When planning what to pack for your trip to Aruba, keep some of the islanders' sensibilities of dress in mind. This will allow you to pack comfortable clothing appropriate for any occasion, as well as avoid offending locals with your personal sense of style.
The dry northeastern trade winds make the tropical sun very comfortable but can also deceive Aruba visitors into thinking they don't need to worry about the sun's effects. Sunscreen is always recommended. When choosing clothing to bring, it is important to pack lightweight, breathable materials to allow the cooling effects of those trade winds to do their job.
While you are, of course, welcome to pack any style of clothing you feel most comfortable wearing, many vacationers prefer to take local sensibilities and culture into account so as not to shock or offend the people who reside on the island as mentioned above. If you're one of these people, a quick review of the tips below will help you to pack quickly and efficiently.
Resort Wear is a term you hear consistently as you research a trip to Aruba, but what is it? Resort wear, or resort casual, refers to polo shirts, button up tops, dresses (think sundresses), and linen or khaki bottoms, be they pants, shorts, capris, and skirts. Imagine clothing that is not exactly fancy enough for an elegant dinner party, but slightly more elevated then jeans and a tank-top. Everything should be clean and pressed, but comfortable and fun.
Women will be comfortable in casual cottons, linens, and lightweight synthetics. Hats for protection against the sun are also a good idea, and flat-heeled, soft shoes for comfortable walking. Shorts and slacks can be worn on the streets of Oranjestad, but beachwear is considered by some to be inappropriate in the city streets. Bikinis should preferably be reserved for beaches and swimming pools. There is no real need for elegant evening wear in Aruba unless you have specific plans for an upscale event. Casual silk or linen dresses and slacks will do. A light sweater for the cooler evenings or air conditioned restaurants might come in handy.
For men, casual shirts and shorts are appropriate during the day. If you're staying in a place where resort casual is the go-to style, then collared shirts with khakis will be the basic daily outfit, paired with loafers or comfortable walking shoes. Avoid baggy clothing and over-sized logos or text on t-shirts. In fact, in this type of setting, t-shirts are less than ideal. It is no longer customary for men to wear ties at business appointments. As with women, swim wear should be reserved for the beach and swimming pools. Men's swimming trunks may not differ much from regular shorts, but be sure to have a shirt on when strolling the city streets.
Keep these tips in mind when packing clothing for your Aruba vacation and you will find your stay to be one that is comfortable and fashionable while simultaneously avoiding any uncomfortable situations.
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