Aruba - Lots of Western Influence & Allergy Friendly
I recently got back from a week-long trip to Aruba and was truly surprised by the western influence on the island. A tour guide told me that 80% of the island's economy comes from tourism, so they really do cater to this audience.
It's a small island, with nearly half being desert. There is one strip that has most of the hotels and resorts. Along this stretch, there are many restaurants that all seemed to be either owned/operated by expats, or are foreign restaurants. There was a Tony Romo's, Pizza Hut, Dunkin' Donuts - you get the drift. There was nothing too exotic.
Since most of the food is imported in, there aren't too many surprises in the packaged-food department. Vending machines had familiar bars/chips, but with a big "import" sticker on them.
The locals speak 4-5 languages, including English. However since it is a Dutch island, I found that some literature (I needed a prescription) was in Dutch only. Thus, really listen to verbal instructions if given to you.
Overall, I found this to be an incredibly safe island. I stayed at a resort where the wait staff and chef's were very understanding of allergies, and able to create safe options for me.
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