At just about 20 miles long, who would have thought Aruba would have such a busy airport. However when you're one the most popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean it should be expected. I arrived almost 2.5 hours before my United Airlines flight home to Boston and needed every last minute of that time to make my plane.
Below: When this is the last thing you see before entering the airport doors, really what's the rush to leave the island!
- As I found out, you should definitely leave yourself at least 2 hours to reach your plane. Don't underestimate the number of visitors leaving from this airport.
- You pass U.S. customs IN ARUBA! This is not the normal course of events when traveling international. This means you need to pass through 4 (yes 4!) security check points. While it makes for a long and hectic departure, it pays off when you land in the U.S. and don't need to hassle with Customs.
- There aren’t a whole lot of places to eat once you actually do get to the terminal. So if you love food like I do, make sure you've eaten before arriving! This was actually the first time I made a sandwich for myself and stuck it in my carry-on before leaving the hotel. I suggest you do the same.
Below: The busiest routes between Aruba and the United States
Below: With departing flights to U.S. all leaving around the same time each day, you can see how crazy things can get.
Below: The scene before reaching customs. You wait outside and it's HOT! And it's right at this point you realize you're leaving paradise.