Trip Planning

In order to know what to expect from your trip, sit down and develop a plan of action for your island getaway. The first step in the planning process is to research your potential vacation spot.

Because the Dominican Republic is so large, finding the part of the island that is right for you and your vacation is very important. Different regions of the island will appeal to different vacationers. For example, the southeast region is agricultural and has exciting, luxurious night life, whereas the southwest part of the island is more desert-like and less crowded. If you do not conduct the necessary research before going on your vacation, you could end up in an area of the island that may or may not be exactly what you anticipated.

Whether you want to spend your time amongst the lively hustle and bustle of the all-day happy hour bars, or you prefer a vacation of luxury away from the crowds, doing your homework about the Dominican Republic will ensure that you know just what kind of vacation is in store.

Daily Expenses
What vacation would be complete without a little sight seeing, In order to explore the island, vacationers need to find the method of transportation that best fits their budget and traveling needs.

Buses are the most inexpensive way to tour the island. There is frequent bus service throughout the Dominican Republic, and the general fare for the metro’s buses is about $3(USD). Travelers can also travel between major cities. The fare from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata is about $6(USD).

Taxi cabs are a popular way to get around. The government regulates cab fares, and the minimum cost in Santo Domingo is around $4(USD). Taxis are unmetered, and travelers should determine the price of the ride with the driver before getting into the car. To hire a taxi with unlimited stops will cost about $10(USD) per hour with a minimum of a two hour ride.

The most expensive method of travel is by rental car. Travelers must put down a $200(USD) deposit, which can be paid in cash or by credit card. The average rate for renting a car on the island is $70(USD) or more per day, depending on the kind of vehicle you get and if you choose to get insurance. The daily costs are lower if you rent by the week.

Tourists can also get around the island by air. Some aircraft providers offer charter planes, sightseeing, and excursions around the island. There is service between several of the country’s major cities, including Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata. A trip on a plane or helicopter costs about $60(USD).

Visitors interested in seeing the island’s attractions or participating in local celebrations should remember that these things cost extra. The Dominican Republic has a number of zoos, museums, and night clubs that are popular with vacationers, but the cost of entry will vary from place to place. If you are interested in a particular site, call ahead to find out the price of admission.

Shopping
Cigars, artwork, and jewelry are among the most popular souvenir items in the Dominican Republic. Bargaining and haggling is popular among street vendors and shop owners on the island, and they can be very tenacious when trying to persuade you to purchase their merchandise. Of course, the price of all items vary, so budget the correct amount of money for your particular tastes.

When purchasing items on the island take into consideration that you may have to pay extra on certain things when going through customs in your home country. Travelers should contact customs to find out which items can be returned duty-free and which are taxed.

Taxes
Vacationers are charged a $10(USD) departure tax when leaving the island in addition to the $10(USD) tourist card needed prior to arrival. The departure tax is usually covered in the price of your ticket to the island, but consult your airline to be sure.

Generally, hotels and restaurants add a 10 percent service charge and a 12 percent government tax to your final bill. When budgeting your vacation to the Dominican Republic, consider these additional costs along with the overall cost of the trip.

Taking the time to plan your vacation finances can alleviate many unexpected monetary stresses, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic experiences some heavy rainfall throughout the year, especially from October to May. When deciding when to embark on your island retreat, you may want to consider both the weather and the crowds.

High Season
The Caribbean Islands usually experience their high season during the winter months. This is also the most popular and fashionable time to visit the Dominican Republic. Most activity occurs on the island from December 15 to April 15, and most vacationers will be thoroughly entertained when visiting during this time of year. Festivals are a particular favorite over these months, with events ranging from music concerts to food and arts festivals.

Along with being the most popular time to visit, the high season is also the most expensive time to vacation in the Republic. Because of the crowds, hotels and resorts are heavily booked and often run out of vacancies. Travelers who want to vacation during this time of year must make their reservations two to three months in advance to get the best reservations.

Low Season
After April 15, hotel prices can drop as much as 50 percent. Cruise and airline prices also fall during this time of year. The temperature is only slightly warmer during the summer months, and the island still hosts many activities.

During the low season, the island also holds some of its most exciting celebrations and festivals. There are two Carnivals on the Dominican Republic – one in February and the other on August 15. These carnivals are a show of pride for the country’s cultural heritage through parades, costumes, food, song, and dance. Another interesting event is the Santa Domingo Meringue Festival during the last week of July and the first week of August. The world’s top meringue bands perform during the event, which also showcases a parade.

You are sure to have an unforgettable experience whenever you visit the Dominican Republic, but the timing of your trip can affect the cost of your vacation and the kind of activities you will experience.

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