If you are planning a trip to the DR and plan on flying in you likely have a few questions. I’ll try to cover some of the more common ones here. First it’s good to note that the airport personal are friendly here and will try to help you out if you need help however few speak another language besides Spanish, so it does help to already have some of the basic phrases at least written down in case you need them.

Once you get into the more tourist oriented areas you will find plenty of people that speak multiple languages English and French (often more of a Creole) being the first on the list after Spanish.

Entry Fee: Once you get off the plane you will need to find the place where you buy your entry fee card. This is usually one of the first things people do, so you can follow the rest to the line. have your passport out and pay $10 per person. They usually take US dollars but I’m not sure about other currencies. When you go through customs you will give this card to someone to show that you have paid.

Money Exchange: Each of the airport have a place where you can exchange currency. They also take travelers checks. You usually have to go to a bank to exchange travelers checks so, its a good idea to get a little money exchanged here. Some of the large hotels may take travelers checks or exchange currency but I wouldn’t count on this. Have enough to last you a day or so to give you time to find other locations later. It’s a good idea to have a calculator with you to help out with the numbers. They currency exchange rate for US Dollars to Pesos is about 35-36 pesos to the dollar. If you’re from another country it would be a good idea to have an idea of the currency exchange rate.

Luggage Safety: Sorry to say but there is a strong chance of someone going through your luggage and taking small items. Anything of value should be well hidden in the suitcase or better still put in your carry one luggage.

Tips for service: Tips are usually smaller here. 1-2 Dollars for the person that helps you with your luggage should be fine. This may go up some in the larger Hotels. All inclusive hotels usually do not expect you to tip, that is included in with the fee.

Cell Phones: I’ve found that the cell phone plans in the United States are extremely expensive to use here. If you plan on being here for a couple weeks, I would recommend finding a Claro or Orange office and getting a new chip. Expect to spend a little time everything is slow here. You may also have to go somewhere to get your phone unlocked. The new chip costs about $5 and unlocking your phone $10 – $15. You will then buy minutes. You will find place to do this everywhere, this is not a problem. You can make phone calls to any whee in the Dominican Republic and to the US for the same price now.

If you want to use your old phone service you just put your old chip back in and it will work like before. Of course, be sure to save your old chip when you have them put a new one in, you will need this when you return home.

Attitude Towards Foreigners: In general people like foreigners here, if your friendly they will be friendly. however, ALL Foreigners are considered rich (really by their standards most of us are). They will try to over charge, pay back the wrong change etc. Usually the amount won’t turn into very much, but if you don’t want to overpay all the time, pay close attention to this and question when it doesn’t seem right.

International Airports: There are quite a few international airports you can choose from when you fly into the Dominican Republic so yo can choose the one that will be closest to where you plan on staying.

  • Barahona – BRX
  • La Romana – LRM
  • Puerto Plata – POP
  • Punta Cana / Higüey – PUJ
  • Samaná – EPS
  • Sánchez – AZS
  • Santiago – STI
  • Santo Domingo – JBQ
  • Santo Domingo – SDQ

The DR is a great place to relax and have a good time. As with travel to any foreign country you do need to be a little more careful. We’ve included tips on a number of things you will encounter while you are here through out this website so be sure to browse through the other pages.