Dear Travel Diary I

Dear Travel Diary,


I leave for Aruba soon! To be exact, I leave a month from today!! Not going to lie, sometimes when I'm working, I just stare out the window and imagine myself looking out on the open water not having a thought in mind. This break cannot come soon enough and I am beyond ready to start preparing for this trip. Letssss goooo :)


Love,

Me


While some people hate the thought of preparing for a trip, I find pure excitement and joy throughout the whole process. From the time I start my research to days before leaving for the destination. While this doesn't have to be something you love, knowing how to get prepare and get ready can save you some headaches and money down the road.



So I decided to take you on this journey of mine while I'm still preparing for my next trip (or holiday as I am learning others call it that instead) in Aruba towards the end of October. Part of this journey is knowing what is needed ahead of time and eliminating any headaches that could pop up when traveling. I would like to think of myself as being an organized person when it comes to preparing for my trips. Typically I have everything laid out that we need with some fun things mixed in while out and about in a new place! Now, don't think I stuff our itinerary full of stuff because that is not me. While traveling, half my brain is telling me to just go with the flow and see what happens.


With my trip to Aruba in exactly one month from today, I decided to start a little "How to prepare" series lasting until who knows when honestly. Aiming for the day I leave, but we will see. Every week, I will post new blogs with what I have done that week to prepare for this trip as I typically have an order in how I get ready for them. I am hoping this helps someone who is needing to prepare for a trip soon or someone who wants to be more organized before leaving and having some sort of plans when you arrive. No need to be stuck in the airport waiting for a rental car because you didn't think to get one before leaving.


This link provided is an affiliate link and I may gain commission from you purchasing from these affiliate links. 


Ready... let's goooo!


1. The first thing I do is find the flight of course! I am that person who knows where she is going after buying the tickets. I find a good deal and its one of those things I just can't pass up on.


Back in early April of this year, I found tickets from Miami to Aruba for only $177. (Round trip/direct flights) From the first moment I saw them, I became a deer stuck staring in the headlights unable to move. WHAT A DEAL! This was all I could think about as the day went on and it was a deal I had to jump on.


2. The second step is to find a place to stay. Trust me, you do not want to be looking for your next place to lay your head and only have 2 hours left before the current Airbnb needs you to checkout. Sound a little specific? This was me when traveling in Calfornia with my friends and boyfriend and we hadn't booked the next Airbnb. At one point, we were all in the living room on our phones looking at the Airbnb site and were sending each other one to view in our group message. (We ended up driving 2 hours to the next Airbnb all the way up a mountain.) So take it from me, book where you want to stay right after you book the flights. Or make it the next to-do item on the list.


Additionally, the closer you wait to purchase this, the higher of a chance you are going to spend a lot more money. Seriously, I have seen so many Airbnb's that have such a good deal, and then a month later the price is jacked way up. Save yourself some money and book this as soon as possible!


Lake Arrowhead Airbnb

Airbnb for Aruba has been booked!


3. The third step, which can be done while searching for an Airbnb, but look up what requirements are needed for your destination. (If traveling domestically, start looking into getting a "Real ID" as this will be required in late 2021. If you have a US passport then a Real ID is not required as long as you show your passport.) I only use government official websites to find my information and Travel Advisories is my go-to site when traveling internationally.


With that being said, Aruba was a little different. Travel Advisories has good information, however, the site to use is Aruba's own website. The information is located under Aruba procedures.


I am sharing below exactly everything I have done so far to get into Aruba.


This link provided is an affiliate link and I may gain commission from you purchasing from these affiliate links. 


To travel to Aruba from the United States (North Carolina to be specific) you must:


--Submit the ED form which lets you know if you are qualified to be accepted into Aruba. You won't know if you are qualified or not until 72 hours before the departure. It took maybe 5 minutes of entering all my information including passport number and flight details. This can be done via phone as well!


--COV19: Due to living in North Carolina, I am having to submit a COV19 test 72 hours before the departure. However, based on some reviews and a recent travel blogger documenting his whole experience, sounds like 60 hours is a better timeframe. And I can only do certain tests which are provided on the Aruba website. (This will be my first COV19 test...wish me luck!)


--Aruba travel insurance is required and the link to purchase this insurance will be sent in the email letting me know if I am qualified to not enter. This one was not clear on their website and I ended up emailing the support line asking when I could purchase this as I wanted to have everything paid for and ready to go. That is when I learned it will be in that email and it will cost $40 to get it. Again, this is a required item!


This link provided is an affiliate link and I may gain commission from you purchasing from these affiliate links. 


*If you have questions about the Airbnb or flights, always reach out to the host or call into customer service for clarification. It may mean being on hold for a few minutes or not hearing back right away, but it's better to ask now vs. when you get there and have no choice.

And there you have it, folks, what I have done so far to prepare for my Aruba trip. I hope it helps you with planning your next one and not having any sudden pop-ups that could have been eliminated. Stay tuned for next week Dear Travel Diary part 2.


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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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