Make sure your passport is signed and completed before you travel. Your passport is your gateway to other destinations and therefore, should be well taken care of and protected at all times. Make copies of your passport and other identification so you will always have a piece of paper that shows who you are when in another country.
Research and find out where your embassy is in the Dominican Republic. This will ensure your safety in case anything unexpected occurs. Get your travel vaccination shots before you leave your home destination. Vaccines can prevent you from Caribbean illnesses such as malaria, typhoid, polio, tetanus, hepatitis A, B and C and more diseases that infect people every year. If you are travelling to Pepillo Salcedo, Castanuelas or Hondo Valle, it is recommended that visitors take malaria tablets to protect themselves.
Have a list of all important Dominican Republic emergency contacts such as police, local medical clinics, hospitals etc. and keep it in your wallet or purse at all times. While you may be staying at an all inclusive luxury five star resort, it is always smart to have emergency contacts with you in case you leave the resort area to explore.
Banks in the Dominican Republic are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am until 5pm.
Avoid swimming in fresh water pools that do not contain chlorine. Bilharzia is a major problem in the Dominican Republic and chlorinated pools are much safer and sanitary. Wear long sleeves and trousers during sunrise and sunset and use mosquito repellent constantly to protect you from dengue fever.
Drink bottled water and always make sure the cap was secured before opening. Use bottled water to wash your fruits and vegetables. Eat most meats and fish well-done and cooked to their limit.
Learn some Spanish phrases before you travel to the Dominican Republic. The official language is Spanish although many locals speak English. Most media sources and tourist areas still have Spanish language resources. Dining menus are written in Spanish and sometimes have an English translation.
When exploring at night, keep in well-lit areas and common public areas. Do not travel off the beaten track alone on excursions and keep a ‘buddy’ system. People are always much safer in pairs. While crime against tourists is not a huge issue in the Dominican Republic, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Check out tourist advisories before you travel.
Don’t forget; hurricane season runs from June to November, so it is always good to have a plan of evacuation if you end up caught in stormy weather.
The style of dress is casual and general in the daytime. It’s not common to strut throughout town in a bikini or skimpy beach wear. It is considered offensive to enter malls, governmental buildings, museums, churches etc. in beachwear or showing too much skin.
Maintaining manners and being polite to the locals is appreciated. Public drunkenness is frowned upon.