How to Stay Safe and Healthy If You’re Vacationing in the Dominican Republic – PEOPLE Great Concepts

A series of recent traveler deaths in the Dominican Republic has left lots of prospective visitors wary of vacationing in the Caribbean location– however should travelers who have already reserved, cancel or change their plans?

A number of health terrifies and strange deaths still under examination by the FBI, State Department and Center for Disease Control to name a few has pestered the island in recent months. Two high-profile events of violent criminal offense– the pounding of an American traveler at a resort and the shooting of former baseball star David Ortiz– have actually brought further analysis on the nation, which the U.S. State Department rates at level 2 for security, which means visitors should “exercise increased caution due to criminal offense.”

Nevertheless, the island, which has to do with a 2.5-hour flight from Miami, remains a popular trip, with 2.7 million Americans, and 6.5 million immigrants total, going to each year.

” Of that amount, the variety of occurrences that have made headlines this year represents less than 1%of tourists,” says Kyle Valenta, Managing editor for expert travel review site, who adds, “The chances are exceptionally good that you’re going to have a fantastic holiday with no speed bumps.”

While there’s no warranty of preventing the extensive, if uncommon, situations recently reported, if travelers do select to go to the Dominican Republic, there are steps they can require to remain safe and healthy.

Prior To You Leave

1. Register Your Trip. Consider registering your check out with the U.S. State Department. “This will supply the government company with contact and travel plan information that can make things like providing help or assisting in evacuation easier, ought to it end up being required,” says Travelzoo Elder Editor Gabe Saglie.

2. Inform yourself. He likewise keeps in mind, that it’s a great idea for travelers to inform themselves about regional laws and rules prior to they depart. “It helps make certain travelers remain out of difficulty.”

3. Copy files. It’s also an excellent idea to make backup copies of important files, especially passports, he says.

4. Schedule the right hotel. Complete resorts are typically safest when it comes to preventing criminal offenses like break-in since they usually have on-site security and do not enable non-guests on the property, according to Kyle Valenta, Managing editor for professional travel evaluation site

While Exploring

5. Opt for a group. Saglie recommends that visitors must never ever wander in unfamiliar places alone, “especially in locations you’re not knowledgeable about, or where you do not understand the language.”

6. Remain in traveler areas. Well-populated, tourist-friendly locations are a good bet. “Strolling around alone, after dark, in cities like Santo Domingo is going to be riskier,” says Valenta. However, he notes, “that holds true throughout the world, consisting of in the United States and Europe.” The State Department notice likewise says that the “development of an expert traveler cops corps, institution of a 911 system in many parts of the nation, and a concentration of resources in resort areas” makes them more secure than cities.

When Consuming and Drinking

At least eight American travelers have died after falling ill in the Dominican Republic– and dozens more have actually gotten ill in the past year according to the U.S. State Department. Some of those cases may have involved tainted alcohol according to authorities. While there’s no sure method to avoid this, there are precautions you can require to stay safe from foodborne diseases.

7. Skip the buffet. Eating and drinking at an all-encompassing resort is usually more secure than remaining in a city and eating street food, states Valenta. But, he says, “Buffets are frequently the greatest offender when it pertains to polluted food, so opt for just steaming hot a la carte fare if you’re particularly worried, and avoid garnishes, salads, and anything that hasn’t been thoroughly cooked.”

8. Bring an antibiotic “If you’re particularly concerned, ask your physician for a course of prescription antibiotics to bring with you should you establish symptoms of food poisoning, states Valenta. While this is more typical when traveling to destinations like India and Southeast Asia, he says, it can’t hurt to be prepared.

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