Dominican Republic vacation Tips

The beach calls, and it has a Dominican Republic accent.The beach calls, and it has a Dominican Republic accent. (Photo: beach image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com )

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The Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic is home to pristine beaches, world-class resorts and year-round sunshine that offers an exotic getaway just a few hours' flying from North America's East Coast. Know important tips regarding the country's currency, entrance requirements, and health and safety so you can enjoy the Dominican Republic's beaches and vibrant culture without worry.

Travel Documents

You do not need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic for a vacation. Upon entry, you must present a valid passport that is valid through the date upon which you plan to depart the country. However, you must purchase a tourist card at your port of entry. The fee is $10, as of February 2010.

Safety Advisories

The Dominican Republic is not afflicted with the political unrest and crime rates of poorer Caribbean countries, such as the neighboring country of Haiti. If there is an occasional period of unrest, travel advisories will be issued by the U.S. Department of State to alert you of cities to avoid. Get the latest advisories by calling the department toll-free at 888-407-4747.

Money

Both the U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar, along with the Dominican peso, are accepted at most Dominican Republic stores and street merchants. Before leaving for the country, break up your bills into $1s and $5s, since most street vendors do not carry large excesses of cash for change.

ATMs are located in most commercial districts and resorts but often assess an extremely high fee due to the foreign nature of the financial transaction. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels but not many local stores. If you need to exchange your cash, do not use the potentially unscrupulous local currency exchange offices that dot the country. Instead, ask your resort's front desk, which will typically exchange your money for free.

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