Dear Travel Diary II

Dear Travel Diary (part 2),

In 3 weeks, I will be on my way to one happy island and ready to pack my bags already. Seriously, it has taken everything in me to not whip my bag out and start rolling my clothes up. This trip cannot come soon enough and the countdown has officially started. (T minus 21 days!)



Over the next few weeks, I am covering everything from research to bookings I have done and sharing this information weekly on my site. In sharing this information, I hope it helps someone who is getting close to preparing for a trip or for someone who absolutely hates the thought of preparing. Last week I touched on topics of airline flights, finding a place to stay, and looking into what may be required to enter the country or state.

To see last week's blog, follow me to Dear Travel Diary part 1 to read all about it.

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Ready? Let's go!

4. Now we get into the fun things! After knowing what all I need to have documentation wise, I start to research what fun activities I can find at this destination. This is more true when going somewhere near the ocean as I am a water person 100%. Something about how open the ocean looks and the sound of the crashing waves just take over my body and resets my soul. But anywho, back to the topic...

To start my search, I turn to Trip Advisor just to see what comes up at first glance. This site is good for finding fun activities including water sports, shopping, and historic sites, and much more! I have found many deals using this site and haven't had one bad experience. (Please don't let this be what jinks me.) Please make sure you read the reviews!

When I did my first glance into Aruba on Trip Advisor, I found a company in Aruba that offers bob snorkeling!!! (Insert me jumping up and down in pure excitement acting like I just got the best gift of my life.) This has been on my bucket list for years and something that most people don't know about which may be why I don't see it offered in many places. I first heard of it by watching The Bucket List Family and started doing research from the moment they tried theirs out. And let me say that these things are expensive!

One last thing I want to call out is to set a budget for these fun activities and stay within it. This site has a range of activities which means prices will range as well and while everything looks super fun, you don't want to leave broke and return in debt.

After giving that site a good scroll, I turn to good ole' Pinterest. Pinterest is a good site for finding just about anything. You can find where to find get the best local food to what outfits to wear when traveling. (This is actually my go-to place when trying to figure out what to wear.) On Pinterest, you can create a folder where you save specific articles/findings into that folder to help you get organized. Honestly, this feature is a lifesaver for me!

I have already found a few seafood restaurants in Aruba that I want to check out and they seem to have pretty good reviews when doing a quick Google search. These restaurants are saved in my Aruba folder which also includes guides to the art side of Aruba, what to know before traveling to Aruba, how to do Aruba on a budget and so much more. This is something I highly recommend to prepare to help understand how much money you need to savefor basic items like snacks and drinks.

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If it sounds like I look at these sites a few times and then I am done, please don't be fooled. I stalk these sites every day to read and learn as much as I can about my upcoming destination. I would say I almost have Aruba's Trip Advisor site memorized at this point with how much I have viewed it. I like to be as prepared as I can be, so I ensure I have everything needed and no sudden surprises occur.

5. As you start to work on step 4, you start to build an itinerary which naturally leads to step 5. When booking a tour of some sort on Trip Advisor, you have to select the day you want to do the activity, and depending on how many activities you pick determines how busy you are about to be. I don't pack my itinerary full of all-day events and pick 1-2 options as I want to spend some time relaxing on the beach and not running around.

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Follow me on Instagram @lizabeths_journey where I'll post daily photos and videos while in Aruba!

6. The next thing on the to-do list is to figure out transportation. Please do not assume that your destination will have Uber or Lyft if going international. For example, Aruba does not have either company on the happy island. Another option you can look into is public transportation. This came in handy when in Amsterdam because we had an unlimited 48-hour pass bought through our hotel which came in handy when getting turned around on the metro. Or maybe you prefer walking around especially if staying in the city and close to restaurants and local shops. (Something to keep in mind when searching for an Airbnb.)

From doing this research, you will learn if you need a rental car. Rental cars could be a cheaper option than anything else and something you need to think about. While in Aruba, we will be using a rental car to get around. Luckily it's a super small island like around 21 miles long. One thing to be aware of is that depending on where you go, you may have to pay for parking. (This is another thing to keep in mind when searching for an Airbnb.)

And there you have it, folks, what this week has looked like for me when preparing for my Aruba trip! I hope it helps you with planning your next trip and feeling more at ease when arriving knowing everything is lined up. Don't get stressed out on the first day! Stay tuned for next week's Deat Travel Diary part 3!!

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Hello Everyone, my name is Sara Elizabeth and a full-time working mom and a full-time student!

Over the years I have fallen in love with  traveling and exploring the great states of the United States! This passion grew from understanding how to find good deals on airline flights which have been the reason for many of my travel adventures. This journey has led me to find "that travel deal" for domestic and international flights. These are those kinds of deals that have people asking "How did you find them so low?" ...Well, to those asking that question, follow along this adventure of mine to learn my methods for finding that perfect travel deal. 

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