may 3. 2017
we knew we wanted to go somewhere that was a 3rd world country. we wanted to have another experience like guatemala…being in with the people, helping in some way, seeing what “real” life was like, not the tourist life of everything rosy. we love to travel for a deal(talk about that at the end), and he we are.
we went to bed tuesday night at 10:30pm, and got up wednesday at 1:00am-2 1/2 hours of sleep. we left at 2:15am, got to the airport and got checked in for our early flight, caught the layover in st. louis, changed airports in florida and caught our last flight(our largest suitcase with the most clothes for donation ended up not making it to florida with us, which was a huge blessing. they will deliver it for free to us in bayahibe-but we ended up not having to pay extra baggage on it to get to the dominican, and we wouldn’t have fit it in our rental car, just a great blessing). it’s always a learning process going somewhere new, which i think i thrive on. heads up #1-when you arrive to the dominican, to enter as a tourist, you have to pay $10/pp at immigration(never have had to that before), and we had to pull the cash out of an ATM, which charged $10. so if you ever visit, make sure you have american dollars on hand!
we got all of our luggage-10 pieces–and find the rental car desk-NO ONE IS THERE! for an hour and a half we wait. we made some friends and visited and scooted around on chairs. our apartment is an hour away, we needed this car for our family to get there, taxi’s were not an option. then the guy shows up-finally. taxes are now higher than our reservation, the insurance we bought is not necessary and he makes us buy liability insurance, and the mid-size suv we reserved is not available. He gives us a tiny suv, for 5 people and 10 suitcases, and we made it work. it was like clowns piling in the clown car:)
we start the drive to bayahibe caribe(1 hr. from punta cana), and finally arrive. the gate person has our key, and they kindly load our luggage and our family on a golf cart and drive us to our apartment-which is absolutely perfect! it’s cozy, adorable, and just lovely. we finally crash at 2:30am, all of us having been up for 25 1/2 hours. we could have slept on rocks at that point, just so grateful that we made it. overall, it was a great travel day, mostly because we were just so tired that we slept wherever we were;) these girls rock traveling.
ok-now for the travel deals that i think were pretty good for this trip…
–apartment on airbnb(which is part of a resort and we have free access to water toys, waterslides, the gorgeous huge dock, pools, game room), we rented for $1500/month plus $200 taxes on airbnb-totaling around $1700. That’s $50/day, for 6 ppl. Think about that for a minute-it’s amazing.
-used points for tickets to get from denver-florida, and paid around $500 in taxes and fees for 5 of us to get from florida to the dominican. our oldest decided to come last minute, and point flights weren’t available, so we paid $450 r/t for her ticket. So all in all, it was about $1000 for all of us to fly to the dominican r/t.
-rental car-this is going to depend on the size of your group of course. we went for the mid-size suv since we had so much luggage and 6 ppl. we got it for a little over $800, but you have to add $300 for the liability insurance…so $1100.
TOTAL-$1700 w/ taxes for apartment
$1000-6 ppl r/t to the dominican from denver
$1100-mid-size rental car and insurance
$3800 for a month long trip for 6 ppl! i think that’s pretty good. we could have saved a couple hundred on the rental, but decided that we found an awesome deal on the suv and to just go with it.