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What do i take?


Hi all, i know this has probably been covered, but i’m just startig to get things together for my holiday to gran ventana :slight_smile: and this is what i am planning to take:
flannels, toothpaste, toy cars,marbles (if i can get them),hair bands/bobbles,nail varnish.
we dont have a lot of spare money and space in the case. are these items okay. we are planning on leaving them with the maid with a piece of paper with our name and room number on it, but what will she do the stuff, does she keep it for her own family or will she give some of it to other people. imagine they probably get inundated with certain things :smiley: is this okay??



When are you going? The Gran Ventana is our FAVOURITE hotel - not just for its location, the layout (easy to get around) but especially its staff - they are A1!

Your list sounds great… if the maid cannot use what is given, from our experience, we find they share with family and friends… everyone helps everyone else. BTW, if you give toothpaste, also include a toothbrush… their teeth are beautiful and it is great to help them stay that way.

By flannels - not sure what you mean… “flannel” material is too warm for down there! If you mean light cotton pj’s - that would be good.

Something else that is good and not heavy or large is pencils and erasers. All school children need pencils and erasers - something used almost every day.


We have dollar stores here in Canada and believe it or not, you can buy calculators for a buck!!.I bought a whole bunch to take down in January and they were greatly appreciated, along with the pencils, pens, erasers etc. It’s a good feeling helping out, isn’t it?


Hi - we go in october- really looking forward to it, was planning to also take pencils, crayons etc also, by flannel i mean face cloths-like small towels. i would love to be able to take more things, butlike i say we’re on abudget, its took 18months to pay for our holiday, so we are a bit limited. is it okay to leave a bit of paper with our name and room number on it?

thanks for your help.


i like reading posts like these as it gives us new ideas about what to take.
we dont go till june :frowning: but we already have a small case half filled with things to give when we get there :slight_smile:


carebear: That is great… the paper with your name & room number will be proof for them that they did not steal the items. Their bags are checked when they leave work to make sure they don’t have anything they are not supposed to have.

We always type a note with the phrase “this is a gift for you” along with our name and space for the room #. I carry lots of copies with me and then don’t have to write it every time.

Esto es un regalo para usted
Don y Olivia Thompson
Room #________

I then fill in the room number before leaving the gift as I don’t know what it is before I check in…


thats a good idea actually- a bit more personal than just name and number- how is their english at the gv, i know a little bit of spanish, but not much. hello, goodbye, please, thankyou. that kind of thing. too my eldest for his jabs yesterday, just got to get the 2yr old done now.lol


what are you taking happy holiday?
do you think they would be offended if we left stuff behind, like toiletries and clothes that are no longer needed- wont fit the kids by the time summer comes round again ? not sure if they would want stuff opened or used :-[


Carebear, the flannel would be good,to hot for most tourists…but…for the dominicans dec,jan,feb…they find most or part of these months cool at night so they would be appreciated…


old millwright, i think you may have misunderstood what i mean by flannels :slight_smile: they are face cloths- mini towels :slight_smile:


What was that quote about Britain & USA? Something like…

A common people, seperated by a shared language ;D

oops, forgot to add… Pens and pencils. We take packets of pens etc. Tesco’s have packets of “value” pens etc very cheaply. We then give them out, in particular is on a trip somewhere. Might try some tennis balls for the kids to play with.


Hey fellow Canadians…flannel (in Britain) is a face-cloth! And yes, ‘carebear’, facecloths will be greatly appreciated in the DR. Suggestion…take an extra flannel or 2 for yourselves…not all resorts give out facecloths with the towels.

Other suggestions for small gifts: toothbrush, toothpaste, bandaids, soap, shampoo, body wash, tylenol/aspirin, lipstick, perfume/after shave, colored pencils, pencils, school scribblers, pencil sharpeners, stickers, baseball caps, baseballs, coloring books & crayons, hair bands or scrunchies, barretts/slides, earrings, combs, hairbrushes.

I understand that you are on budget restraints & I sympathise with you, as I get that way too. But I find if I get the small gift stuff when it comes on sale its not so hard on the pocketbook. And when I pack it in the suitcase, I make sure they are in all the small corners and empty spaces, like inside shoes etc or between clothes. Gift bags with the small tag attached to the handles is what I take to put the gifts in, sign the tag & leave it for the maid along with her $$tip.

Hope this helps.


hooray!!! people who know what a flannel is ;D. thanks for all the suggestions. what started off as a holiday cheaper than going to med is turning out expensive ;). the list of what to take is endless and unless you’ve been or get great advice from forums its a bit bewildering, i suppose we have no idea of how little they have, money or otherwise. we were planning on going on a trip like monster or outback, but to be honest i’m not sure if i wlould be able to cope with it, i get v. emotional ,v easily. i’m aslo trying to tell my eldest who is at the ungrateful stage that some people have nothing and maybe it would be an eye opener. but is it really a good idea with a toddler also?


Carebear - not sure your 2 year old would have as good a time as the older one on the Outback or Monster Trucks… a very high vehicle to get in and out of. Also, he would be too small to participate in the boogie boarding and there is no shade on the beach.

If you arrange with Isaira Tours, you could do a family tour geared to your own wants. They could arrange a drive to a neighbourhood where your son could distribute the pencils, etc… that may really open his eyes to how fortunate he is. Yes, I do get emotional at times BUT, with your gifts, you are helping so much.

BTW, the Gran Ventana has LOTS of “flannels” and I’ve never had to ask for any. If you check out our webshots photos - you will see that our bathroom always has 2 face clothes.


we got our children to sort out all the toys and things they dont play with anymore to take over with us (small toys ).this way it makes them more enthusiastic to help .we have even took them around buying pencils ,pens and crayons to take.now when we go out shopping and they come they ask for £2/£3 to get some things to put in the DR suitcase. i think by the time we go it will be over loaded with items ;D
we have got them reading books on the DR so they understand more about the life there for when we get there


dot- i am planning on contacting martin to arrange ocean world, so will speak to him about that also, have looked at his website and he looks good,and also from what i have read on here too. ilike the idea of a personal tour, cos of the little one, didnt really want a full day out and all the other stuff you get, just wanted to go see some local people hand some stuff out and come back to be honest.
happy holiday- thats a really good idea , have sorted stuff out ready for a car boot sale, so wil go through and see whats what.


I know what watching your money means. But something I know the kids loved when I handed them out were dinky cars. Also paper back childrens picture books. All the staff liked getting them for their kids as well. I bought a lot of them at garage sales, used stores and asked our friends for them. They pack well and don’t weigh a ton! Anything you bring will be appreciated. Just to let you know I knew what you meant by flannels. Brought back good memories of my Grandmother.


Hmmmm,now that i stopped laughing at myself,when we go to the uk in a couple of years i’ll make sure to ask if they have any flannels in the rooms…


Hey Carebear,If you are like me,what will make you emotional is the condition you see your self in while you are there.The people in the DR are such happy people with very little.They are nearly always smiling,dancing or singing as they work.I know as an American I am so spoiled by possessions.I feel ashamed of myself now everytime I whine over something here.I bought from Dollar Tree for months for gifts to take.I enjoy giving out the gifts more than anything else we do there.I had three suitcases full the last time and we had a ball.We made up gift bags at night and handed them out the next morning.I had only one other vacation I enjoyed more.That was going to China and adopting our daughter.There are priceless memories in both.


i know what you mean, we allmoan about what we dont have. but until you are faced with the reality, we dont realise how lucky we are. i wish i could take more stuff with me.