Going to the DR
Be sure to pack 24 hours worth of clothes, medicines and toiletries in your “carry on bag”. (Check with your airline for current restrictions on what can be put in carryon luggage.) Your luggage may arrive late or not at all!
Pack in advance and before leaving remove half of what you packed! Then go and enjoy your vacation
Arrival in the DR
As soon as the plane lands in The Dominican Republic and the doors open, you will know you are in the Caribbean by the wonderful smell of the heat and humidity.
The first stop is immigration where you show your passport (ID), immigration form (normally blue) and tourist visa. Have these ready, it’ll save a lot of time. Those who do not have them (tourist visa and immigration forms) supplied in advance of their arrival in the DR must purchase the visa for $10 US and fill out the form prior to going through immigration.
After going through immigration, get your luggage, and then head out of the airport past customs, they will likely not stop you, but if they do cooperate with them. Then look for someone holding a sign with your Tour operator’s name on it and they will direct you to your bus. If you are traveling on a non AI plan and transport is not included in your package then taxis are readily available. Make sure the fare is agreed on BEFORE you get into the vehicle.
Airport porters will try and carry your luggage for you - a firm NO Gracias a couple of times will dissuade them. If you do allow them to carry your luggage, keep tabs on it and make sure you see it loaded on your bus. $2 per bag is a generous tip for their service.
When your vacation is complete you will be required to pay $20 US cash per person to depart the country. Some Canadian tour companies are now starting to precollect this, but not all of them. Suggest you set this aside with your tickets at the beginning of your trip! Oh, and you’ll need another copy of the blue immigration form. Yes, it has the same data as the one you filled in when you arrived. That’s just the way it is.