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Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

New York
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Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

Need advice. Will be traveling to Aruba in October with a 1-year-old. Can't decide whether to go with all-inclusive or not. My wife says that all-inclusive is more convenient with such a small child. Can anyone advice and share personal experience?

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

We have traveled to the Caribbean and Europe with our kids. I am not generally an all inclusive traveller. In fact I have only been to an AI once and it was at the Tam/Divi in Aruba. During that trip we found the AI very convenient (our kids were 5 and 7 at the time) as we didn't need to worry about the kids schedules, getting hungry etc as food was always available when we needed it and we didn't need to travel to get it. However, there are obvious limitations to AI as it doesn't allow one to really experience the place you are visiting in the same way.

With a 1 year old, however, the convenience of AI might not matter as much. When my daughter was 18 months old we went to France for 2 weeks. We arranged our meal times around her sleeping (luckily she slept easily in her stroller) so we could enjoy our meals. In the evening we would put her in her pj's and stroll around until she fell asleep and then went out for dinner with her sleeping right next to us. So, if you want to experience the great restaurants in Aruba and aren't really keen on AI, don't do AI now and perhaps wait a few years when you will benefit more from the convenience.

North Cape May, Nj
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2. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

I can only offer an opinion. With a toddler, I would choose AI. Many with children will choose AI. Many won't. Go with your instincts. Everyone is different, so make the choice that seems best for you and enjoy your trip.

Edited: 10 June 2014, 21:14
Boston...
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3. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

I've been with toddlers twice, and we didn't do AI. So no reason for it or an benefit from it, other than not leaving the resort.

The restaurants we've been to have all welcomed small children without a problem.

We use to bring a small pop up cabana that we could set up on the beach to provide extra protection. It bent a few times in the wind, but was never blown over.

The hardest part of traveling with a toddler was dealing with an umbrella stroller while going through security lines. Turns out, when you have to run through the x-ray machine, you're not allowed to simply fold them up and send them through with the kid still seated in it

Edited: 10 June 2014, 21:41
Lexington...
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4. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

"My wife says that all-inclusive is more convenient with such a small child."

kindguy98 - a little (unqualified) marriage counseling seems to be warranted here. IF YOUR WIFE SAYS SOMETHING IS THE CASE - THEN IT IS THE CASE. Take due notice and govern yourself accordingly.

Have a great (all-inclusive) trip.

Edited: 10 June 2014, 22:06
Niskayuna, New York
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for Aruba
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5. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

I don't think you could miss with either option. Aruban restaurants are uncommonly accommodating to families. I would regard your baby as an extremely valuable, much-loved carry-on bag and suit your own needs. We have stayed both AI and non-AI and have enjoyed both. Good luck with your decision and have a wonderful vacation.

Hull, Massachusetts
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for Palm - Eagle Beach
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6. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

We've traveled with our kids and grandkids and while I think with children AI can make life easier, I don't think at this age it would be as helpful. I would recommend a timeshare rather than a hotel room. Having a full kitchen and more room will make your vacation so much easier. There are lots of nice timeshare resorts in Aruba and they can be less expensive when you rent directly from an owner.

Good luck!

New Jersey
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for Aruba
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7. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

Pack snacks from home, On the other thread you started thats seemed to be your wifes concern. You can get a small fridge at most resorts. Buy some more snacks if needed and store them. AI is not very popular in Aruba and with most on this forum because Aruba is safe and many restaurant choices across the board. If you said you and your wife are drinkers and want to save cash on booze then ok, AI or no AI for convenient snack options would not be enough for me to spend the extra cash for AI. Everyone is different. I would hate to be strapped to a resort in Aruba and drop all that cash on bottom shelf AI liquor choices and buffet type of food for a week. It seems like you are really torn but your wife has made up her mind. You won't know until you go but if your not feeling AI don't do it, you won't be sorry. I would rather my 1 year old not dictate how my vacation would be spent. Hope your voice counts in the choice. With respect.

New York
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8. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

Guys, thank you so much for your opinions. So you would feed the baby at out-of-resort restaurants and have some snacks handy in the fridge...I guess?

Lexington...
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9. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

Your inclination to move away from an all-inclusive experience is not a bad one (provided your wife agrees) but it does beg the question or raises the issue of being sure that any facility that you ultimately wind up at will have a refrigerator available for you. Most do, but some do not - so just be sure that the place you ultimately stay at will have one for you.

Edited: 11 June 2014, 13:11
NJ
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10. Re: Advice Needed - traveling with a toddler

We're going in less than 2 weeks with a 3 year old and an 18 month old. We are staying in a Divi Village timeshare and not going AI. The timeshare aspect appeals more to us with a family. I like having the kitchen area if we need it, along with a little more space. We have the option of purchasing an AI plan, but to us it's not worth it. With the kids, we aren't going to be drinking much, if any, and usually the alcohol is what adds up with us. Going out to eat will cost us less.