How To Find Affordable Airline Tickets To The Dominican Republic

Affordable airline tickets. These days that can sound a lot like an oxymoron. With the amount of vacationers that are traveling worldwide, it can be somewhat challenging when finding a flight for an affordable price, especially when traveling internationally. With so many website suggestions, travel deal sites, and airline competitors, we often receive messages from our readers expressing their frustration and asking which sites are legitimate or when the best time to travel is. However, one question we receive repeatedly is “How can I find affordable airline tickets to the Dominican Republic? ” Well, we are here to put your mind at ease and have compiled a list of tips for you so be prepared for some extra cushion of cash in your wallet. Let’s save you money so you can fully enjoy your next vacation to the Dominican Republic.

Booking your airline at the right time is extremely important when trying to find a desirable price. If you have researched pricing yourself there is a fairly good chance that you have also encountered plenty of variances from experts stating it is better to book one month in advance. Other experts will say to book two months in advance; and still others even stating up to six months in advance. Well, there have been quite a few recent studies and if you have the patience and commitment, the ideal booking date for travel to the Dominican Republic is 81 days ahead (between 11 and 12 weeks) of your travel date.

Booking your flight(s) too much in advance or too late could very well have you paying more than you should. The reason for the 81-day advance booking is quite simple: each flight needs to have a certain number of seats remaining on the flight in order to provide a low price and in the majority of cases this will happen at 81 days out and airlines will in turn offer a very attractive price. When traveling to the Dominican Republic or anywhere for that matter, there is an exception to this rule, and that is during holiday periods. If you must travel to the Dominican Republic for holidays such as New Year’s Eve/Day, Christmas, or Good Friday, you should strongly consider booking your flight as early as one year in advance to keep your flight costs as low as possible.

If booking 81 days ahead is out of the question because of a last minute trip to the Dominican Republic, purchasing your tickets a minimum of 2-4 weeks ahead of your travel date and on a Tuesday will make a significant difference as opposed to booking 1 week ahead of travel and on a Monday or Friday. But again, you will not save anywhere near what you would save booking 81 days out. There has been a great deal of conflicting information about the best day of the week to book, but hands down, Tuesday is the way to go. According to priceoftravel.com, at the end of 2014 there was an airfare report that booking airfare on Tuesdays was not as beneficial as originally thought. At the end of the day, this was debunked and the report was very misleading, which again led experts back to Tuesday being the best day of the week to book airline tickets, both domestic and internationally.

We are often asked about last minute fares. Yes, in years past last minute fares were popular and widely available. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, especially when traveling to the Dominican Republic which is thriving with resort development and vacationers. Airlines realized that travelers were waiting until the last minute to book tickets for the last minute deal offerings and it no longer made financial sense for the airlines to accommodate this need. Like the aforementioned preferred booking dates and days, there are additional tips that can help you secure the best airfare rate(s) when traveling to the Dominican Republic.

Another option is being selective with the airport you fly into and out of. When trying to save on fares it is highly recommended that you select your airports very carefully. Often flying into or out of a large, centrally located airport that handles the majority of the country’s traffic will save you. For example, when running a comparison we quickly took note that flying into Santo Domingo (SDQ) as opposed to Puerto Plata (POP) at the beginning of August 2015 would save a whopping $600.00! Obviously, this is not always the case, however, flights in and out of different airports will produce different prices which can inevitably save you a small fortune if you are willing to sacrifice on this end. If you and your family can fly into and/or out of a different airport that may not be closest to your destination, you can save a large amount of money, and this is many times worth its weight in gold. Flying into an alternative airport can actually prove to be very fun and exciting, as it will allow you and your family to explore different areas of the Dominican Republic while you rent a car or take a bus to your destination. We can’t begin to tell you how many people we know that have explored the Dominican Republic due to flying into an alternative airport, and it ended up being one of the best experiences of their lives.

Low cost airline websites are an incredibly popular way to save but they can be incredibly frustrating. It is hard to know which sites are legitimate and which sites are offering the best deal. Reading reviews are extremely important when selecting a low cost or competitive airline pricing website. We understand this can be time consuming but doing your homework is key, especially when talking about hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in airline tickets. Try to avoid the lesser known websites and stick with the well known and even publicly traded companies as you will often have more recourse should anything go awry.

In our research, we came across desirable rates on kayak.com, expedia.com and orbitz.com. If you choose to proceed with booking through a low cost airline booking engine, make sure to read the fine print, understand the cancellation policy, and if possible, pay the additional fee in order to cancel if necessary.

Booking your flight(s) to the Dominican Republic can be done with very little stress and can even be fun if done right. We invite you to try our tips and wish you a very exciting vacation!

Travel Tips for Travel Safety

When traveling, safety should always be a top priority. Exploring a new destination is very exciting and can make for wonderful memories. However, being a tourist in a new destination can bring with it dangers you wouldn’t normally face. Like it or not, locals will know you are a tourist, and unfortunately criminals prey on this weakness. So make note of our travel tips, stay alert and you should have a very safe and enjoyable vacation.

Research. It is imperative that you research your destination location(s) and the surrounding areas. In addition to your vacation destination, we advise that you research the city or town, resort or hotel, and check the internet for any travel or safety alerts for the destination(s) you are planning to explore. It doesn’t hurt to review the crime rates for the area. You can find chat boards with feedback and tips from previous travelers

Doctor. If you are traveling internationally, it is wise to pay a visit to your doctor 4 -6 weeks prior to your vacation. Depending on the country you will be traveling to, your doctor may suggest specific vaccinations or even precautionary medication. At the very least, make sure your vaccinations are up to date, and you have a current tetanus vaccination.

Airport. It is important that you pay close attention to your luggage at both your departing and arriving airport. While at the airport, always keep your luggage in sight at all times until given to the baggage handler, and if you are using a carry on, keep it with you at all times. While you wait to board, program your cell phone with emergency contact numbers, and the number of where you are staying. It is wise to write the number on a piece of paper as well, and carry it with you at all times, in the event your phone is lost or stolen.

Destination. Upon arrival, take in your surroundings and make a mental note of landmarks. You never know when this may come in handy if you were to get lost. When checking into your hotel or resort, ask if the front desk offers a front desk safe. Often times guests will prefer to store their valuables behind the front desk due to the insurance the hotel/resort carries. Travelers are sometimes skeptical of using the in-room safe, as we have all heard the horror stories of belongings that have gone missing from room safes. A front office safe usually charges a small fee to store your valuables, but for items such as passports and expensive jewelry, it is well worth the charge. As you venture out, exploring your destination and enjoying your vacation, make sure to stay in public places and remain “street smart”. By street smart we mean, watch your drinks, don’t leave your drink when using the restroom, do not wander down alleyways, don’t count your money in public and don’t wander off with overfriendly strangers. It is easy to have a lighthearted and naive attitude because you are on vacation, but you need to remain wise and vigilant, just as you would when you are not traveling. Don’t forget to bring both cash and 2-3 credit cards if possible. Keep one of your cards in the front office safe or securely hidden, in the event your wallet is lost or stolen.

Transportation. It is important that you only use licensed taxis, buses or transportation methods recommended and provided by your hotel or resort. If you have extra time, it doesn’t hurt to look up the route you will be traveling to ensure you are not overcharged for your ride. If you feel uncomfortable traveling with a particular taxi driver, make sure you are dropped off in a well-lit and busy area. If there is a language barrier, make sure to write down the transportation price you have agreed upon, so the driver cannot change his mind at the end of the ride and overcharge you.

Travel is about exploring new destinations, having fun and creating memories. Follow our travel tips and you can look forward to a safe and wonderful traveling experience.

Travel Tips for Traveling on a Budget

The cost of traveling can add up quickly if you don’t have a pre-set budget. If you are like most and have yet to determine your budget for your upcoming trip to Puerto Plata, take advantage of our travel tips for traveling on a budget and you can soon rest easy. You will be guaranteed a wonderful vacation without having to worry about finances.

First and foremost, avoid restaurants that many tourists flock to.  More often than not, restaurants filled with locals, as opposed to vacationers tend to serve better food and for a far lower cost.  The fact that you will get to sample local Dominican cuisine should be reason enough.

Should traveling during the low season be an option for you, take advantage, as many times you will find better deals. Lower priced airfares, reduced wait times and shorter lines are just a few of the perks when traveling during low season.

Shopping while on vacation is often high on the list. By shopping local businesses in Puerto Plata, you will find a spectacular array of unique items indigenous to this beautiful city and usually at a lower price point. local business owners can sell their goods for lower prices since local gems are not mass-produced. Besides the appealing fact that you will be paying a lower price, you are often securing one-of-a-kind goods and souvenirs, and you are always supporting the local economy. Truly shopping done right!

Secure a credit card that will provide you the best exchange rate, and one that doesn’t charge additional fees to use it when traveling internationally.  There are several credit cards that don’t charge fees when purchasing in different currencies, which is ideal when vacationing in Puerto Plata.  However, if you prefer using cash only you may want to register your debit card prior to going out of the country and use the local ATM machines at your destination. Generally, taking these steps offers the lowest fees and a little bit of research can save you a lot of money in the long run.

If one or two of the many exciting Puerto Plata excursions are on your to-do list, make sure to compare prices before purchasing. Settling on the first excursion can often times prove to be costly. Take the time to do your homework and you will be pleased with the money you save.

Local transportation costs can run high when traveling, so make it a priority to do your homework. Puerto Plata offers several modes of transportation, many more exciting than others. Determine your ideal mode of transportation, and again, shop around. Taxi fares generally run higher than buses, bicycles and motoconchos.  Also, if you’re close to your destination you can always try walking.  Taking in the local sites while breathing in the beautiful Dominican air is a treat that can’t be beat. If your destination is too far to walk to make sure to agree on a price for the transportation services prior to the ride. Often times it is a good idea to write the price on a piece of paper to avoid any confusion at the end of the ride.

Our last tip for you is to barter, barter, barter!  Whether you are shopping, traveling by motoconcho or windsurfing for the day, barter a lower price.  The majority of vendors add a premium when quoting a price. Therefore, when inquiring about the cost, always offer a lower price. Nine times out of ten, the vendor will negotiate with you, which typically results in a fair price that satisfies the both of you.

These valuable travel tips will save you money while helping you stay within budget.  You can soon look forward to a great vacation in Puerto Plata and not have to worry about breaking the bank.

Travel Tips for Traveling Solo

For many, traveling solo for vacation might appear challenging or not as fulfilling as vacationing with another. Well, we are here to tell you that traveling solo can be an exciting, exhilarating and a wonderful experience. We are excited to provide you with a few of our top tips one should use when traveling solo.

First and foremost, safety should be at the top of your list and since you will be traveling alone, you should make safety a high priority. Research your destination choices prior to making your selection, keeping in mind the safety of the area. Once you have decided on your vacation destination or destinations, its time to research some more. Research the resort or hotel you will be staying in, your destination city in full detail and the various forms of transportation offered. Inform your friends and family before you depart to let them know you are traveling and where you will be staying. In addition to briefing your loved ones, program your cell phone with emergency
contact numbers and the number of where you will be staying. It doesn’t hurt to also write the telephone numbers down on a piece of paper and carry it with you as well. Finally, if you are traveling out of the country, familiarize yourself with the location and contact details of your country’s embassy.

When packing for your getaway, it’s helpful to only pack what you will need. After all, you are traveling solo, so there really is no reason to lug several suitcases around as it can be both time-consuming and cumbersome. Remember, less is more!

Try booking your flights so you arrive during the day, which will allow you time to explore and enjoy your destination upon arrival. Make sure to bring both cash and two to three credit cards so you are always prepared for the different restaurant, shop and excursion checkout policies. The cash will come in handy for tipping and paying for transportation.

One of the many perks to traveling alone is that you can literally do whatever you want and whenever you want. You don’t have to answer to your family or friends or compromise with anyone; you can explore and indulge exactly as you please. If you are a photographer, venture out to explore and take beautiful pictures of your destination. If you like to read, grab your Nook or enjoy a new book or two at a local café or beach. If people watching is your cup of tea, head out of your hotel or resort and visit a local destination, take in the surroundings and enjoy yourself. This is a great opportunity to experience life in your destination location as the locals do. If you are a night owl and prefer to venture out and experience your destination’s nightlife, grab a seat at a local bar. Whether you’re at a café or a nightclub, you will be surprised at how fast locals will want to chat, and you could soon make new great friends.

Don’t forget to bring a journal with you on your journey and write in it daily. You don’t have to write a novel, but a paragraph here and there will make for a beautiful documentation of your travels, and memories you can relive.

Take this time traveling solo to get to know yourself, reflect on your life, enjoy this time alone and explore. Make your solo vacation a trip never to be forgotten!

Travel Tips: Eating Healthy on Vacation – Part 2

When dining at your vacation destination, it is best not to skip eating a wholesome breakfast. Like Mom says, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and there is a lot of truth to this saying. Not only will it speed up your metabolism for the day, but eating breakfast will also help to ensure that you don’t eat too much throughout the day. Options such as fruits, light toast or hardboiled eggs are a great source of energy. Our personal favorite when traveling is a vegetable and egg white omelet for breakfast. Stay away from heavy meats such as sausage and bacon. Not only will the meat drag you down throughout the morning but also the fat content is extremely high.

When eating lunch and dinner during your vacation, try to always incorporate high protein lean meats with vegetables. Grilled, broiled and steamed options are preferable over fried food. Ask your server not to cook with butter or heavy oils and you will avoid empty calories and fat, guaranteed! Another delicious option is to consume salads. However, you must be careful, as often times the dressing is what makes for the majority of the calories. Ask for your dressing to be placed on the side in a small dish, and try vinaigrette or light dressing. Proceed to lightly dip your fork in the dressing prior to taking each bite of your salad. You will be surprised at how little dressing you use, while still maintaining the flavor and avoiding the calories.

During any vacation, most people participate in excursions and activities and may often treat themselves to the easiest and closest food. This may pose a problem, as this usually is unhealthy and full of fat and calories. Again, pack your healthy snacks, and eat them when you feel a bit hungry. This will keep your energy high and when you do sit down for a full meal, the snacks you ate during the day will have kept the feeling of starvation away, which will allow you to make smart dining decisions.

A tip we can’t stress enough is to do your dining research prior to arrival. Before your trip, review the area restaurant menus on-line, and devise a healthy eating plan. This way, you will be prepared to eat healthy during any morning, afternoon or evening excursions.

With careful planning prior to your vacation, a little willpower and avoiding the convenience of eating food that is bad for you, you will eat healthy during your vacation while also having the energy to enjoy it as well.

Travel Tips: Eating Healthy on Vacation – Part 1

FullSizeRender copyFor most of us, a vacation is a time to relax, have fun and splurge. However, for many, not overindulging and trying to eat healthy can be a concern when traveling. Don’t fret, not only will we show you how to eat healthy, but you are guaranteed to feel great, light and enjoy all of the activities and leisure time without any of the guilt associated with overeating while on vacation.

Inside Puerto PlataPrior to your trip to the airport, eat a light and healthy meal. Start off on a positive note and set the standard for your vacation, keeping in mind that you will eat healthy during your vacation. If it is breakfast, juicing is always an option, not to mention you can take it with you, should you be in a hurry. To fight off the hunger pains during your flight, make sure to pack a few healthy snacks, such as granola bars, nuts, trail mix and dried snap peas. Dried fruit is another very healthy and popular snack as well. Should your flight be later in the day or closer to lunch or dinner, start with a light healthy breakfast followed by a light lunch, such as tuna salad with assorted high protein beans on a pita. Since you will be busy preparing for your flight and vacation, tuna salad is not only healthy and light, but incredibly easy. Take a bit of tuna, mix it with a pinch of olive oil and lemon juice. Add some white beans and tomatoes. Voila! You are guaranteed a healthy, light lunch or dinner. There are many recipes you can find on the web, but the trick is to eat light, high protein foods to keep your energy level high for the trip, while avoiding the distraction of hunger, which inevitably causes temptation and can often times lead to overindulgence.

Upon arrival to youInside Puerto Platar destination, make sure to stock your hotel room with plenty of healthy snacks, such as fruit. Apples and bananas are a great snack. Bananas are full of potassium, apples are low calorie and dried fruit such as apricots are delicious. Whole vegetables, such as carrots and celery are another wonderful option, and can easily be stored in your hotel room or villa refrigerator. A popular vegetable option is dried snap peas, which are both delicious and nutritious. Make sure to avoid chips, candy and soda, which are filled with sugar and empty calories. Stick with a great deal of water, preferably bottled water, especially when traveling. Not only will water hydrate you during your trip, but many times when you think you are hungry, your body is tricking you, and in fact, you were thirsty. Revert back to your flight snacks, as granola bars, trail mix and fiber cookies (if available) are a fabulous snack option when vacationing.

Travel Tips: Planning a Weekend Getaway to Puerto Plata

There is so much to do and see in Puerto Plata that accomplishing it all in one weekend will be tough, but we have no doubt that you will succeed in having a great time. Whether your getaway will be with friends, family, or just your significant other, planning a weekend getaway will help you to recharge and escape the mundane of every day life. Of course, you will need to plan the time of year of your quick getaway in Puerto Plata, choose your flights, select the size of your villa, and choose from the many exciting activities Puerto Plata has to offer.

First and foremost, choose the time of year that best suits you. Puerto Plata offers a minimal to moderate range in air temperature, water temperature and wind. If you and your guests are not fans of high humidity, then planning your getaway around the months of July, August and September is a good idea for you. If you are all big fans of warm weather and warm tropical waters, the “winter” months in Puerto Plata will greatly resonate with you. Who knows, you may even extend your weekend getaway into a one or two week getaway!

Finding flights for everyone involved can easily become complicated. Have someone help you with your flights, or better yet find a travel agent with the ability to work with everyone’s time constraints, time zones and special needs. You will want everyone to arrive around the same time so a travel agent may very well be your best option.

When staying in a villa, you are provided with a vast number of amenities you wouldn’t ordinarily experience when staying in a hotel. Perks such as a private pool and a private Chef will allow you to decide if you prefer to head out to a local restaurant for breakfast or enjoy it with your travel companion(s) poolside in the privacy of your villa. Due diligence is key, so make sure to read the many Inside Puerto Plata blog posts to gain a full understanding about Puerto Plata, the local cuisine, top rated restaurants, excursions, monthly events and beautiful beaches.

Activities are aplenty in Puerto Plata. It will be very difficult for you to narrow down your “to-do” list, as the number of once in a lifetime excursions, activities and events are plentiful. Therefore, when on a weekend getaway in Puerto Plata and stretched for time, researching and deciding on your top activity selections is key. Day trips to Punta Rusia or Cayo Paraiso on a luxury yacht to snorkel and relax is one of the many fabulous activities that must be added to your list. The cable car ride up to Mount Isabel de Torres followed by shopping, drinks and dinner is another day of fun altogether. Visit Damajaqua Cascades, or 27 Waterfalls, to see the absolute beauty surrounding Puerto Plata. You will hike, jump from cliffs into cool springs and experience the beautiful landscape all in one day. Are you a golf lover? If so, 18 holes at the famous Playa Dorada Golf Course is a must, followed by a trip to the beach to relax and enjoy the cool ocean water.

Puerto Plata has an endless array of options for each and every visitor. Follow these tips when planning your weekend getaway and you are guaranteed to experience the weekend of your life!

Travel Tips for Multigenerational Vacations to Puerto Plata

Whether it’s the first generation or the second generation that plans your exciting vacation, the time you will spend together is priceless. You may not know it yet but you are creating memories that will be cherished for many years to come. Exploring, experiencing, and relaxing together in Puerto Plata will help your family to bond while growing even closer.

Gather your loved ones and plan the vacation together. Depending on the ages of your family members, you will want everyone’s input on the vacation destination, planned activities and excursions, and even the travel details. Accommodating each family member’s special request may prove challenging, but if each family member is able to pick at least one activity, you will be looking forward to a very successful and enjoyable vacation.

Choose an accommodation that will suit your entire family. Choosing to stay in a villa is both a smart and wonderful choice, as you will have the opportunity to stay together in a luxury setting, ranging in size from 3 – 7 bedrooms; that’s a whopping 14 family members a villa can accommodate. If your family is like most, everyone will be more than happy having their own bedroom. Don’t forget the many luxury villa perks, such as a private pool, private chef and the fact that the entire family can relax together under one roof, while sharing meals together, cooking together and making memories together.

Plan your activities to fit everyone’s requirements. If you have older parents or young children, hiking and climbing may not be at the top of your list of choice activities. Not to worry, Puerto Plata offers a variety of activities to suit every age and ability. A trip to Ocean World Adventure Park is perfect for all, especially families with children. The famous Puerto Plata Cable Car Tours will accommodate all ages, and is a breathtaking experience you and your family will not soon forget. Puerto Plata beaches are both beautiful and numerous, so why not spend a day relaxing on the gorgeous white Dominican sand you hear so much about? Remember, there are activities and excursions that will accommodate every age and ability, guaranteeing a great time to be had by all.

Remember to take time for yourself. Whether its solely you or maybe you and your significant other, it is important to take a little time away from everyone to create private memories while in beautiful Puerto Plata. If you have young children, ask their grandparents, aunt or uncle to babysit for the night, while you and your love sip champagne at the fabulous PURE nightclub. If a day outing is more appealing, the many romantic and wonderful restaurants, such as Mares Restaurant & Pool Lounge, can’t be missed! Wherever the destination may be, its imperative you take a few hours for just yourself or the two of you.

Take as many pictures as possible. We are warning you now; you will want to have the beautiful and exciting memories you experience in Puerto Plata captured on film or video. Because busy schedules often prevail, you may not find the time to take as many of these multigenerational vacations as you would like. Therefore, use this time together wisely and document, document, document! Time flies and memories fade but you will always have your heartwarming pictures and videos to return to over and over again.

Three or more generations of family members don’t often find the time to travel together. Follow these simple yet important tips and you are guaranteed a wonderful vacation, and to make memories that will last a lifetime!

Travel Tips for Traveling With Pets

Traveling and being able to bring your beloved pet is a fun and exciting experience. It allows the pet parent to enjoy their vacation to the fullest. For your pet though, it may be somewhat stressful. Think about what your pet’s needs are on a daily basis. Is your pet physically disabled or elderly? Does your pet have any illnesses? Is your pet agitated when out of his/her element? If your pets are like ours, then they absolutely love to travel. Still, these are all questions you need to answer before you take your pet on vacation with you. You can get started with travel preparations once you know that your pet will enjoy traveling and will have a stress free vacation.

Take a Trip to the Vet

Start by making an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian to ensure that your pet is healthy and completely up-to-date on all of his/her vaccinations. You will want your vet’s opinion on whether or not he/she can travel well and safely. Your vet may be able to recommend and prescribe medications that may put your pet at ease during travel. At the end of your medical visit, remember to leave with a health certificate. The certificate must be dated within 10 days of travel. Keep in mind that when flying, you will need paperwork that certifies that your pet is authorized to travel. Be sure to keep this handy during travel as you may be asked to show it to authorized personnel and upon check-in at the airport.

Review Your Visiting Country’s Rules on Traveling with Pets

Take the time to search out rules and regulations for bringing a pet into the country of your destination. You will want to meet all of their requirements such as vaccinations, quarantine and entrance paperwork. Each country lists their requirements on their government’s website. Leave enough time for writing and sending any necessary documents to the country’s governmental office prior to traveling.

Travel

If at all possible, make an attempt to travel during non-peak hours. The less crowded the airport and airplane, the better for your pet. This will help to ensure a less stressful experience for your pet. Attempt direct travel by skipping the layovers and taking the shortest flight route possible; you won’t want to search for places to walk your pet or for bathroom break areas. If your pet is 20lbs or less, make sure to take your pet in the cabin area of the airplane with you. This will help your pet feel more comfortable and avoid any safety hazards associated with your pet being loaded into the luggage area underneath the plane. If your pet is large in size and must be loaded below cabin, ask that airline personnel watch him/her being loaded and unloaded to help maintain your pet’s safety.

Pet Carrier

Make sure your pet’s carrier is both safe and meets all requirements for breed and size as this is often checked by airline personnel. If you have a large pet you will be required to invest in a hard carrier, as your pet will likely be below cabin. If your pet is traveling with you in the main cabin, we suggest a soft carrier that easily fits underneath your seat. The carriers will need to be large enough that your beloved pet is able to stand, lay and turn comfortably in. A tip to keep in mind is to purchase your pet’s carrier some time before your travels and allow your pet to wander in and out, so they become comfortable with the carrier and realize it is a safe place.

All in all, organization and planning is key when traveling with your pet. If you follow our suggestions and ensure your pet is comfortable and well taken care of, your pet will arrive safely and enjoy a happy and healthy vacation with you.

 

Travel Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

SouvenirsBuying souvenirs, both big and small, can be one of the most exciting experiences of your visit to Puerto Plata. The most important travel tip for buying souvenirs is to barter, barter, barter!! You can barter and negotiate costs when buying almost anything in Puerto Plata. Most of the time bartering is expected. Do not worry about insulting the locals, they know tourists will try and negotiate to get a better “deal”.

Travel Tip #1

S1Price bartering can be used in purchasing not only souvenirs but excursions, tours and taxis too. Expect the pricing for souvenirs such as paintings, caricature pictures, drawings, jewelry, pottery, glassware, woodwork and amber to be significantly inflated when first inquiring about the price. Name the souvenir and we can almost always guarantee that the price can be negotiated. Remain warm, friendly yet firm when negotiating. If you feel comfortable with the price that you agree upon, buy your item. If you don’t agree on the price you want, walk away. If the vendor truly wants to sell the item or service to you, the seller will chase you down. If not, continue to look around. Find your item with another vendor; chances are you will be successful, and again, barter the price. If you have the time and the patience, you will most likely pay what you want to pay and not what the seller wants to charge you.

Travel Tip #2

S2Before you purchase anything, if you have the time, check the competition first. Mentally log the cost and then wander on down the beach. The beaches may have signs posted that they are private and not to allow local residents, but because the beaches are owned by the government, no one can stop local vendors from selling on the beaches. So take the time to shop around, diversify your search and settle on a price only when you are ready and comfortable. Again, most vendors will almost always provide better pricing on souvenirs and beach activities. Local vendors do not have any overhead when selling their souvenirs, so they are able to procure a large profit even after giving their best deals to tourists.

Travel Tip #3

S3Amber is a very popular souvenir that visitors purchase when in Puerto Plata. Dominican amber is of very high quality, not to mention one of the earth’s most beautiful stones. Amber is a semi-precious stone and is a beautiful result of tree sap that has hardened for millions of years. Fossils of insect and plant life are encased in many amber stones. If you are in search of amber for the perfect take home souvenir, then you must head to the Amber Museum. While at the museum, you will have the opportunity to learn all you will ever want to know about Amber, followed by the option to purchase this beautiful stone safely, ensuring its authenticity. A general rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for when purchasing amber. If the price is too low, it most likely is not authentic.

Travel Tip #4

CigarIf you are traveling to Puerto Plata, you know by now that it is home to some of the best rum, coffee and cigars in the world. Chances are you will want to take at least one of these items home with you as a souvenir. Visiting the world famous Brugal Rum Factory is a must, but if you want to grab an extra bottle or two on the quick, make your way to the local grocery or even better, La Sirena, which offers some of the best shopping under one roof in Puerto Plata; a department store if you will. You are guaranteed authenticity when purchasing both local Dominican rum and coffee, whereas you may be taking a chance when buying off the streets or at local bars. If a good cigar is up your alley and you want to take a few home to share with your friends, then we suggest heading to the center of Puerto Plata. You will have the wonderful opportunity of not only purchasing local cigars, but watching them being rolled in front of you. Purchasing cigars fresh from the local factory is a perk you will not find when you return home. The Dominican Republic is the largest producer of cigars in the world and is known for being home to the best cigars. A true cigar aficionado cannot miss out on this unique souvenir opportunity!

If you follow these travel tips when buying souvenirs, you are guaranteed to come home with many great items from Puerto Plata. These beautiful souvenirs are sure to remind you of the wonderful memories made while in the beautiful city of Puerto Plata.