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How Dominican Republic Travelers Can Stay Safe Amid Rise Of Unlicensed Travel Operators

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A shocking development recently rocked the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic after it was announced three tourism transport providers had flouted licensing laws.

The Dominican Republic takes traveler safety seriously, and while the fact this ignoring of regulation by the companies Bávaro Monumental, Start Auto Parts SRL, and Aviam Ltd is worrying, the fact the regulators have publicized these details is an example of the transparent work to make the Dominican Republic safer for travelers.

Thankfully, for travelers, the Dominican Republic isn’t short on reputable operators. And there are many different transport choices to make each traveler’s stay as safe and carefree as possible.

How Dominican Republic Travelers Can Stay Safe Amid Rise Of Unlicensed Travel Operators

Agency Provided Transfers

There are many reputable travel agencies operating across the Dominican Republic, and more often than not they will provide coach transfers for the majority of travelers who have booked through them.

Travelers should have no worries trusting the transfer operators provided through their agent as they are well-vetted and maintain fantastic safety records.

Airport transfer buses parked in a line

Booking Your Own Transfer

While many travelers let their travel agents take care of all the planning and details of their trip, it has become increasingly popular for people to take hold of the travel planning reigns themselves, scouting out their own flights, resorts, and transfers.

While this can be a great way to save money by cutting out the middleman, it does take some careful planning to ensure everything lines up correctly, including finding a trustworthy and reliable way to transfer to and from the airport.

A couple planning their vacation on a laptop

If travelers think choosing a resort is difficult with so many options on the table, then mark down airport transfers as another planning point that takes some serious weighing up of the options.

The following are some of the most popular options for travelers who are organizing their own airport transfer:

Large busses in Punta Cana airport

Airport Shuttles

A hugely popular option for travelers is booking a private airport shuttle service. These are often marketed as VIP services, but as well as single-family modern SUVs for private trips, they also provide scheduled mini-bus and coach services from the airports to tourism hotspots.

This is an especially well-served option at the Punta Cana International Airport, with a huge number of reputable companies available.

Tour bus

Airport Taxis

Taking a taxi from a Dominican Republic airport is a stress-free and planning-free option for travelers. While it is probably the easiest option for getting to and from the airport, it is also one of the most costly, sometimes charging more than the pre-planned VIP transport companies.

If travelers do settle on the ease of catching a cab, there are some important tips to remember:

  • Always use licensed taxi stands – Hailing at the roadside doesn’t guarantee travelers get a licensed operator.
  • Agree on a price before saying yes.
  • Agree on a payment method – Many drivers are happy to take U.S. dollars but don’t assume that is the case to avoid an awkward and potentially confrontational situation at the end of the journey.
taxi roof sign

Ridesharing Apps

Uber does operate in the Dominican Republic, and they compete fantastically on price with local taxis, but similar to other destinations in the Americas, getting picked up from the airport by an Uber can be a bit of a wildcard situation.

There is some hostility from taxi drivers towards rideshare drivers, so travelers should be aware of this, although it is nowhere near the levels seen in Cancun, Mexico.

While getting picked up at the airport is a tricky situation to navigate, using the ridesharing app to get from the resort to the airport is super straightforward, and you can easily get dropped off right outside your terminal.

What’s more, the transparent pricing of apps like Uber makes planning out a travel budget much easier.

Uber app logo on a smartphone

Resort Shuttles

Before travelers even begin to work out which of the above options works best for them, it’s worth double-checking with the resort chosen to see if they provide a complimentary airport shuttle service.

Many of the bigger all-inclusive resorts offer this super convenient service multiple times throughout the day.

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