Aruba is NOT cheap. In fact, it is one of the most expensive islands that I’ve visited. But, there are some smart hacks so that you don’t break the bank!
Look for the CHEAP super markets
Yes, Aruba has their own version of Costco and Walmart. Although not identical, they offer pretty much the same selection as a big box store back home. What’s the difference? The price.
I’m talking about $9 USD for a small box of Oreos… Not that Oreos were at the top of our grocery list, but come on.
So, we went off the beaten path and found the smaller markets. Every store sells things for whatever they feel is an appropriate mark up. Luckily, the more local stores that sell to the citizens of Aruba are a lot more reasonable. The markets in the tourist areas are, as you might have guessed, tourist traps.
Although no market is necessarily cheap in Aruba, the ones off the beaten path won’t be as painful.
Rent a Car
The excursions around Aruba are killer expensive. $100 USD just for a drive to the Natural Pool? I can rent a car for a week for about $120 USD. No thank you.
If you plan your Aruba trip well in advance, it is significantly cheaper to book your rental car ahead of time as well.
This, again, will save you from the tourist traps around the airport in Aruba. On average, you’re looking at $100-$200 USD for a week with a mid-size car.
AirBnB over Hotels
I’ll get straight to the point with this one. If you’re travelling with between 1-3 people, AirBnB is the better choice. Anything larger, you’re looking at a hotel to split the cost.
The biggest draw to an Airbnb in Aruba is the cost and the ease of use. Because you are staying with locals who want to earn extra money from their homes, the prices are a lot less than $300 a night for a hotel room. We found a few places that ranged from $80-$120 USD a night.