Travel Story: First Time to the Dominican Republic

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Doctoral Student, Graduate Instructor, Social Activist and phenomenally fit Ms. Teah Hairston about her trip to the Dominican Republic. With its reasonable airfares and housing some of the most affordable all-inclusive resorts, the DR is an easy choice for those eager to experience a slice of Caribbean paradise.

  Why did you decide to go to the Dominican Republic?  My best friend and I turned 30 this year so we decided to celebrate both our birthdays with this vacation.

 How long did it take you two to plan this wonderful birthday celebration?  It took us a few months to plan–mainly because neither of us had ever been out of the country and we had no idea where to go. So many options! We started looking around December/January and booked the trip in March.

 What method did you use to book your airfare and hotel?  We booked through Expedia. In the future, we will probably try another method.
 

Tell us about the trip! It was your first time out of the country, I bet it was amazing?  We arrived in Punta Cana on June 3, 2015 and stayed until June 8th. We stayed at the Riu Palace Resort. The flight was ok—more turbulence than we would have liked, but we made it out alive! The room was super cute with a jacuzzi-like bath tub, personal minibar, two queen beds, a lovely shower and a balcony with beautiful scenery. We spent most of our days beach bumming and having cocktails. We met several people on the beach and made friends with a lot of the resort employees including the manager. They took good care of us throughout our stay. The night life was fun. An interesting but diverse variety of music and people. We went to the nightly shows at the resort lounge and resort hopped a few times. It was a great time!

  That does sound like a great time! What aspect of your visit to the Dominican Republic was the best?
The best part of the trip is the part that stays in Punta Cana! Having the opportunity to see the local lifestyle and meeting beautiful people from across the globe was definitely a pleasure. Just being able to get away from the daily stresses of life and relax on the beach all day was a blessing in itself. 
Were there any lows to the trip?
We got sick from the food on the 2nd day. For the remainder of the trip, we had to become vegans in the day until we could get fried chicken and french fries (the only other food that didn’t make us sick) at night from the discoteca. The drinks weren’t as strong as we would’ve liked either, so it felt like we had to drink all day to have a nice buzz instead of having a few drinks and being satisfied. Also, the resort package was said to include non-motorized water sports; however, when we went to sign up to play, there were additional charges that had not been previously mentioned. Had we known this, our choice in resort may have been different. 

Any advice for those looking to visit Punta Cana?
Definitely call and speak to the resorts and ask questions. Travel agencies don’t always have all the answers, they are just there to book the trips. Also bring back up food just in case your stomach doesn’t agree with the food. In the states, we are used to food preparation according to FDA standards. Other places can be extremely different, so it’s a good idea to bring alternative options just in case. Also, bring lots of cash. Often times, especially in tropical locations, the internet and things connected to the web (ATM machines, etc.) stop working which can cause an inconvenience if you’re depending on your credit/debit card.

 You can find Teah on Instagram: @sista_slimgym_916

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