Weekend Rewind: The Dominican Republic problem was predicable

Was the Dominican Republic problem predicable? The least safe destinations to travel

Bottom Line: As is often the case, hindsight and a little extra research, paints a clear picture of what we should probably have considered before making decisions. In this case travel decisions. While vacation bookings to the Dominican Republic are plummeting as the FBI attempts figure out what’s been happening in the mysterious deaths of Americans (because the DR’s government had no interest in doing so), it made me wonder if we should have seen this coming. 

If you’re an experienced traveler you’re likely familiar with the increased travel warnings for numerous destinations in recent years. It’s unfortunate but it’s real. Ashley and I have experienced this in somewhat surprising ways ourselves in recent years as our Greek vacation was cancelled a few years ago over security concerns and security detail didn’t want us leaving our resort in Cabo without protection. It’s just the world we live in. But here’s the thing. Are we really paying attention to the information that’s available or simply booking a vaca because it looks or sounds cool and perhaps the price is right? 

I say this because I pulled the US State Department warnings for 2018 on all island destinations (for the Caribbean, Bahamas and in the gulf) they list as potentially unsafe for Americans. These are them:

  • Bahamas
  • Dominican Republic
  • Jamaica
  • Haiti
  • Mexico (any of their islands)
  • Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad/Tobago

Now, the marketing materials and travel packages aren’t exactly presenting the travel warning in context. At best they’re buried in fine print that you’ll never even consider reading. But the Dominican Republic’s recent problems perhaps should be a wake up call. Long before this recent spate of mysterious deaths of Americans, the DR was listed as a destination potentially unsafe for Americans. It’s also unfortunate that our own Puerto Rico finds itself on this list as well. Before you book your next vacation, it’s probably wise to look into the safety considerations of a destination. You’re familiar with the expression that you get what you pay for. In the case of many of the destinations, the reason they’re affordable is in part due to the lack of safety and stability of law enforcement, medical care and governments. 

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