Traveling to the Dominican Republic: Insurance Information & Travel Tips for a Successful Trip
As the day of your departure for the Dominican Republic draws closer, you’re probably imagining yourself lying on the beach, cocktail in hand, watching the waves crash on the white sand beaches. All your tickets are booked and your accommodations are finalized, but you may be missing one vital piece of planning for your vacation: travel insurance. While investing another penny into planning your vacation is likely the last thing you want to do, getting travel insurance is one of the smartest backup plans to have in place in case something goes wrong while you’re abroad. In the following, we’ll review what travel insurance is, how much it costs, and whether or not you need it for your vacation to the Dominican. Then, we’ll give you some of our best tips for getting the most out of your adventure!
Travel Insurance for a Trip to the Dominican Republic
Travel insurance provides you with a backup plan in case you incur unexpected expenses or medical issues while you’re traveling. In the event that your luggage is lost, your passport is stolen, or you need emergency medical care in a foreign country, travel insurance protects you from spending hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket. Additionally, if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly for a covered reason, travel insurance will help you recover the money you spent.
Do I Need Insurance to Travel to the Dominican Republic?
No, you don’t need travel insurance to go to the Dominican Republic. However, it’s in your best interest to get coverage in case something unexpected happens that ruins your travel plans.
It’s important to note that most domestic health insurance policies do not cover medical services outside of the country. If you’re seriously injured, you could run up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills or more while you recover. But if you purchase a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage, it can help you cover these medical costs without dipping into your own pocket.
Travel insurance is relatively cheap, and in the case that you actually need to use it, you’ll thank yourself for making the small initial investment in order to save yourself thousands of dollars later.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for Traveling to the Dominican Republic?
The cost of travel insurance depends on the coverage options you choose, and also depends on your destination. Based on the value of your trip, basic coverage can run 3-4%, while premium coverage can go up to 10-12%. It all depends on the coverage limits you choose, and whether you want higher levels of post-departure benefits like medical coverage as well.
To make sure that you’re getting the best deal for the travel insurance policy and options you need, you should always compare quotes from a variety of providers. There’s no standard to pricing for travel insurance, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re getting the best deal for your needs. Fortunately, our travel insurance comparison engine allows you to select the options you want to include in your policy, and then easily get quotes from a variety of top rated providers so you can compare and choose. The best part is, you can purchase your travel insurance for the Dominican Republic directly through our site as well—It’s a one-stop-shop for comparison and purchasing your travel insurance with a lowest price guarantee.
Now that you’ve got your travel insurance in place, it’s time to refocus on the fun parts of planning your trip! To help you get the most out of your vacation, we’ve put together a list of our top tips to help you with money and packing, plus suggestions that will help you have an immersive experience while you’re in the Dominican Republic.
Money: Currency & Tipping
The official currency in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso. However, the U.S. dollar is also widely accepted in larger cities and tourist-related places. In fact, hotels list prices in U.S. dollars, but they accept both Dominican pesos and U.S. dollars.
Credit cards are also widely accepted in most major areas. You should, however, note that some places will add a surcharge of 16% to your bill if you use a credit card, because a Federal policy regarding sales tax with credit card transactions.
It’s always a good idea to have some cash on you at all times in case you need to pay for a taxi ride or purchase an item from a small vendor. Approximately $100 U.S. is a good amount to carry, and make sure it’s broken up into small bills so you can spend it easily. While you’ll find a good number of ATMs in the populated areas, you should use caution when using them, in order to avoid robberies. Stick to gas stations that have ATMs, as there are usually more people around. Plus, ATMs typically have meager daily limits, so you may want to go into a bank instead. Not only will you avoid the transaction fee of the ATM, but you also won’t have the ATM limits on the maximum amount of money you can withdraw.
The first time you’re out at a restaurant and get the bill, don’t panic! In the Dominican, they automatically add 28% to every bill: 18% for ITBIS (tax) and 10% service charge. If your service was above and beyond the 10% included, feel free to leave more, but it’s certainly not expected.
Hotels will also add a 10% service charge to your bill, but you should leave a few dollars per day to show your thanks to the cleaning staff. And don’t forget about your tour guide! Often, your tip is the only salary they get, so make sure you do express your gratitude for a job well done!
Packing Suggestions & What to Wear
Even at night, the Dominican Republic rarely reaches temperatures below 70 degrees. When packing for your vacation, stick to beach clothes like bathing suits and cover-ups, t-shirts, and shorts. Breathable, lightweight clothing is best because of the heat, as well as beach flip-flops and sandals. You’ll probably want to pack one nice outfit for a more formal dinner experience. For men, slacks and a collared shirt with closed-toed shoes is a good choice, and for women, a sundress with strappy sandals is a wonderful choice as well.
If you’re planning on hiking and going on adventures, bring some sweat-wicking tank tops and shorts as well as your athletic shoes. It might also be a good idea to bring that rain poncho, as there are frequent brief afternoon showers.
Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture
The Dominican Republic has some of the most spectacular beaches. Even if you’ve signed up for that all-inclusive resort, adventure outside the fences and explore one of the Dominican’s hidden paradises. Playa Cosón can be found west of Las Terrenas and is a private and quaint oasis. Bahía de Las Águilas is one you don’t want to miss either. It’s a hike to get to, but the views of cacti on the cliffs are worth it all.
If you love outdoor adventures, there are plenty of options that will get your adrenaline pumping in the Dominican. Go whitewater rafting on the Río Yaque outside of Jarabacoathe, which is the only river in the Caribbean. Try your hand at kitesurfing on the waves of Cabarete and Buen Hombre, or take an overnight hike up Pico Duarte, the highest peak in all the Carribean for incredible panoramic views!
The Dominican is home to some of the best aquatic life around, so grab your snorkeling and diving gear and make sure you explore one of the best sites for diving in the entire world. Try boating out to the reefs in Playa Frontón, or explore the sinkhole and underwater caverns of Laguna Dudu!
You can explore the tumultuous past of the Dominican and Hispaniola in the historical ruins across the country. Visit Parque Nacional La Isabela and check out the foundation of the second-oldest New World settlement, or explore the cave paintings and learn about the Carib and Taíno cultures at the Reserva Antropológica Cuevas del Pomier.
Popular Destinations in the Dominican Republic
Planning a trip to the Dominican Republic can be overwhelming when you look at all the things you want to do and the places you want to go. Here we’ve listed our top 10 most popular places to visit in the Dominican Republic. Plus, we’ve thrown in a few less-popular, off-the-beaten-track places if that’s more your speed! Select a few or see them all!
Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in the Dominican Republic
- Santo Domingo
- Punta Cana
- La Romana
- Playa Dorada
- Samaná Peninsula
- Puerta Plata
Top 5 Unique Places to Visit in Dominican Republic
- Lake Enriquillo
- Bahia de Las Aguilas
- Altos de Chavon
- Pico Duarte