Why You Should Vacation In Aruba? COVID-19: What You Need To Know Before Travel.

RUI Hotel in Aruba

My Aruba Vacation

A Christmas Entaglement

Take your mind from stress to rest. Vacation in Aruba at any time, especially COVID, will probably be one of the best gifts you will give to your spirit.

You deserve a vacation on a beautiful island, in the sun, on the beach, away from the hustle and bustle of life. ARUBA is that little piece of happiness and fun you will feed your soul.

The year 2020 has been the most devastating year globally due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. This viral event has taxed us mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially in some shape and form.  

The island of Aruba will refresh, rejuvenate, relax, and take your mind to a place of bliss.

I most often use Expedia to book my vacation packages. You can accumulate points per purchase dollar which can be applied to a future hotel booking. 

Other online travel agencies have the same points system; booking through the Expedia app, you accumulate more points. Moreover, in an effort to persuade customers to travel during COVID, hotels and airlines have great deals on flight and hotel packages.

Before You Visit Aruba During COVID, Here Is What You Need To Know:

cpr covid test
covid-19 test result
Aruba DOH approval card

Any visitor planning on vacationing in Aruba during the COVID pandemic, must have a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test done within 72 hours or 3 days of your travel date. 

Every country or destination has its own requirements. So, you may want to research travel requirements for your destination before you travel.

My PCR Delima

On December 15th, New York City was preparing for a snowstorm. The CityMD closed early and was scheduled to be open at 11 am the next day. The test was conducted in the evening after work.  CityMD informed me that the CPR result will take 5-7 days.

However, as a precautionary measure, both the rapid test and as well as the PCR test. My rapid negative test result was received via email within an hour.  The rapid test (SARS-CoV-2 rapid ag) will not be accepted in Aruba. 
 

Taking CPR the Test In Aruba

Since I did not have a negative CPR test prior to my trip. I made up in my mind that I will have to pay  US$75 to take the test in Aruba. Prayers went up hoping that my test results will be ready before the day of my flight.

I Was So Lucky in Aruba

I checked for my CPR results before my flight took off in NYC but nothing; no email confirmation was received. 

While waiting for my luggage in Aruba, I hook up to the free WIFI at the airport and all my messages came flooding in. I was delighted and relieved to see an email confirmation from CityMD confirming that my CPR test results were ready. Yow, was I happy!

I immediately logged into the CityMD app and was able to download my test result to present to the immigration officer from my phone. 

After clearance at Aruba airport, I received this DVG approval card. This card must be presented to the hotel representative at check-in to waive the quarantine process.

What If You Get Tested In Aruba?

If you did not have a PCR test done prior to travel, the CPR test must be done on arrival. However, you will be quarantined for up to 24 hrs in your hotel room until you receive the COVID-19 test result.

If You are tested positive for COVID, you will be removed from your hotel and placed into quarantine.

$30 Aruba Visitors Insurance

The Aruba Visitor Insurance can be purchased using a credit card via the link above. 

You will be required to complete an online application where you complete personal and travel information such as passport number, and dates of travel. 

After you make the $30 payment you will receive an email confirmation. 

This fee is due to the COVID and covers the cost associated with the event you get sick from COVID while on vacation in Aruba.

 

Travel requirements to aruba

 Online ED Card

Aruba’s online Embarkation and Disembarkation Card (ED Card) is required for boarding and travel to Aruba. 

Aruba health appI highly recommend that you download  The Aruba Health App. 

The app is useful for easier processing at the airport in Aruba. You can add each family member to the same app, but each will have its own profile. 

If you have your test result prior to travel, you can upload it to your profile. However, I would suggest you also carry a paper copy of the required documents with you on the trip.

Once you have complete  The ED Application Process including the payment of the $30 insurance fee, you will get an ED card via email. 

ED Card

This card will need to be presented to the airline’s boarding agent before you can board the aircraft. The process may seem daunting at first, but it is not as bad as it may be perceived. 

Checking In Online

Checking in online with your airline company makes the process a bit easier. 

All I had to do at the airport was to print the tag for my checked luggage and drop it off.

One interesting observation was that the seat number that I chose when I booked my flight, never got changed. 

I assume this was due to COVID and the airline tried to promote social distancing. 

Jetblue flightHowever, my flight to Aruba was surprisingly almost filled to capacity. One pointer: walk with a head or earphone that has a jack that is compatible with Jetblue’s audio jack. I had the Samsung earphone with a USB C output. 

However, WIFI was available via Jetblue Fly-Fi. Therefore, I was able to be entertained by my tablet and phone.

Returning To New York City

The AUA Aruba Airport Check-In Process

The AUA is the only airport in Oranjestad, Aruba. Travel time from the RIU Hotel where I vacationed is approximately 10 -15 minutes. However, I will encourage you to be at AUA airport at least 2 hours prior to travel time. 
Check-in process at the airport is out of the norm for me. I felt like I was repeating the check-in process twice. Travelers will have to go through several checkpoints (TSA, Checked Luggage, and customs) throughout the airport before you reach your assigned gate.

In Aruba you go through customs there instead of in the US. Therefore, all I had to do when I landed in NYC was retrieve my luggage and head home.

Traveler’s Health Form

Jet Blue Airlines in compliance with the Department Of Health (DOH) requires that a New York State Traveler Health Form must be completed within 24 hours of your travel date. 

The form asks for flight info such as my flight number, seat number, date of flight, and airport destination. Once I  have completed the form, I received a confirmation on the screen. it was recommended to screenshot said confirmation so that it can be presented at the airport at check-in. 

The COVID-19 test and Required Quarantine

You will be required to quarantine for 14 days after your arrival to NYC. On day 4, a COVID  test is needed and results should be submitted to the DOH. However, if you indicated on the online Traveler Health Form that you are an essential worker, then you will be exempt from the 14 days quarantine. But you will still need to take the COVID test on day 4. 

This section of the blog below will highlight my stay at the RIU All-inclusive resorts. You will learn about my experience at the resort and so that you can have an idea of what it is like vacationing in Aruba. Bear in mind that this trip was during the Christmas of 2020. 

WELCOME TO THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND OF ARUBA.

The Little Happy Island Of Aruba

Your Aruba Vacation is Here

The RIU Hotel in Oranjestad Aruba

Hotel RIU and Resorts are located in Palm Beach. Bear in mind when you choose RIU as your hotel stay, you have the choice of staying on the family side of the resort; the hotel that looks like a castle. The neighboring RIU Palace Antilles Resort on the right is the Adult side.

Both are two beautiful all-inclusive resorts that give you full beach access and use of all the resort’s amenities. Visit Hotel RIU Palace website for more details. 

Booking through Expedia or one of the other online travel agencies will provide you with better deals.

Enjoy Some RIU Aruba You-Time

My junior suite on the 18th floor provided the most beautiful view of the city, lakes, pools, and ocean from the balcony. 

The relaxing view is one of the most therapeutic feelings you may ever experience.

 The sunrise, the sunset, and the shimmering glitter of the stars and moon on the horizon of the ocean filled my spirit with wonder about the majesty power of the creator.

Hotel Room balcony
palm beach aruba
RIU Hotel

The Perfect Surrounding

RIU is fun-packed with all your entertaining needs. I did not have to go outside the hotel for any entertainment. 

The resort has everything for your entertainment: beach access, water sports, music, unlimited alcoholic beverages, food, music, games and just to name a few. 

Social Distancing & COVID Precautions

The Resort management team ensured that safety measures were in place to prevent the potential spread of COVID. 

All guest must wear a mask when on the resort unless you are at the beach, pool, or actively eating in the dining areas.

Guests must hand sanitize and get their temphand sanitizers at RIU hotelerature checked before they enter the dining areas.

In addition, hand sanitizers were stationed throughout the entire resort.

social distancing sign

Poster signs were posted emphasizing that guests should wear their masks and practice social distance.

Outside The Resort

The hotel is within walking distance to nearby restaurants and shopping plazas. But, you can also take public transportation that is located directly across from the RIU hotel.

Aruba Food Cuisine

Talk about food! Three meals a day, buffet-style, with a wide selection of different food cuisines options such as vegan, vegetarian, or meat lover dished were provided in the all-inclusive package.

Most of the meals served at the RIU resort seems to have some form of Spanish influence. You will most often see pork, beans and rice on the buffet table. 

A wide selection of sweet threats were also available at each meal time.  

The Dining Areas

The dinning area are sectioned into both indoor and outdoor dining looking into the beach front lined with coconut trees swaying into the cool sea breeze. 

I was most often entertained by a few blackbirds that fight for the scraps of food left on the table by guests. 

The RIU Staff

I am big on excellent customer service. The RIU staff demonstrated very good customer service. They were very attentive, friendly and polite.
desserts
RIU Gym
RIU pools

The RIU Amenities

The Gym

Between 7 am and 7 pm the gym is open for you to burn off some calories from the food and alcoholic beverages consumed.

The gym is fairly small. However, disinfectant sprays were provided for you to clean down the gym equipment before and after use.
 
The Swimming Pool

 There are 2 pools. One for swimming, playing volleyball and pool aerobics. 

The other is a bar inside the pool where you can be seated and order as many drinks as you like.

Beach Towel/Towel Card

Next to the pool is the towel room. Every guest in addition to their room card key, also received a card for beach towels. 

You exchange the towel card for a beach towel. When you return the towel, the Attendant will give you back a card. May I add that the beach chairs were free and easily accessible to all resort guest.

The Spa

Renova Spa provides different types of massage treatments and body care. The one issue I had was that the Gym and Spa share the same changing room.

The Bars

In addition to the pool bar, there are 2 other noted bars. The bar in the lobby is opened 24 hrs and the other bar is sandwiched between the outdoor dining area and the beach front. 

 Other amenities include: a casino, a restaurant on 2nd floor, Tradewind gift shop & clothing stores and  photo services.
 
 

Enjoy Dining On The Aruba Waters

The De Palm Pier is a one stop shop located on Palm Beach directly across from the hotel. 

The Pier has a few small gift shops and a restaurant. The ambiance of the restaurant is very rustic and festive overlooking the beautiful blue sea. 

The views of the ocean while dining is peaceful and relaxing; you will fight falling asleep after having a good meal or a drink. 

De palm beach aruba
water sports shops

Explore The Aruba Beach.

If you are a lover of water sports or boat excursions, then this will be your go-to spot. It’s right on the beach across from the RIU resorts.  

Ask for David, he will provide you a breakdown of all the water excursions they offer. 

Whether it is Jet skiing, scuba diving, parasailing, tubing, snorkeling, or sailing, you will definitely have a great time.

Traveling Aruba Public Transportation

Aruba Bus
bike rental in aruba

Take The Bus In Aruba

Public transportation is easily available directly across from the RIU Hotel. The fare is US$2.50 per trip. The bus takes you along the strip lined with hotels and resorts, shopping malls, and restaurants.aruba public transportation aruba public transportationinside aruba public bus

Rent a Bike In Aruba

Like the CITI bikes in NYC and in many other cities in the US, you and your family can rent a bike and travel around Aruba. riding a bike in aruba
Aruba Taxi – No Uber or Lyft 

Unfortunately, no Uber or Lyft cab service is available in Aruba. However, you can easily call for a local Aruba taxi to take you around the island. 

Obtaining a taxi service from the airport was very easy. As you exit the airport, you will observe a line of taxis waiting to take you to your destination. In addition, a Taxi from the airport will cost you around US$35. 

About Aruba

map of aruba

 What Language Is Spoken in Aruba?

Aruba is a very small island. There are about 100,000 people. The 2 main languages are Dutch and  Papiamento which is Portuguese Creole. However, most, if not all, the residents speak English and/or Spanish, therefore you do not need an interpreter or translator.

Aruba Currency

The currency of Aruba is the Florin. At the time of travel US$1.00 was converted $1.65 Florin.

Aruba Florin dollars Aruba Florin dollars and cents

Click on Visit Aruba for more information about Aruba.

If You liked the blog, share with your friends. Leave a comment and give a star rating. 

The Best Vacation Experience In Aruba

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"The Coronavirus Pandemic has taught us that life is very short. COVID-19 was very devastating, but it became a spiritual awakening that forced us to rethink who we are and what we value. The Pandemic has slowed down our fast pace of living and made us surrender to the true meaning of life."
sun set aruba
Kevin Foodie
Travel Blogger

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14 thoughts on “Why You Should Vacation In Aruba? COVID-19: What You Need To Know Before Travel.”

  1. Wow! Thank you for such a thorough breakdown of your trip and preparation for it in today’s uncertain times! Glad you had a great trip!

  2. Such an informative post and really helps provide some insight into traveling during the pandemic. I couldn’t believe your luck with getting your results last minute at the airport! Amazing! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. This sounds like such a great place and you’ve added so much information. Thanks for sharing. This is now on my bucket list for when travel resumes 😄

  4. Aruba seems like a great place to travel during covid. It looks like an amazing vacation, such beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. thanks for sharing the details of your Aruba trip! Especially this time of pandemic and costings, such a beautiful place.

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