For yourselves and the children - liberal use of
a high spf sunscreen.
Prior to arrival the flight crew will provide you with
the Aruba immigration form. One for each of you.
Have a pen to fill them out.
Departing the plane you will enter the terminal building
and take an escalator up one floor. Typically, you
turn right and walk a ways to the stairs/escalators
that bring to immigration. If one or more other airlines
have arrived in the same time frame as your arrival there will
be a bit of a wait. Present you passports or other permitted
documentation and the immigration forms. You will be given
the bottom part of the form (so do remember to fill it out
on the plane). Keep this. You will need it when you depart.
From immigration you walk to luggage claim. With two young
children it may be worth your while to get a baggage cart
($2.00 each as I recall). Similar to what you see at home in
airports. With baggage, go through customs. Generally, you
will just walk on through. You are now in the arrivals section.
Pick up the tourist info handed out in the red bags by one of
the Jewelry shops. Useful items to have. If you have transfers
to the resort as part of your package you'll most likely be
loading up on a DePalm bus. On your way it'll be stop and go
as the bus unloads people and pulls out bags at resorts along
the way so it may be good to have something to keep the kids occupied with.
Arrive at the airport. Check in with the airlines. Deliver checked bags
(which you'll be seeing again ...).
Go outside, walk over to the entry to departures. Have your boarding pass
and the immigration form "stub". You will have to provide the "stub" to
the immigration personnel. Enter, go through the Aruba check point.
Walk down the hall to your left, turn right and right again. Your
now in the Duty Free area. Shops and a Sabbaro's. Restrooms also.
The walkway before has a right-left dog leg that leads to another
Aruba checkpoint (security this time). It can be a bit of a wait to
pass through this so watch your time if you are checking out the shops.
Now, you enter a large hall. You check bags are there. Re-claim them.
Next check is US Agriculture. DO get rid of any prohibited items. The US
staff there are very nice but are no nonsense about this.
Next, go to the US custom/immigration stations. Have your US custom declaration
filled out. Passports & declaration to the agent. Now it is left to the
baggage belt. You may be asked by your air carrier to open your bags for
inspection. Checked bags go on the belt. They will be loaded.
Next, you go through the US security checkpoint.
With this done you go up one floor and walk to your departure gate.
Activities with the children:
Perhaps a visit to Baby Beach.
A walk about at the shopping areas in Oranjestad.
A visit to the Ostrich Farm.
A daysail on one of the smaller boats maybe
Many resorts have day activities available for
children so do ask about this upon arrival.
Typically there is a very large book at the concierge desk
that showcases the many restaurants in Aruba. The
concierge can make reservations for you.
To get a sense of what is were:
Look over these online maps -