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June 2019

Dominican Republic – Is It Safe?

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Dominican Republic in the News Recently

There certainly has been more than a little news about the tourism industry and the safety concerns in the Dominican Republic lately –

  • Is it safe?
  • Should I go?
  • Should I cancel?

Well, I’ll take a crack at each of these questions – here goes

Is it safe to go to The Dominican Republic now?

Of course not, but neither is it safe to go to Mexico, or Europe, or for that matter, it’s not safe to go to many places in The good ole USA if you go to the wrong neighborhoods, hang out with the wrong crowd, get caught up in a situation that you knew you should not have in the first place, go to school, church, work, etc (lots of mass shootings you know). Best bet is to stay home…ground floor (stairs are dangerous).

Of course I am joking – kind of.

NO WHERE IS SAFE!! (at least that’s what the media might like for you to believe…after all, your clicks = profits for media!)

Statistically speaking you are extremely safe flying to a resort destination, finding your pre-arranged transfers at the airport, and hanging out at the resort beaches and pools all week – even if you add in a couple of organized adventures off resort! Keep in mind that you tend to get what you pay for – higher priced resorts tend to deliver more dependable quality of food so you are less likely to find food related issues at the nicer more brand-name resorts as opposed to the lower priced options – and trust me on this, the real danger is having an intestinal issue for a few days, that is not uncommon at all.

Should I go to the Dominican Republic?

That one is purely a matter of taste. If you want to go to a pristine beach at a comfortable resort hotel where you can eat, drink, dance and enjoy all sorts of entertainment options for 1 low price – then maybe so, Dominican Republic has a great array of all-inclusive beach resorts to choose from (best to get with a travel adviser who knows a thing or 2) and these resorts typically price very, very competitively. If you are looking for the kind of place where you can rent a car, drive around on your own in a beautiful tropical setting, get into adventures on your own, find the little “hidden gems” off the radar, etc then the DR is probably not for you – consider Hawaii.

If you have a level of comfort in other countries having experienced & enjoyed other places such as  Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Cozumel, St Lucia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Costa Rica, etc then Dominican Republic might be a great option – if you were previously in any of the places I just mentioned and did not feel safe, then the DR might not be for you.

Should I Cancel?

That’s totally your call, it’s all about level of comfort and level of apprehension. Looking at the stories in the news media lately there are more questions that answers.

It sounds like David Ortiz might have been a victim of mistaken identity in a “hit” gone bad – tragic, but unless you are from the DR I would not suggest being out at a late night club in the capital of Santo Domingo. Bad things do happen to unsuspecting tourists all the time – in every country (including in the US).

The stories of people dying suddenly after having drank from the mini-bars, those are just baffling. I can’t imagine what the common thread could be that would have people dying quite infrequently (last I heard was 8 reports in the past year) at various hotels, different brands, and different places hundreds of miles apart. Toxicology reports will hopefully solve the mystery. If you were smart and purchased the travel protection offered when you booked your vacation then you may be able to cancel (for any reason) and get your money back so if you do want to cancel then check with your travel adviser for the best options. Don’t go if you don’t feel comfortable – your time is valuable and you should enjoy it the most!

To wrap it up, do I feel uncomfortable in the DR, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta or the Riviera Maya? Heck no, those places are awesome for the value that they provide and I send lots of vacationers to those places all the time – almost everyone loves them! But it’s YOUR vacation – and if you feel more comfortable in a more expensive destination (Hawaii, Bahamas, Aruba, Turks & Caicos, Bermuda, Bora Bora, Cote d’Azur, etc then we sure do help with all those sorts of trips as well. Beef up the budget and go enjoy yourself where you are comfortable – but either way…GO ENJOY YOURSELF

For more info this is a link to a NY Times article from a few days ago

at EZTravelPad we like to think of ourselves as “Your friends….in the travel business” and as your friend i would never suggest going somewhere that I felt was unsafe…. reach out anytime at this link