Traveling overseas is completely different than traveling domestically. However, traveling to some destinations as in the case of Santo Domingo requires some additional planning to ensure a positive start to your trip. Don’t get me wrong, there is no negative connotation at all in this post. On the contrary, I’m sharing these tips to make your arrival to Santo Domingo a bit more smooth and relaxing so you can go on an enjoy your trip.
Pick your seat
Make sure you select your airplane seat before you arrive to the airport even if you have to pay for it. When you do select your seat, sit as far forward in your class as service as possible. This recommendation will payoff when you arrive.
If you’re traveling in a group, selecting your seat in advance is very important to ensure you are all seated together. Otherwise, you risk not being seated together due to the fact that most flights are at maximum capacity especially during the summer and holiday season.
Go straight to the Tourist Tax Counter
If you are a tourist, you will be required to pay a tourist tax of $10 per person immediately upon arrival. You will find the tourist tax counter right before immigration.
Do you remember the first tip about sitting as far forward as possible in the airplane? Well, this is why. You want to make sure you’re amongst the first ones to reach the counter and pay the tax in order to avoid the enormous and slow line that will form instantaneously. Additionally, it will also ensure that they have change for your USD bills if you don’t have exact change. Otherwise, you can be there for a while.
Getting your checked baggage
Be patient! It will take some time for your bags to make it to the carrousel. When they do, carefully spot your bags and verify they are yours. In fact, keep an eye for the bags others around you may be claiming as theirs. Bags do look familiar and not everyone looks at the bag tag to make sure it is theirs.
Transportation from the airport
There are many options to travel from Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) into the city of Santo Domingo. Whichever you pick, I recommend you coordinate the transportation in advance or at least have a plan of how you’re going to get there. If you’re staying at a hotel, call them before you travel and schedule a pick up. That will guarantee a smooth transition and get you to the beach and cocktail much sooner.
If you don’t have someone picking you up, I recommend you take an Uber from the airport to your destination. I warn you that it is not the fastest service around but it will arrive and it will take you to where you want to go at a nominal fee.
Traveling to Santo Domingo is fun and is always an adventure. Plan ahead, be prepared and use my tips. Enjoy!