Is It Safe to Travel to the Dominican Republic?

Is It Safe to Travel to the Dominican Republic?

Is it safe to travel to the Dominican Republic you ask? Well, what is considered safe nowadays? Is it ever safe to travel anywhere? No country is immune from violence or crime. Some places are going to be more dangerous than others. However, you can always take precautions and educate yourself before visiting any country.

Not too long ago, I had misconceptions about the Dominican Republic. When I first wanted to visit the country, we were told by a few people of how unsafe it is. 

 

All people try to do there is sell, sell, sell. You won’t be able to enjoy yourself.

 

The Dominican Republic is so commercialized and so unsafe. You should go to Puerto Rico instead.”

 

Now, I’m not usually a paranoid safety freak, but after hearing this about the DR, consistently, I thought maybe they were right. So instead of booking our flight to the Dominican Republic, we booked a flight to Puerto Rico instead (also a beautiful country, but that’s beside the point).
Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to tour the DR with the Dominican Republic Tourism Board. At first I was completely skeptical. Obviously, I had these images of the country, so I couldn’t help but think, “What if this is a way to get sold into human trafficking?” Haha pretty embarrassing, I know, but that’s honestly what I thought.

 

You know how sometimes you Google a symptom you have and then somehow you come to the conclusion that you have some sort of disease? When all you really have is the common cold? Well, that’s kind of how I felt when I first googled the DR. 

 

So here I was trying to do some research before agreeing to go on the trip. I literally just typed “Dominican Republic” in the search bar and the very first headline that popped up was:

 

A Journalist in the Dominican Republic Was Fatally Shot During Facebook Live Broadcast”, posted 2 hours prior. 

 

Well, that’ll do it. So with all of these preconceived notions of the DR, who wouldn’t be afraid to travel there?
Yes the Dominican Republic can be dangerous, but so can anywhere else. You never know when something will happen, but does that mean you should hide behind closed doors forever? 

 

Some people are so afraid to die, that they never begin to live.

 

So with that said, I decided to see the Dominican Republic for myself, regardless of what anyone said. I think it’s a good thing to remember that you shouldn’t always believe what people say unless you’ve experienced it yourself. And thank God I didn’t because the DR turned out to be one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been.

I even had the opportunity to walk around the quiet and friendly streets of Samana by myself; not once did I feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Nobody pestered or tried to sell anything to me (at least not aggressively) and I got to see how the locals lived. Dominicans are nothing but kind, generous, and contagiously happy people. It’s definitely a country you shouldn’t neglect traveling to.

Funny story. I was walking on the beach one day, and suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in one of my toes. Without looking down, I panicked and screamed in fear — thinking I was bit by a crab or something, I couldn’t bear to look. Turns out I was getting stung by a bee (I’m a baby I know). However, a local nearby didn’t hesitate to help and jolted towards me. He immediately yanked the sucker out from my toe and made sure the stinger was no longer intact.

The nice man who helped me tried to tell me something, but unfortunately my Spanish isn’t great. I think he was trying to give me instructions on what to do afterwards or that the stinger was no longer there. Who knows. All I know is that his first instinct was to help me.

All my previous ideas about the DR have been completely obliterated with my new experiences. And if anyone were to ask me, I would absolutely recommend traveling there.

 

You can’t really write off a country based on what’s being predominately talked about in the media. There’s going to be danger anywhere you go — granted, some more than others, but you can help prevent these by doing some research before your trip.

Here are 10 general travel safety tips to decrease any chances of mishaps:

 

  1.  Leave valuables at the hotel, or even at home if possible.
  2.  Ladies (or men), wear cross-body purses with zippers to prevent robbers from snatching or pickpocketing.
  3.  Always be aware of your belongings, especially when one “accidentally” spills food/drinks on clothes.
  4.  Avoid walking in public areas by yourself at night. If possible, travel with a group.
  5.  Resistance can lead to violence, so if you’re approached by a criminal with a weapon, hand over your valuables.
  6.  Don’t give out too many details about yourself or where you’re staying with strangers.
  7.  When using an ATM, guard the keypad when entering your pin.
  8.  Avoid taking public transportations alone when traveling in large cities, resort to taxis or rent your own car.
  9.  Don’t accept drinks from strangers, know where they come from.
  10. Avoid looking flashy and giving people more reason to rob you.
What are your Dominican Republic experiences? Were they good? Bad? Let me know by commenting down below! 😃

 

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Love & light,

 

Carmelisse

 

Disclaimer: This post blog was written in partnership with the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism Board. While the trip was compensated all honest opinions are my own.

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14 Comments
  • Christina
    Posted at 09:59h, 11 April Reply

    I loved this post! So important that people challenge the things that they hear in the media and experience places for themselves. The DR was beautiful and photos of the locals are STUNNING.

  • Jen Ruiz
    Posted at 08:16h, 09 April Reply

    It’s always good to be cautious but I wish more people would explore DR as you did instead of limiting themselves to the resorts. Great photos and tips!

  • Jen Ruiz
    Posted at 08:14h, 09 April Reply

    It’s always good to be cautious but I truly wish more people would explore DR like you did and not just stay on the resorts! Gorgeous photos and great tips!

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 22:05h, 09 April Reply

      Yes me too! There’s so much more to see than just the commercialized places. Thanks Jen! 🙂

  • Deepika Mehta
    Posted at 07:34h, 09 April Reply

    Thanks for sharing those awesome tips! And it’s really good to know that your decision of leaving behind your fears made you experience something so unique! Stunning clicks and loved all the happy faces👍🏻

  • Penny
    Posted at 01:58h, 09 April Reply

    I’ve personally never been to the Dominican Republic but I so get what you mean about other people’s views tainting your perception. Sure it is good to keep an eye out for trouble and to be aware that it may exist. Letting it curtail you and restrain you however never does a person any good.

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 07:39h, 09 April Reply

      Definitely! Thanks Penny. 🙏🏼

  • Kat
    Posted at 22:41h, 08 April Reply

    I’ve always been curious about how safe it is to travel to the Dominican Republic. Thanks for this insightful post. The people there seem kind and helpful! I’d like to go there sometime since it looks like a beautiful country!

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 23:29h, 08 April Reply

      That’s awesome! I think you will love it there. Thanks for reading Kat! 🙂

  • Kelly Duhigg
    Posted at 08:13h, 08 April Reply

    Great post!! I believe you really do need to visit a place and see for yourself. Preconceived botions are a dangerous thing because they can be based on underlying stereotypes that may be exaggerated or not true. Glad you went and love the photos!!

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 22:24h, 08 April Reply

      Hi Kelly! Yeah I’m so glad I did. Thank you so much. <3

  • Joanna
    Posted at 08:08h, 08 April Reply

    I have never traveled to the Dominican Republic but I have been to places where people wouldn’t recommend going. I traveled alone to India for example, as a woman, and I only experienced the kindness of the people. The same in South America! I went alone to Sao Paolo, with the idea in my mind that I will probably end up robbed and I had the time of my life exploring it’s beautiful street art scene and enjoy proper coffee. I think that the bad news are the only ones who surface in the papers in certain countries and that makes them “dangerous on paper”.

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 22:25h, 08 April Reply

      Yes definitely! I’ve heard many bad things about India too, but my friends who ended up going loved it. Would love to visit that country one day. 🙂

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