Ever wondered what places NOT to go to? We are sharing one of our most overrated travel destinations. Check it out before you plan your next trip!
Why Write About One of Our Most Overrated Travel Destinations?
One of the most common questions we get asked by our readers, followers on Instagram, or friends and family is “where is our most favorite destination?”. In our FAQ page, we talk about this a little bit but honestly for me (Kam) I can’t decide which is my favorite and for the most part, I love almost anywhere we have gone and would love to go back! I have found my favorite location changes as regularly as my lipstick and largely depends on my mood. For example; when I am feeling all lovey dovey with the hubby (Stef) then I look back on our more romantic trips together and think “Oh my gosh, that was just the best trip! We have to get back there!” But when I get annoyed with him (poor man), I find myself craving another girls trip haha! In the end, though, I would seriously go almost anywhere in the world if time and money would allow.
Today I decided to write about one of my least favorite travel destinations and why. I often feel like in the travel blogging world that so much is written about the “top locations” or the “best spots.” It is very rare to see a post on a place not to go or a post that discusses the negative side of travel. Sometimes, some places just do not live up to the hype OR a personal experience can taint the destination altogether. This is TOTALLY subjective and I understand that different places speak differently to different people, but for me, this location was one of the most overrated travel destinations I have ever been and I am in no hurry to get back.
Are you ready to hear it?
Aruba is One of My Most Overrated Travel Destinations
To begin, Aruba was one place that we had heard so many great things about and even several people told us that this was their favorite place in the whole world! So the expectation was HIGH. (Wait? What? Where have you people been? Just teasing.) And in our experience it was – so. not. that. great.
Things I Didn’t Love About It and Why It Is One of My Most Overrated Travel Destinations
Very Little to Do on the Island
Other than sitting on the beach (which understandably some people live for) I felt like there wasn’t anything else to do. One day we were so bored we ended up sitting through several Madagascar movies in the villa because it offered some respite from the sun and heat (For the record I so do NOT like to “move it, move it” #painful).
It needs to be noted that while we love sitting at the beach, we also love to get out and do things when we travel, (especially when it is a new destination). We like to hike, see the local culture, and really experience a location. In my opinion, Aruba felt like one big cruise ship port. Everything was super kitschy and touristy and nothing seemed “real” or interesting. (St. Lucia for us, on the other hand, was a totally different Caribbean island experience – look for our upcoming review soon by subscribing to our blog!)
Eh – – – – nuff said. Think American chains all over the place, nothing really new or different. Taco Bell, Benihana etc…
Another thing to note, we are not partiers. Not one bit. Like, I am pulling a Blake Lively here and telling you that I have never had a drop of alcohol and have never done one drug. For real. So we were actually surprised by how much of a “party culture” there was, even at the more family friendly resorts. In the day it seemed like everyone was sleeping off their hangover and at night it was a gambling and drinking extravaganza. I understand that for some this seems like the best vacation in the world! However, I felt like I was on the party deck of a spring break cruise.
No Hiking and Little Shade
I mentioned this before, but the island is VERY dry and VERY flat which results in very little to do on the island. There is very little flora or fauna, and seriously can a sister score a tree somewhere? The lack of shade REALLY got to us by the end. Not kidding my little brother got so scorched – he was purple (major sunscreen/parent fail here ha). The flat dry ground does lend itself really well for ATV riding and off roading but if anyone gets motion sick – this activity is out. At one point on our off-roading tour (with no shade I might mention), it was pass the cup to the puking child, toss it overboard, and repeat. Can anyone say “puke, dump, repeat?”
Hard to Get To
For us, Aruba is HARD to get to. If we just need a beach break somewhere, we can jet off to Cabo or Puerto Vallarta in 2-4 hours and we have yummy food, hiking, golf, culture, and fantastic water and beaches!
Not Very Kid Friendly
Aside from a Butterfly Farm on the Island, there is very little for kids to do and we found that most people seemed really impatient with our hoard of little kids.
Things That Were Great About Aruba
Water – SO warm!
To be fair, the water is SO warm* and really clear! We rode a fun banana boat thing one day and also did some parasailing. That was a really great day. Because most of the other guests were tending their hangovers we often had the beach all to ourselves.
*If you are ever wondering about what the water temperature is at any beach vacation you are going, check out seatemperature.org (it is like the weather.com for the ocean :))
Great Scuba and Snorkeling
The snorkeling was good. We saw some really cool blue fish with teeth that looked like horses teeth, not even kidding – I kept thinking we were going to be bitten. They were awesome!
In the end, in my opinion, Aruba would be a great stop for people who love to chill by the pool or at the beach all day and go party at night. It might even be a place for a nice little weekend trip IF it easy for to get to. For us – an adventurous family with four children who do not party – it was nothing but an overrated travel destination.
Have you ever been anywhere that did not live up to the hype? Where was it? What do you think the most overrated travel destinations are?
*The title image is public domain and is from the U.S. CIA World Factbook