Beach Vacation for extended family - Domincan?

Sep 8th, 2016, 09:40 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Beach Vacation for extended family - Domincan?

Our family is planning a beach vacation for late December and trying to come to a decision.

In the past, have loved St Thomas USVI, St. John USVI, Belize, Cabo, Riviera Nayarit, Sayulita MX etc

This year, Dominican Republic is a contender due to affordability and what we've read about the great beaches. My wife has concerns, however – after talking with our childrens doctor he cited health concerns (Hep A & B) and safety, recommending not leaving the resort – which kind of goes against our preferred adventurous vacations enjoying exploring cultures and landscape.

Looking for support or contradiction to those concerns.

And additional ideas for beach vacation getaway for 8 that wont break the bank.

8 family members = 5 adults, and kids ages 8, 9, 12

Thanks!
Jess
pixelsherpa is offline  
Sep 9th, 2016, 05:44 AM
  #2  
 
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I can't comment much on the current "pros & cons" about the Dominican Republic as it's been a very long time since I've been there HOWEVER in order for me or others to give you meaningful suggestions about a "beach vacation getaway for 8" it would help if you gave us an actual dollar budget rather than a nebulous term like "won't break the bank". Sorry but we have no idea how how strong your bank is and how much will 'break" it. Suffice to say, with 8 people many trip to the Caribbean is not going to be inexpensive.

I gather by "late December" you are probably mean sometime around the Christmas/New Year's holiday. If so, I can tell you that no matter where you go at that time of year you are going to encounter the highest room rates of the year and in many instances you might find hotels & resorts have minimum stay requirements.

So, please provide us with your intended dates of travel.

Also, if your overall budget number includes airfare let us know where you'll be flying from as that could have a big effect on how much you have left over for accommodations and food.
RoamsAround is offline  
Sep 9th, 2016, 06:19 AM
  #3  
 
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The beaches in the DR are indeed beautiful, but there isn't as much to do off resort as there is in other places.
We prefer the Riviera Maya area of Mexico. Costs there are usually on a par with the DR.
schmerl is offline  
Sep 9th, 2016, 08:05 AM
  #4  
 
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It has also been a long time for me, but I went to the DR twice (Santo Domingo, Puerta Plata, and Sosua). It was not my favorite island and I haven't any desire to go back.

Especially if you are considering Punta Cana (where many AI resorts are concentrated) and judging by the other places you list having enjoyed... would not be my recommendation.
suze is offline  
Sep 11th, 2016, 06:23 PM
  #5  
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Hi Sorry for the ambiguous nature of the budget – this is a gift from a family member so I do not know the actual budget. Since DR is the current plan I am simply trying to find other options around the same price range – which I assume will be Mexico

Dates would be Dec 23 - Jan 2

From here, and other research I am learning DR is more of a "stay on the resort" type location. Which is less my immediate families ideal vacation (prefer more active / exploring options) however the others are more sit on the beach all day relaxers.

We are looking at Punta Cana

My wife has concerns about health and safetey – CDC warnings, risk of malaria etc. w/kids.

So wanted to see if others have shared similar concerns.
pixelsherpa is offline  
Sep 12th, 2016, 04:39 AM
  #6  
 
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I have been to Punta Cana several times and never worried about illness, but I was careful about what I ate. I also have had both Hepatitis A and B vaccines. Never worried about Malaria there.
I still think your family would have much more to do in the Playa del Carmen area. You can easily and safely leave the resorts and have ruins, cenotes, snorkeling and other exploring you can experience.
schmerl is offline  
Sep 12th, 2016, 06:33 AM
  #7  
 
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Again, we need guidance from you - you've asked for "other options around the same price range" but you haven't given us any idea of what that "price range" is. I've visited well over 25 different islands plus Mexico and several places on the Caribbean Coast of Central America and one thing I've learned is that on most islands you can find accommodations to suit most budgets. Of course, you might have to make some adjustments in your desires but I assure you there are low priced guests houses, mid-range hotels and full service luxury resorts on just about every island.

That said, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen traditionally have a bigger selection of lower to mid-range resorts than some of the more "expensive" islands.

FYI - Malaria risks on most Caribbean Islands is low so I wouldn't worry about that. Zika, however, is a growing concern throughout the tropics (as it is some parts of the US) so if anyone in your party is pregnant or plans to get pregnant you should discuss your travel plans with your family physician before traveling to the area.

Safety is always a concern but no place in the world frequented by tourists is going to be 100% crime free and the Caribbean is no exception. On the other hand most places frequented by tourists are pretty safe as long as you use the same common sense you use "back home".
RoamsAround is offline  
Sep 12th, 2016, 08:56 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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In your shoes, yes I would be looking at Mexico. Or Jamaica.
suze is offline  

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