With multiple suspicious deaths, a near-death assault, a report of a poisoning, and now the shooting of former baseball star David Ortiz in a club this weekend, many are raising concerns about traveling to the Dominican Republic.
"Do not take any excursions outside of your resort," said Danielle Taylor, e-commerce manager for AAA Northway. "You want to make sure that you go through the resort that you're staying at and don't travel to the other beaches outside your resort."
And while there's a major trend right now to travel alone, the buddy system is still your best option. Experts say to just ask hotel staff to escort you to your room or other resort amenities.
And the U.S. Department of State says, "We encourage U.S. citizen travelers to read our country-specific information on the Dominican Republic. The Travel Advisory for the Dominican Republic has been a Level 2 since the inception of our current Travel Advisory system, in January 2018. U.S. citizens in need of assistance in the Dominican Republic can contact the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo or our Consular Agencies in Puerto Plata and Punta Cana."
As for making your airport travel a little easier, TSA and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles say it's time to switch to a Real ID.
"After October 1, 2020, just 479 days away, you are going to need it to fly within the continental U.S.," said NYS DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. "In addition to that, you're going to need to have that document to get into certain federal facilities."
To get a Real ID, some additional documents are required, along with a visit to your local DMV. There is a checklist for that online. Click here to see it.
As for choosing the right resort, experts say a travel agent can help you find one that's been vetted, up to their standards, and in parts of the country considered safe for tourists. Travel insurance is also recommended.