With so many Caribbean destinations to choose from, it can be tough settling on an island that will provide your family with the right atmosphere. Pick the wrong beach resort and you could end up partying with spring breakers. On the other end of the spectrum, you could find yourself fruitlessly looking for some fun among a gaggle of retirees. One safe bet that keeps families coming back year after year? Aruba, One Happy Island.
Regardless of the type of travel style your family most ascribes to, Aruba offers plenty to do. It all starts with beach lounging and sun soaking; two of the most popular beaches on the island are Baby Beach and Eagle Beach. Depending on the hotel you choose (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a luxury property), you may have private beach access with cabana reservations available, beach service for dining and drinks, rentals for things like jet skis and possibly even a sea turtle habitat.
However, while it’s tempting to spend all your vacation time with your toes in the sand and a cocktail in hand, and the kids may be just as happy splashing in the low-wave waters, you’d eventually regret leaving Aruba without seeing the rest of the island.
The best form of transportation for checking out the 20-mile-long, 6-mile-wide island? ATV. Whether you choose to explore within a tour group or head out into the desert on your own, you’ll have a great time. The desert side of the island is like another destination entirely, filled with craggy rocks, rough shoreline, cacti and dusty roads. Wear something you can get a little messy (the dust, sweat and sand will leave their mark) and make sure to pack plenty of water. Best stops on any ATV tour of the island include California Lighthouse, the Aruba Natural Bridge and Alto Vista Chapel.
If you’d prefer to see parts of the island on foot rather than speed across the dunes on a four-wheeler, Arikok National Park is a great spot to do so. Hike the volcanic rock formations and get a glimpse of ancient cave paintings. Keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife. Aruba has plenty of lizards and other reptiles, as well as herds of wild goats and donkeys.
For more wildlife, purchase a one-day pass to the Renaissance Island (if you’re not already staying at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino), and spend the day hand-feeding flamingos as they flock about with unabated curiosity. The 40-acre private island is the perfect place to enjoy a little bit of paradise, tucked within an even bigger slice of paradise.
Not every great Aruban activity requires adventure, though. You can have your own fun shopping in Oranjestad, an easy walk or drive from nearly every resort. The colorful Dutch Colonial architecture welcomes you to the multitude of shops, from local purveyors of cheap souvenirs to luxury retailers.
What better setting for grandparents and granddaughters to connect and share than a fairy-tale château set beside a fabulous forest? The Gramping Getaway at Chateau Mcely Spa Hotel & Forest Retreat in Mcely, Czech Republic, offers a themed adventure centering around the charming story of the château’s Princess Nely and her magical cheetah friend Pralinka. The character of the princess is based on the children’s book Nely, the Princess of Chateau Mcely written by château owner Inez Cusumano.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
This October, take the whole family to London and take time to not only enjoy the classic sites but also these scary fun Halloween events and experiences. Whether it’s a spooky-filled trip to the London Zoo or a step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here are the three can’t-miss experiences:
It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Medellín, Colombia, with us.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Make your family trip to Orlando so much more than just visiting the theme parks. Thanks to new vacation bundles from luxury hotels in Orlando, available as of Sept. 1, you can enjoy exclusive boating experiences during your trip.