Is Aruba an Expensive Island to Visit (and What About Currency and Tipping)?

Being an autonomous country of the Netherlands, a favorite Caribbean destination, and having a relatively stable economy than its immediate neighbors, Aruba can be expensive. In fact, it goes as one of the most expensive places to visit in the Caribbean.
Is Aruba an Expensive Island to Visit
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If you’re a seasoned traveler and an expert backpacker, you can always turn things around in Aruba, but for the first-timers, you might have to dig a little deeper than just booking stuff online. The island nation boasts its safety, beauty, and happy island living, but with a price, and anyone with a budget needs to have a heads-up.

How Expensive Is Aruba?

Aruba can be expensive for those looking to splurge on the luxuries the island can offer because the Caribbean is quite famous for that esteemed 5-star vacation experience. However, for budget travelers and backpackers, Aruba can be affordable without having to deprive yourself too much.

Aruba and the rest of the lesser Antilles are indeed lined with luxury resorts and premier vacation destinations for obvious reasons, and budget options are limited but not scarce.

Some of the most notable luxury accommodations on the island are Aruba Marriott Resort, Holiday Inn Resort Aruba, Hilton Aruba, and many more. All of which could set you back to 300 to 500 USD per night.

Hostels can cost around 20 to 40 USD per night, depending on the type of room. Make sure you book early on and book fast, there are only a few of them on the island.

Some of the best rated and most booked hostels in Aruba are the PistaQ, Hostel Room Aruba, perfect for Solo Travelers, Sue-Ann’s Dorm, and Aruba Harmony for the best parties.

Aruba can be affordable if you opt for a mid-range to a backpacker budget because the island has a lot to offer for everybody, budget-wise. If you’re a budget traveler or a backpacker your average daily cost would be around 70 USD per day.

However, if you opt for a more mid-range level of expense, you can go up to an average of 145 USD per day on expenses. As for those who have more financial capacity, you can go up to an average of 355 USD per day.

Are Things Expensive in Aruba?

Aruba still stands as one of the most expensive places in the Caribbean. Fluctuating fuel prices, transport of supplies, and prices and fees around tourism usually hike during peak season.

The average daily cost in Aruba, regardless of your budget range, is around 260 to 300 USD per day, so it can still be expensive. An average meal can set you back to 54 USD, while a taxi ride can cost on average up to 26 USD. Buses are more economic and easy for a backpacker’s wallet, as a roundtrip ticket in Oranjestad is around 2.22 USD.

Alcohol doesn’t come cheap in Aruba as well, as it costs an average of 22 USD. Entertainment and activities include admission fees, tickets to museums and attractions, tours, and other sightseeing experiences, where it typically costs 77 USD on average.

Is Aruba More Expensive Than Mexico?

In many ways, Mexico can be both cheaper and more expensive than Aruba. For one, Mexico is like a whole diverse set of experiences, as if it’s like a whole world in itself. You can go by popular coastal cities and be taken back by expensive prices and a dozen of tourist traps, while inland cities can be cheaper or another level of expensive at the same time.

Aruba is one small Caribbean island with only a few to go about, and short distances to cover, but it is undoubtedly beautiful. When something is beautiful and commercialized, expect it to be expensive or at least mid-range.

Getting supplies and other things to Aruba can be quite expensive, thus causing prices in daily expenses to be pricey. In Mexico, where the supplies can be sourced from different states don’t impose high prices which in turn making expenses cheaper. Apart from tourist mecca cities like Cancun, where prices are high due to high tourist demand.

How Much Is a Gallon of Milk in Aruba?

A gallon of milk in Aruba can cost around 6 to 7 USD. If you compare it to another notably expensive locale in Mexico like Cancun, which is only around 4 USD. You can see how Aruba can hurt your wallet if you don’t have a wider budget or a well-planned trip.

How Much Does an Average Trip to Aruba Cost?

It depends on how much you plan to splurge or deprive yourself of, and how long you’re staying, and the activities you’re planning to do. A day for a single person can set you back to 260 USD on average. This is a typical range for both budget and luxury travelers.

Most travelers who have been to the island have spent a total average of 54 USD on average priced meals per day. Transportation can also set you back to 26 USD a day, for a single person.

While a cheaper accommodation like a hostel or Airbnb could cost you around 20 to 40 USD per night, and luxury hotels and resorts are around 145 to 300 USD. You can already surmise that Aruba can be on the pricey side, compared to many of the islands across the Caribbean.

How Much Does a Week in Aruba Cost?

A week in Aruba for single person coasts on average of about 1,822 USD, and 3,643 USD for a couple. However, all-inclusive resorts like the Divi Aruba can help you reduce expenses as most activities and other necessities are included in the hotel package.

How Can I Go to Aruba on a Budget?

Aruba can be a very expensive travel destination, especially for first-timers who don’t have quite a solid idea of the expenses in this beautiful island nation. But just like many things, in reality, there are many ways to work around it. Aruba isn’t solely reserved for the high-rollers.

First off, travel during the off-season. This could spell a lot of advantage in air ticket and accommodation prices. One of the greatest things about Aruba is that it has great weather all year-round and the fall months have the biggest discounts and flight promos.

Aruba is lined with luxury hotels and resorts and could hurt your budget, but you can always opt for a more budget-friendly hostel or Airbnb. If you want to go on a budget, you have to sacrifice a sweeping picturesque ocean view for a rugged one.

Just make sure you book in advance as they tend to sell out faster than their luxury counterparts.

When you traveling around and across different cities, your budget should stick with public buses. You can rest assured that the island nation has a great bus system that takes you to different points across, and they come extremely cheap. A roundtrip ticket can cost 2-3 USD only.

If you do opt for an Airbnb make sure the unit you’re staying on has a kitchen. Eating out in Aruba can set you back to 54 USD a day for a single person. Your budget might get a huge dent if you tend to eat out every day, plus, you could always cook your favorite meals.

However, trying the local cuisine would be an ideal experience, just don’t splurge on them every day.

If you’re a drinker, it’s also probably best to buy some alcohol on the duty-free selection at the airport upon your arrival. Alcohols in the duty-free store at the airport upon your arrival in Aruba have a good selection and are not ridiculously priced.

You could save plenty of money if you buy your own rather than go to beach bars every night where drinks could bust your budget.

Is Aruba Worth the Money?

With world-class beauty and a people that is as unique as its island, of course, Aruba is worth the money. It isn’t a Caribbean favorite for nothing.

A lot of people might be put off because of the prices and cost of living but a good traveler always find a way around financial constraints.

How Do You Pay in Aruba?

You can always pay either in US dollars cash in Aruba as they are widely accepted, or the local florin. Banks also exchange other foreign currencies like Euros and they don’t charge high exchange rates as well.

Traveler’s checks and credit cards are other common forms of paying in Aruba.

Does Aruba Take Credit Cards?

Major credit cards are widely accepted in Aruba. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely used there as well, just like the rest of the world.

Just make sure you’ve informed your local issuing bank that you will be using it for a trip abroad. Most banks might impose certain rates for foreign purchases.

What Currency Do They Use in Aruba?

Aruba uses the florin currency, usually denoted by the letter “AWG”. Aruban banknotes have denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 florins.

When you come to Aruba and would rather prefer using the local currency, it’s wiser to have all smaller denominations for tipping and other small purchases.

What Does Aruba Money Look Like?

Aruba’s banknotes are characterized by colorful palettes with images of the island’s famous animals like birds, geckos, iguanas, and other notables cultural sites, and traditions printed on them. They have denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 Aruban florins.

Can You Use US Dollars in Aruba?

US Dollars and Euros are widely accepted in Aruba. Other than their diplomatic and trade relationships the US and several countries in the Eurozone are Aruba’s biggest tourist demographic. So money and currencies from these countries are common in the island nation.

However, if you prefer using the local currency you can always exchange them in banks, especially if you’re bringing US dollars or Euros.

Traveler’s checks are also accepted in hotels, restaurants, and stores and aren’t usually charged.

You’ll find that despite its relatively smaller island feel, Aruba is big on tourists as it is evident in how easy it is to purchase things there.

Is It Better to Use US Dollars in Aruba?

Whether you use US dollars, Euros, or the Aruban florin, all options are good just as long as you keep in mind your spending limit, and budget, as Aruba can be pretty expensive. Conversion rates imposed by restaurants and hotels aren’t ridiculously disadvantageous to you, and traveler’s checks aren’t charged as well.

So it really depends on what is comfortable for you. You just have to be mindful of your spending and your budget. However, if you want to use the florin, you can exchange your money in banks, and in the airport upon your arrival.

How Much Cash Can You Bring to Aruba?

There are no cash restrictions in Aruba, however, any amount exceeding 20,000 AWG or 11,000 USD and any equivalent is required for declaration in customs.

Should I Bring Cash to Aruba?

You can bring cash to Aruba, especially if you’re taking public transport getting to your hotel or accommodation. Taxis, buses, and other types of non-prepaid/booked transport will certainly need cash for payment, and preferably florin, to avoid conversion mishaps upon payment.

If you’re the type of traveler who prefers to bring credit or debit cards, and traveler’s checks, you can do so safely and easily if you’re paying for the hotel, restaurants, and stores.

How Much Money Should I Bring to Aruba?

The estimated average expense for a single person in Aruba, not including roundtrip plane tickets is around 468 AWG or 260 USD per day, and about 3,279 AWG or 1,822 USD for a whole week. Aruba can be expensive, even more so than Cancun in Mexico, so it’s best to gauge your potential spending before coming.

What Is the Best Currency to Take to Aruba?

US dollars or Euros are widely accepted in Aruba and don’t pose any disadvantage for tourists. However, to avoid conversion mishaps, just in case, even though it’s not common, it would be good to have florins on hand too. Having florins are especially ideal for tipping, and paying for fares, like bus trips.

Is It Customary to Tip in Aruba?

It is not customary to tip in Aruba, but you are free to do so. Service workers might be surprised and take extra appreciation for your little generosity, they are a happy bunch after all.

However, many establishments like restaurants and bars add a service charge to your bill. It’s best to check your bill first before giving out any tips.

What Is the 15 Service Charge in Aruba?

The 15% service charge is added to your bill in restaurants and bars, it is divided among service and kitchen staff and is added to their salaries according to a point system.

In a way, you don’t need to tip in Aruba, however, if you want to, you can do so especially if you think that the service has been excellent.

Should I Tip in Aruba?

Tipping is not mandatory and isn’t really expected by service workers and kitchen staff. However, if you like tipping people, especially if the service was excellent, you can freely do so. You’ll find that the people in Aruba will easily be delighted by your generosity.