so when there is down time, instead of going on the computer or ipad or something, suggest to have a nap or even just meditate,

Submitted by tomboybc on

instead of forcing the issue of electronics, i like to give them a choice, my boy loves capichino, if he does not use his electronics he can have one, its a trade off i guess

Submitted by ashley on

Let your kids get involved in planning activities. That will distract them from the electronics.

Submitted by tomgirlbc on

I have also told my son, and his friend, that when flying it is not good to have electronics running , so mostly he will sleep or play cross words, but i try different things and try to be honest and give him the facts, but sometimes its not hard to just want to make up a story

Submitted by tomboybc on

well even though bribing is not the best it does work if you offer kids clothes in exchange for just not touching the electronics, as in cell phone etc, works for me

I only allow the electronics on the plane ride. Honestly my kids are at the age where this is ok with them. I'm sure the older they get, the harder this will become!

Make sure the kids are involved with planning of the trip and have input! Make them involved and they will forget about electronics! 

Submitted by ashley on

Bring new books and games on the trip instead of electronics.

Submitted by tomgirlbc on

Usualy in resorts there are programs and different functions for kids, get them in the habit of checking what things are going on for that day and participating and meeting other kids

Submitted by Beccavt on

A surefire way to keep the kids un-wired is to keep them busy on vacation! Plan fun activities that everyone will enjoy and no one will be bored and feel the need to "plug-in".

Submitted by ashley on

When I was a kid (pre-sophisticated electronics), my family played cards and board games on vacations.  We now try to teach our daughter similar games.  It's a fun way to pass the downtime on vacation and encouarges more interaction with the whole family.

It is almost impossible to cut your cuts off from the rest of the world while on vacation.  Maybe one could let them text while in the hotel room and for a short period during the day.  You know they want to make their friends jealous!

Submitted by 7cars on

electronics rule:  set the rules BEFORE  the vacation so everyone knows what is expected before vacation starts!

Submitted by simplydab on

I set the example and unplug myself!  Kids mimic what they see, so practice what you preach!

Submitted by Cazza on

When plane lands all electronics are off period - When plane takes off for home electronics are allowed.

It's amazing how time away from electronics ends up being a positive experience for all a real vacation.

Submitted by tomboybc on

Try offering something like a Itunes card, or a prepaid visa for like 25 bucks or something for your kids to put the elctronics aside, no ipod, no conputer , no texting, you can try that anyway.

Submitted by Tricia316 on

We give our daughter clear guidelines of what we will be doing and what is expected behavior wise from her. She is very good when we travel and gets engaged with activities/events that we go to.

Submitted by tomgirlbc on

Well, one other things i say to the kids is if they stay off for a whole day form the computer, ipod etc, they can get points that add up to free movies, or video games, popcorn and candy, they like candy

Submitted by hali on

If it seems impossible, can give them a task to take notes of what they learned on their devices, instead of texting.

Also to give them a few minutes at the end of the day to catch up, but have to give up all day during activities. :) 

Submitted by ashley on

Be an example to your kids.  Limit your use of electronics such as the phone, ipad, email, etc.  If your kids know that you want to focus on them, they'll respond in kind.

Submitted by Tricia316 on

Electronics can only be used in the car/hotel room/cruise ship cabin. Otherwise they are all off. Only special exception is cell phones for emergency calls or if my husband is not with us and we need to meet up for a meal or activity. Otherwise, no doing work, no calling/texting back home, no games on the cell phone. These rules are not just for the child, but for us!

Submitted by tomgirlbc on

While Traveling there are rewards and bonuses like staying up later, and spending more money on attractions if the electronics do not come along, so yes bribes help!!

Submitted by tomboybc on

on play plan let the  kids use the electronics, but off the plain, they can play cards, or mini checkers, don't take the proper chargers lol

Submitted by Beccavt on

We all love the little handheld game, 20Q, and we take it wherever we go. We take turns, and it is a fun alternative to the sometimes mind-numbing DS, etc. games. Of course, we know we could play regular 20 questions (and sometimes we do), but we all enjoy the mystery of the 20Q algorithms!

Submitted by judy511 on

easy way to cut down on electronics - travel to places where chargers won't work (e.g Europe). they will have power for the trip there, but then - oops - no way to charge. may have to get a charger, tho, for the trip home.

Submitted by ashley on

We try to get our daughter involved in planning the trip.  This makes her less likely to be interested in TV once we arrive.

Since my kids are 1 and 3 thankfully I don't have to worry much about electronics.  My 3 year old does own an iPad though and we moderate his useage of it.  The electronic fiend in the house is me.  If I am on vacation with my family however, I don't have the need to use my iPhone or iPad as much as I would at home.  Tips-keep it in your purse or designate certain times when you can use it.

Bring books and games to enjoy rather than electronics use! nlevdan3 at yahoo dot com

Submitted by hali on

I would also give kids and everyone a camera, doesn't need to be expensive to take pictures, instead of texting, or being on the phone in some way. : )

Submitted by hali on

Oh that was a great little way to keep older kids away from technology/their phones.  I'd probably keep them so busy they won't need to be "connected" :) 

Submitted by tomboybc on

I have to bribe my son with money so he wont' go on his computer while away, but i do allow him an hour a day while away that seems to work

Submitted by Beccavt on

Another thing we always do is bring along favorite travel games, like Yahtzee, Set, and regular playing cards.

Submitted by Ehandley on

Electronics and Teens!

I am the mother of two teenage children. They are very involved and love to stay in touch with there friends which makes it a constant struggle at home and vacation. Electronics are allowed on the travel portions of the trip. However, prior to the trip each child has to make a top 10 list of things they would like to do on our trip. This is a two fold task it makes them take ownership of learning things about our destination and it keeps them engaged once we get there. To be fair we will alternate events from each child's list. I also take up the electronics when we arrive at our destination (for safe keeping and charging for the return trip home),

Our kids are still too young to be into electronics but for hubby and myself, we try to only use electronics a total of 1 hour per day while on vacation.

Submitted by ashley on

We allow electronics on the plane only.  Once we reach our destination, they are put away.

Submitted by 7cars on

I allow the kids to use electronics during drive time and when we are not doing activites together.  Absolutely no electronic use during meal time!

@7cars

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