Frequently Asked Questions
Dominican Republic: Heart & Soul of the Caribbean >
Q: Are flights included in the cost of my trip?
International flights are not included in the program fee, but Discover Corps has a partnership with an agency who can assist in organizing airfare if needed.
Q: Can I travel solo? Are there additional fees?
We welcome solo travelers on all trips, and there is no additional fee unless a single room upgrade is requested. We also offer certain dates that say STS (Solo Traveler Savings), which offer a single room upgrade for no additional cost. Locate these available dates on each individual trip page or contact us for more information.
Q: What does ‘double occupancy’ mean? Does that mean the trip prices covers two people?
Double Occupancy refers to the accommodations. The program fee you see on each trip page is per person.
Q: Are there age restrictions on your trips?
The minimum age requirement for the Dominican Republic: Heart & Soul of the Caribbean is 10 years old (unless otherwise agreed upon with Discover Corps).
Q: I have a disability or someone in my family has a disability – will that be an issue?
Generally no, but it depends on the severity of the issue. Most developing countries do not adhere to the same wheel accessibility as the U.S., so we recommend contacting Discover Corps directly to discuss and determine which trip would work best.
Q: I have special dietary requirements – will that be an issue?
In the Dominican Republic, we are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. We do our best to accommodate all diets and allergies, but we do recommend you still inquire with a Discover Corps Travel Specialist about specific needs.
Q: Is the water safe to drink in the country I’m visiting?
No, the water from the tap is not safe to drink. We will have purified drinking water available.
Q: Do I need travel insurance? What should it cover?
Travel Insurance is not required but we highly recommend that a plan is purchased to protect any delays or cancellations that could incur. We partner with Travel Guard, a leading provider in travel protection, and can refer you to them for a quote. For more information click here.
Q: What essential documents do I need to take?
Any international travel requires a valid passport . Discover Corps recommends you take 2 photocopies of your passport and leave one at home and take the other with you. All travelers must obtain a Travel Card.
Q: Are my belongings safe while I’m on my trip?
Yes. We trust that your belongings are protected while under our staff’s watch.
Q: Is tipping commonplace in the places we’re visiting?
No, tipping is not customary in the Dominican Republic.
Q: Are Discover Corps trips suitable for LGBTQ travelers?
Yes, we are confident that LGBTQ travelers would be more than welcome on our trips and in the Dominican Republic.
Q: I’m concerned about the political stability and/or safety of the country we’re visiting. Is it safe?
Discover Corps holds the safety of our travelers and staff as our #1 priority. We provide safe and secure lodging, healthy, hygienic meals and bottled water, safe and comfortable transportation, and expert local knowledge in order to facilitate safe travel programs. Discover Corps also does not take travelers to destinations that are deemed unsafe. We are constantly keeping up with local news in the countries we visit and can help answer any concerns that may arise before your departure or during your trip.
Q: What is the best way to carry money?
It’s best to divide money into different places and keep small bills handy. In some destinations, accommodations offer safety boxes. If you need money once in country there will be ATMs to take out money throughout the trip.
Q: What if I end up ill or get injured on the trip and am unable to continue? What happens then?
In the case of injury or illness, first and foremost, we would seek proper medical attention. In each of the locations we operate, we have designated medical clinics and hospitals that we take travelers to in such cases. If you are unable to continue and have to return home, travel insurance will most likely cover the costs and Discover Corps guides will make sure you are taken care of. You can inquire with Travel Guard for the policies and the guidelines concerning this situation.
Q: What type of luggage do you recommend I take?
Overall, the rule of thumb across all of our trips is to pack as lightly as possible. This will simply reduce the amount of luggage you are carrying around throughout the trip and make things easier. Typically, rolling luggage works best, but keep in mind that uneven sidewalks and cobblestones in many destinations may make this more difficult.
Q: What clothes and footwear should I pack?
Please reference the packing list here on the Travel Portal.
Q: Can I opt out of certain activities?
Travelers can opt out on certain activities, but keep in mind that each program is a set price and includes most activities.
Q: Will my mobile phone work? Will I have access to the Internet?
It’s not guaranteed that your phone will work, we recommend reaching out to your cell phone provider to see the available international plans. For most of our destinations, WiFi is available in hotel lobbies, rooms, or common areas.
Q: Do I need to get vaccines before I travel?
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention there are no vaccinations required in order to travel to the Dominican Republic however, we also recommend consulting with your local travel clinic for recommended inoculations for all international travels.
Q: How Far in Advance do I need to Reserve my trip?
The farther in advance you book, the better selection of dates you’ll have. On most trips you’ll want to book 3 to 6 months out. For holiday trips, you’ll want to reserve 6 to 8 months out. Rest assured, though, we’re also masters at accommodating last-minute reservations!