5 Things to Know when booking your trip to Punta Cana - Lea Carmen

5 Things to Know when booking your trip to Punta Cana

This was our first time to Punta Cana, but our 6th visit to the Caribbean. After moving into our new home and lots of hours at each of our jobs we wanted needed to unwind and unplug for a week in paradise! Some quick research brought us to Punta Cana as an ideal and affordable destination. We had heard some mixed reviews about vacationing here, but we like to make our own assessments and decided to experience it ourselves. We booked our vacation through applevacations.com, this is a great online resource to plan your vacation. You can choose travel dates, airfare, and resorts all on one platform. I definitely recommend to cross reference the resort prices though on the actual website.

Bring Cash

If you have traveled internationally before, this is a no brainer. Cash is best used for tips, transportation fare, and excursions. You can use USD in the Dominican Republic. Upon entering the Punta Cana airport, non-citizens are expected to pay a $10 tourist card (tax) per person. We didn't do much research before this trip but thankfully we brought enough cash. Also, call your bank before you leave and tell them your travel plans. If you don't your security settings may not allow you to use your card out of the country.

Arrange Transportation Before Arriving

With travel being a top industry for revenue in the Dominican Republic, vendors can get aggressive for your business. Coming out of the airport you will be met by a sea of taxis and drivers trying to get your business. It can be hard to assert which are legitimate businesses in a whirlwind of people. To avoid confusion I would arrange transportation ahead of time. Will it probably be more expensive than bartering with a local driver? Probably, but you will have something invaluable-your piece of mind and safety. Luckily, our vacation package we booked through applevacations.com included transportation to and from the resort. 

No free WIFI 

It is best to really read the fine print when booking a hotel + flight stay package to really find what is included and what is not. Luckily, Isaak and I had upgraded our resort stay to included free wifi! The only catch is that we had to keep going to the desk and getting code tickets for 10 hour access. Otherwise guests had to pay per min $25 for 15 min. Read the fine print on what you book! 

No free phone calls

After about 4 days we were ready to come back home early-we missed our puppy to much! It was a headache trying to place a call to the airlines through the hotel, and we were charged for a 20 second phone call. It took us longer to try and navigate a phone call out of the resort than to find out it would cost hundreds of dollars to fly out sooner-no thanks!

This was the view from our balcony. We stayed at the Occidental Royal Grand Punta Cana. If you are looking for a destination that is affordable, great climate, and clean beaches this is a perfect destination. Would I travel back to this resort or country? Probably not. I would reccommend other Caribbean destinations over the Dominican. If you want specifics shoot me an email!

An International Destination 

One aspect that we did not know was that the Dominican is a hotspot for international tourism. There were a lot of tourists from Russia, Great Britain, and Germany. We didn't run into too many Americans at our resort. While I love exploring other cultures and destinations, I would warn that cultural beach manners are really different. I would caution against bringing children to the resort beaches or make sure that they are family friendly. The europeans are very open on these beaches (topless and wore speedos). Upon looking up different reviews on Punta Cana, confirmed that this is a "thing" at this country. 

If you are thinking of traveling to the Dominican Republic I hope you found these highlights insightful and helpful! If you have any questions about the resort or international travel in general shoot me an email! I am truly passionate about traveling and hope to bring you more reviews in the future!



1 comment

  1. no free wifi!? i went a few years ago and there was wifi in the lobby only - and it really sucked. it was rough! haha thanks for the tips!


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