Traveling to the Dominican Republic

So you’ve determined that the Dominican Republic is the right place for you. It might be the beaches, the beautiful women, or the warm weather. But before you enjoy what this country has to offer, you first have to arrive. There are some elements you need to know in order to prepare yourself for your trip. If you have traveled internationally before, then you are more prepared then the average traveler. Still, the Dominican Republic has some unique features that will confuse first-time goers. So in this article we will touch upon all these features and give a detailed break down of all that you need to do in order to arrive safely without any issues.

Buying Your Plane Ticket

Assuming you’re not from Haiti and taking a bus over, you are going to be arriving by plane. How to get the cheapest plane ticket to the DR is beyond the scope of this article, but just know that it’s cheaper to book in advance, about 40 to 60 days in advance. This will ensure that you get a cheaper ticket than someone who bought it a week or two weeks in advance.

What’s really important to remember when booking is that you are probably going to need to also buy a return ticket. This is if you are coming from the United States. Most if not all of the major airlines today will not allow your to leave if you cannot show them either a return ticket, or a ticket out of the DR. This is because the airlines are liable if you overstay in the DR and so they would have to pay for your flight back to the United States. Therefore I highly recommend that you buy a return ticket in advance.

The Tourist Card

As you may have heard, you will need to buy a tourist card in order to enter the country. It only costs $10 so it’s not a big deal, but you want to save time by buying it in advance. It’s best to buy it online and print it out. Otherwise when you arrive you will have to wait in a long line to buy one. You can buy the card here on the official government website.

Pre Flight

First, you want to make sure that you have everything you need to bring with you to the DR. There are some items here that are not available for purchase, are difficult to purchase, or are too expensive to purchase. Click here to view a detailed list of what you should bring with you.

After you have your suitcases packed and ready to go, then it’s time to get to the airport and board your flight. For international flights, it’s always recommended that you arrive at least a couple hours before your flight leaves. For the DR specifically , its recommended that you arrive 2 hours beforehand. This will give you plenty of time to ensure that there are no issues and you are good to go.


After grabbing your bags, you can follow the crowd and walk to where you need to go next. You should see a couple of lines. One of them is for the tourist card, so if you bought in advance then you can skip this line and go to the other line to have your passport stamped. After your passport is stamped then you are free to go. But before you enter this line I recommend getting some of the local currency, although most airport cab drivers do accept American dollars. To get local currency, you can either use the ATM or you can go to a booth to exchange dollars or do a cash advance from your credit card.


Now you are out of the airport and ready to get to your destination. Unless you have someone to pick you up, then you are going to have to get a taxi. When walking out, never let someone take your bag from you. Usually there are middlemen who will try to take your bag and bring it to a taxi. These middlemen expect a tip from you. There are taxis everywhere at the airport so you can easily walk to one yourself.

As far as prices go, you can expect to pay $25 to $45 for a taxi, and it does depend a little on where exactly you are going. The prices are negotiable so make sure to negotiate beforehand to determine a price.


As you can see, traveling to the DR is similar to traveling to other international cities. There are a few specific rules to keep in mind, but otherwise you can expect a pleasant and stress-free trip to this wonderful country.

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