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Even though here in Houston we don’t get the arctic and snowy winters that settle in some parts of the country, it still gets far too dreary, wet, and cold in January to consistently enjoy outdoor activities. To counter-balance our own southern version of winter hibernation, we headed to the Bahamas as a family last January, and had a great time swimming and playing in the sun for a few days. So, when it came time to plan a trip for this January we thought we would try another beach destination to break up the cold and dreary weather cycle that can happen even in the Houston area. I love my winter ski trips, but while they are very fun, they aren’t exactly relaxing in the same way a beach trip can be.
To pull this trip off, several months ago my family pulled the trigger on a very good airfare sale to Aruba from several cities in the US, including Houston. The prices were so good for dates we wanted (under $300 RT each with decent flight times and no overnight layovers) that it made using airline miles a bad deal since I want at least 1.5 cents per mile return when I redeem my airline miles, and prefer closer to at least 2 cents per mile. Instead, we will be earning US Airways miles on this trip, and using a combination of Club Carlson and Hyatt Gold Passport hotel points to cover our hotel costs.
Just as we did during our trip to the Bahamas last January, the main focus of this trip will simply be easy family fun in the sun. We will swim in the hotel pools, go down the water slide, hang out on the beach, eat (hopefully) good food, maybe hit the spa while C plays at the Kid’s Club for a few hours, and we will just exhale for a few days. I don’t expect (or want) to do everything under the sun in Aruba on this one long weekend trip. On this trip I want to mostly be a stereotypical tourist with an umbrella drink next to the water, a bathing suit, a happily playing kid, and a dumb smile on my face.
However, I don’t want to miss any “must see or do” Aruba attractions just because I am blinded with visions of sitting next to the water with said umbrella drink. I also am very interested in especially good food options in the area – bonus points if they are family friendly.
This is where you come in! In addition to the online research we are doing for Aruba recommendations, I know many of you have been to Aruba and you guys have a track record of having very solid recommendations of things to see and do. I’ve gotten a few suggestions from a few of you already, but I would love more. So, if you have been to Aruba and have any suggestions or recommendations to pass on to our little family, I’d love to hear it!
In keeping with the very laid-back vacation mode of this trip, the family voted against a rental car and will be relying primarily on cabs and such, just in case that plays into any recommendation specifics.
On a side note, just as I hoped, since we have stepped away from taking as many trips in 2015 as we did in previous years, we are legitimately looking forward even more to this trip than I have many other recent trips. Bring on the beach….as long as the commenters in this post were right and the bugs aren’t as bad there as some other Caribbean spots we have visited!