Is the Dominican Republic Safe to Travel to: Dominican Republic Travel Tips for Tourists
The Dominican Republic has a lot to offer travelers. This Caribbean nation is renowned for its resorts, beaches, and golfing, and attracts visitors with a breathtaking terrain that includes rain forests, savannas, and highlands. Plus, the historic Spanish landmarks dating back five centuries provide an intriguing cultural and historical experience! All of these attractions make the Dominican Republic an exquisite beach vacation destination.
The U.S. government’s recent safety advisory for traveling to the Dominican Republic could leave you wondering whether visiting is worthwhile. As with anywhere else you go, caution is key. By taking the necessary steps to make sure you stay safe, you can enjoy the trip of a lifetime!
Check out our top safety tips for traveling to the Dominican Republic:
- Stay away from areas of high crime
- Travel in numbers
- Avoid public transportation after dark
- Don’t show off your bling
- Be wary of scams/scammers
- Prepare for the environment
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More information on the Dominican Republic travel tips
Stay away from areas of high crime
As part of your Dominican Republic experience, you may be interested in exploring more than just your all inclusive resort. Great! Just be mindful of where to go and what places to avoid. Try to steer clear of beaches and parks at night as well as remote areas where there are few people around. If you’re spending time in a city, stay alert and know what parts are safe or have high tourism.
Travel in numbers
The old adage, “there’s safety in numbers,” certainly rings true. When you’re in the Dominican Republic, it’s much more difficult to be victimized when you’re with a group. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to visit the country with a tour group. In addition to safety, you have a leader who knows the ins and outs of navigating the area to make the most of your trip. For those who aren’t with a tour group, but have friends/family along for the trip, make sure you never go anywhere alone. Always have a buddy with you, especially if you go choose to venture beyond your resort’s property.
Avoid public transportation after dark
Another way to protect yourself from attack is to avoid placing yourself in harm’s way. That means staying away from public transportation at night, especially if you’re alone. If you want to check out the local area around your resort, stop by the concierge desk and ask if they recommend any cab companies that can take you.
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Don’t show off your bling
When visiting the Dominican Republic, be sure to keep your expensive jewelry at home. Wearing it could make you the victim of pickpocketing or mugging, especially in such large cities as Santo Domingo and Santiago. If you do bring any valuables, don’t flash them for everyone to see. Many resorts offer in-room safes for guests to store their money and personal belongings in, so put yours to use! In the event that you find yourself confronted by a mugger, don’t resist; hand over your valuables immediately to avoid making the situation worse.
Be wary of scams/scammers
Especially in the Dominican Republic’s metropolitan areas, con artists and scammers are on the prowl, seeking the chance to take advantage of tourists. When you head to the ATM, inspect the machine to make sure it doesn’t look odd. Sometimes scammers equip ATM machines with devices that can enable them to access your account and even steal your identity.
Another way scammers operate is by appearing unusually courteous and helpful. For instance, someone may offer to help with your luggage. By the time you realize that they’re not with your hotel or travel service, they’ve made off with your possessions. In these situations, it’s best to carry your own luggage or, if possible, verify the identity of the person offering help before accepting it.
Scams can also come in the form of distraction. If one or more people try to divert your attention, be on your guard. They could be working an angle to swindle you in some way or even use deception to take off with your money or property without your knowing until it’s too late.
Prepare for the environment
Staying safe when visiting the Dominican Republic also includes being aware of environmental threats. Mosquitoes found in this country carry the Zika Virus. Use repellant and wear the appropriate clothing that will protect you against getting bitten, especially if you book an offsite excursion like a rainforest hike.
You should also be cautious of animals. It may be tempting to pet a dog or cat, but these they could be carrying a disease, such as leptospirosis or rabies. It’s also a good idea to contact your health department before your trip to see what vaccinations you may need to ensure you stay healthy.
Let’s recap our top safety tips for visiting the Dominican Republic
If you have any concerns about traveling to the Dominican Republic, that’s normal. But don’t let it stop you from going! Following a few safety measures can ensure you enjoy all that this beautiful beach vacation destination has to offer.
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