I’ve been to the Dominican Republic twice before, and I am incredibly excited to be taking my kiddos on a trip there this Summer! My husband and I are incredibly excited to show our kids where we met and fell in love! If you’re planning on traveling to the Dominican Republic, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
Tip #1: It’s important to remember that you are traveling to a different country with different cultures. While it’s okay to wear swimsuit tops and shorts around resorts, it could offend in the main cities. Bring something nice to wear! This is also a poorer country, prepare to be hassled to purchase goods if walking down the beach in touristy areas.
Tip #2: Electricity and running water is sometimes spotty, depending on the area you are staying in, you may not have electricity and water for a few days. If you are staying on a resort, this isn’t as much of a problem. If you are backpacking, and wifi is a must, carry a router like this. It works, if charged, even when the electricity is off!
Tip #3: If you are venturing out into the smaller cities of the Dominican Republic, knowledge of Spanish is a must. Most resort employees will likely know English, but the further away you get, the less likely it is. Carry a pocket translation guide just in case you wind up in a bind and need to communicate!
Tip #4: Don’t drink the tap water. Just don’t. This is pretty much customary for any traveler going to ANY foreign country. But especially in the D.R. The water is not filtered, and you will get very sick. Seriously. Vacation-ruining sick. Even citizens don’t drink their tap water. Just stick to bottled to be safe!
Tip #5: If you choose not to stay at an expensive, all-inclusive resort, don’t think about renting a hotel room! You’ll get a much better value, and you’ll likely have a way more comfortable stay if you rent an apartment through apps like CouchSurfer and AirBnB. Trust me on this one!
Tip #6: If you are being charged in USD, chances are, you’re being ripped off. Always pay in Pesos. You’ll get the best deal this way! Experienced travelers in the area often say that if you’re paying in USD, it’s a scam. Stick to business that charge in pesos! You’ll be glad you did!
Tip #7: Tipping isn’t customary in the DR! While it is seen as a gesture of kindness, it is not required. However, high end restaraunts may include a gratuity on the final bill. If someone asks for a tip, this is another sure-sign of a scam!