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Packing List for Aruba: What to Wear and Other Essentials

Attention beach vacationers! You’ve got your ticket to paradise in Aruba, but now comes the tricky part: deciding what to pack. Luckily for you, I’ve experienced the enchantment of One Happy Island many times.

Drawing from my own adventures on the island, I’ve compiled a complete Aruba packing list. First, I delve into the crucial essentials, offering insights into what to wear and what to pack for the beach during your vacation.

Then, beyond the basics like passports and driver’s licenses, I review the often-overlooked items, like portable chargers or chapstick. From reef-safe sunscreen to evening attire, each recommendation is curated by a seasoned traveler familiar with the island’s every nook and cranny.

Trust me; with this comprehensive guide to what to pack for Aruba, you’ll be prepared for the trip of a lifetime. So, pack your bags, and let’s make those memories under the Aruba sun!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when you purchase a product or book a stay through these links at no extra cost to you.

Important essential items to pack for Aruba

Woman packing suitcase for Aruba, including beach towels, passport, sunglasses, and a beach hat.Don’t let forgetfulness ruin your trip to One Happy Island! Essential items like your passport, driver’s license, and credit card are non-negotiable. So, let’s begin with these ten must-haves for your suitcase, purse, or carry-on!


Aruba is a popular sunny destination for American tourists. A valid passport is required, but don’t worry about a visa—Americans can stay as tourists for up to 30 days hassle-free.

Driver’s license

A valid U.S. driver’s license is necessary to rent a car in Aruba, providing flexibility and the freedom to go where you want without waiting for public transportation.

An international driver’s license isn’t required, but drivers must generally be at least 25 years old.

Portable chargers

Anker portable battery

When contemplating what to bring to Aruba, don’t forget your chargers! Since you’ll likely be outdoors away from outlets, pack a portable power bank for on-the-go charging. Our top pick is the Anker PowerCore 10000.

Plug-in chargers

Remember plug-in chargers for your phone, camera, laptop, and maybe an electric toothbrush. Luckily, if you’re American, you won’t have to worry about converters or adapters since plugs in Aruba are the same.

Cash in USD

Having some cash on hand is advisable, preferably $100 or less in small bills for easy tipping. U.S. dollars are widely accepted in Aruba, eliminating the need to exchange for Aruban florins.

If you require more cash, ATMs on the island dispense both dollars and florins, with many hotels having convenient on-site or nearby ATMs.

Debit and/or credit card

Bring your debit card to withdraw cash from Aruba’s ATMs, and most places accept major credit cards. Opt for a credit card without foreign transaction fees, like the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Camera & SD card

Bring a camera for high-quality photos on your Aruba vacation. Just don’t forget to check your camera for the SD card before leaving!

You may also want to consider an affordable underwater camera for water activities like snorkeling and scuba diving.

Bug spray or repellent bracelets

Mosquitos aren’t as big of an issue in Aruba due to the consistent trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean. Nonetheless, if you’re prone to mosquito bites, bring bug spray.

Opt for mosquito repellent bracelets—they’re easy to wear and often waterproof.

Prescription medications

Top priority on your Aruba checklist: prescription medications. Carry them in your carry-on, in original containers, as U.S. health insurance isn’t accepted in Aruba.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is crucial for a vacation to Aruba, offering financial protection against unforeseen events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost belongings.

What to wear on the plane to Aruba

When traveling to a tropical destination, consider dressing differently for the airport and flight. Since planes are cooler, you’ll want to wear layers, like a tank top with a light sweater and thin jogger pants. 

Skip shorts unless you layer pants or bring a blanket. As far as shoes go, opt for sneakers over sandals for comfort and to save room in your suitcase. We also suggest carrying larger sun hats onto the plane to avoid squishing in your suitcase.

Noise cancelling headphones

Whether you’re immersing yourself in music, movies, or podcasts, noise cancelling headphones enhance your in-flight experience and ensure a more enjoyable journey to your tropical destination.

Travel neck pillow

Neck pillow for travel

A travel neck pillow is a must-pack for your trip to Aruba, offering essential comfort during the airplane journey.

What to wear during the day in Aruba

Daytime temperatures in Aruba tend to be around 84/88°F (29/31°C), so consider packing clothing that will be comfortable in this climate. If you plan to spend most of your time at the beach, you may want to focus more on coverups and sandals than daytime clothing.

If you’re struggling with how to dress in Aruba, remember that the dress code is very laid-back. So, consider packing casual outfits you would wear in the summertime at home.

Light, breathable clothing

The key to dressing comfortably in Aruba is to bring light and breathable clothing. For example, linen is an excellent choice for fabric for hot weather conditions. You’ll also want to avoid wearing darker colors like black since they absorb more heat.

Regarding clothes to pack for women, sundresses, thin shorts, and tank tops/t-shirts all make great Aruba outfit ideas. Short-sleeve button-down shirts, t-shirts, and breathable shorts are ideal for men.

Athletic shorts are a must for more casual days! Regarding whether or not to bring pants, you won’t find many people wearing jeans in Aruba due to the heat.

Bathing suits

For a one-week trip to Aruba, pack 3-4 comfortable bathing suits, including a one-piece for water activities. Men can opt for swim trunks that double as shorts for efficient packing, and quick-dry options are ideal for the beach.


Since you’ll spend most of your time in a bathing suit in Aruba, pack several cover-ups. They’re convenient for quick trips to beach bars or restaurants.

Consider bringing at least three cover-ups or sarongs; alternatively, opt for comfy athletic shorts and T-shirts if you prefer not to invest in cover-ups.

UV protective shirts

Women's UV protection short in turquoise

Pack UV protective shirts for Aruba to shield your skin from the intense Caribbean sun, offering lightweight and breathable comfort—an ideal choice for enjoying sunny beaches and outdoor activities.


Due to the high UV index in Aruba, include a pair of sunglasses on your packing checklist. Ideally, choose polarized or UV-protected sunglasses.

Sun hat or baseball cap

Sun hat with ponytail hole

If you’re wondering what to take to Aruba, pack a secure-fitting sun hat due to intense sun and substantial wind. Opt for adjustable and fitted hats to prevent them from blowing away!

Comfortable sandals

Pack at least two pairs of sandals or flip flops for Aruba: one for the beach (to get sandy) and a more formal pair for dinner. Consider water shoes or hiking sandals for water activities.


While sneakers may not be the first thing you think to pack for Aruba, it’s worth bringing a pair. Consider wearing them on the plane to save space.

Keep in mind, you’ll need them for activities like off-roading in Arikok National Park or horseback riding.

What to pack for the beach in Aruba

Beach bag sitting on the beach in Aruba with sunblock, flip flops, sunglasses, and other beach essentialsA trip to Aruba will involve plenty of time spent on the beach. Therefore, you’ll want to double-check that you pack all these vacation necessities in your suitcase!

If you happen to forget any of these items, you will be able to buy them in stores around Aruba. However, they’ll likely be more expensive on the island than they would be at home.

Coral reef-safe sunscreen

Sun bum reef safe sunscreen

Since 2020, Aruba banned oxybenzone-containing sunscreens due to coral reef concerns. So, be sure to purchase reef-safe sunscreen for your trip.

Due to the high UV index in Aruba, it’s best to go with sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher.

Chapstick with SPF

People often remember to put sunscreen on but forget to protect their lips! Aruba is sunny and windy, so pack SPF 30+ reef-safe chapstick when hitting the beach.

Reusable water bottle

In Aruba, tap water is safe to drink, making it easier to stay hydrated in the heat. Bring a reusable water bottle to the beach, preferably insulated to keep your water cool while sunbathing.

Waterproof phone case

Two waterproof cases for cell phones

Since you’ll be spending most of your time by the water, invest in a waterproof phone case. Whether at the pool, beach, or Renaissance Aruba Resort to see flamingos, it prevents the risk of dropping an unprotected phone in the water.

Beach bag

You won’t be able to carry all your beach essentials without a beach bag! It’s best to buy a sand-free or packable option so that you don’t track sand everywhere and your bag will fit into your luggage.

Aloe vera

Use strong sun protection in Aruba, including sunscreen, SPF chapstick, and UV-protected sun hats. Pack aloe vera as a backup for sunburn relief during your beach trip—better safe than sorry!

Sand-free beach towel

Pink and white striped sand free beach towel

We all know how annoying it can be to come home from the beach and find sand in random places for days! So, why not invest in a sand-free towel? They’re incredibly affordable, so it’s worth packing 2-3 for a week on the island.

Portable cooler

Some Airbnbs and hotels have portable coolers for guests to use. However, you might not want to take the chance of not having a cooler for the beach! If you have the extra room, we’d recommend packing a collapsible cooler in your suitcase.


For avid readers, save suitcase space by bringing a Kindle instead of physical books. Opt for the Kindle Paperwhite for better beach lighting, offering a sharper screen and waterproof features. The Kindle Oasis is a premium alternative.

Snorkel gear

With crystal-clear turquoise waters and a plethora of snorkeling spots, having your snorkel gear ensures you can explore the captivating underwater landscapes at your leisure.

What to wear in the evening in Aruba

Beautiful sunset on a beach in ArubaAs far as what to wear in Aruba at night, evening wear on the island is very laid-back. Women can opt for maxi dresses with a light cardigan and comfy sandals, favoring lightweight fabrics like linen and silk.

Men can go for slacks, a thin button-down shirt, and comfortable loafers, with a light jacket as a key item for the evenings.

Toiletries to bring to Aruba

  • Aleve, Tylenol, or other pain relief
  • Hand wipes
  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner
  • Makeup
  • Face wash
  • Band-aids and other first-aid supplies
  • Cortisone cream
  • Brush or comb 
  • Sleep mask
  • Makeup remover
  • Glasses
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Moisturizer
  • Hair ties
  • Socks 
  • Razor
  • Contact lenses

Aruba packing checklist

Use our detailed checklist to help make sure you don’t forget anything at home! You can download it as a PDF here.

Checklist split into categories for what to pack for an Aruba vacation

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Before leaving for your Aruba vacation, you'll want to double-check you have all the items on this Aruba packing list!

An earlier version of this article was published in October 2020 and has since been updated.

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Monday 26th of July 2021

Thank you, your Aruba packing list was very helpful.

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