Dominican Republic Travel Tips
Your best travel guide to the islands of the Caribbean and more.
Dominican Republic Travel TipsPosted on November 10. 2013
The Dominican Republic, a nation in the Hispaniola Island, is a very popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. The summer beaches and breathtaking views bring in 4 to 5 million foreigners every year. Travelling to this island nation is generally safe. However, like any other tourist destinations, the Dominican Republic is not without its share of petty crime. Street crimes and petty theft are some of the most reported crimes against foreigners and locals alike. Here is a few Dominican Republic travel tips to keep in mind before you travel.
Do Not Bring Large Amount of Cash
There have been several complaints from tourists being robbed by criminals while shopping around the downtown areas. Usually, pickpockets and muggers target those who go out wearing expensive jewelries or those they think carry large amount of money. Make sure that you only bring enough cash with you if you go shopping in the Dominican Republic. The safest way is to use your credit or debit cards instead of cash. If you go to an ATM machine, be wary of strangers especially those you think might be following you or seeking you out. There have been reports where the perpetrators posed as harmless strangers offering assistance to unsuspecting tourists while others reported that the culprits posed as police officers or traffic enforcers in uniform.
Avoid Wearing Jewelries
Save your jewelries for exclusive hotel parties. If you will just go to the local market or hang out on the beach, it is best to leave your expensive jewelries at the hotel to avoid becoming a target of criminals. If you feel like naked without any jewelries on, wear fancy ones or those that can be easily replaced. The same thing goes with your gadgets. You should only bring devices that are cheap enough and leave your more expensive gadgets at the security of your hotel or home. If you can’t live without your mobile phone, make sure you carry it inside your pocket. Avoid using earphones while walking on the streets so you know what is happening around you at all times.
Drink From Bottled Water Only
The local water in the Dominican Republic does not go through purification process. Although the locals are accustomed to tap water, tourists may get sick when drinking from it. It is advisable to drink only bottled water or beverages even while staying at your hotel or resort. Many of those who have been to the Dominican Republic even suggest brushing your teeth with bottled water only. Make sure that the food you eat is well-cooked especially meat and fish. It is always best to bring over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicine such as loperamide just in case.
Be Wary Of Shady Taxi Drivers
There have been reports of Dominican Republic taxi drivers asking for excess fare. This may happen even with large cab companies, especially if the driver noticed that you are a first-time traveler to the island. Ask someone reputable at the airport about the regular taxi fare to your destination. Most cab drivers have their ID cards posted on the dashboard so it is advisable to remember the name of the driver so you can report them to their company or the local police if you find that they’re trying to rip you off. There are some reports of taxi drivers with criminal accomplices where the driver rolls down the window during traffic and his accomplices riding in motorcycle grabs anything they can from the unsuspecting tourist.
Deal With Strangers Cautiously
Socializing is always a good thing when traveling to a new place. However, there were incidents of strangers or new acquaintances pursuing tourists especially females who travel alone, befriending them and then ending up being robbed or sexually assaulted. Take extra caution when socializing, particularly in bars or other night spots. Avoid accepting offers for a motorcycle ride to your hotel to avoid being a victim.
The Dominican Republic continues to attract millions of foreign visitors each year. The country in general is a safe place to visit. However, like any other popular destinations, it is always best to be informed in advance. If you exercise vigilance when going on a trip, you will always enjoy a trouble-free vacation.
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