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Staying Healthy on your Trip


Whether you are looking to visit as many places as possible and learn as much as you can about the culture and history or just want to relax by the ocean, getting sick can really throw a monkey wrench in your vacation plans. Here are a few simple precautions you can take that will help you stay healthy when visiting the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic. more...


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Whether you are looking to visit as many places as possible and learn as much as you can about the culture and history or just want to relax by the ocean, getting sick can really throw a monkey wrench in your vacation plans. Here are a few simple precautions you can take that will help you stay healthy when visiting the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic.

The Water
One very important fact that you should keep in mind during your trip to this tropical paradise is that the tap water is not potable. In other words, the water that you use to wash your hands and clean the dishes is not safe for drinking. When most people hear this they think: “Ok, that’s easy I’ll just drink Dasani the whole time, and I’ll be fine.” This is a good first step but, there is so much more involved to avoid getting sick from the water. Here are some tips that will help make your stay healthy and enjoyable:
-Brush your teeth with bottled water.
-If you wash a piece of fruit with tap water, dry it off thoroughly before eating it.
-Check your fork, knife, plate and glass to make sure they are dry before you use them.
Avoid raw leafy salads. In order to prepare a salad safely, the raw vegetables must first be soaked in water with a disinfecting agent such as bleach, iodine or hydrogen peroxide for the proper amount of time. Then, the vegetables must be rinsed thoroughly with drinking water. Not all restaurants are this rigorous, so it’s better just to enjoy a good salad when you get back home. There is a wide variety of other Dominican delicacies to choose from.
-If you are staying at a reputable resort, then the juices and shakes should be safe to drink. However, if you are visiting the home of a loving and generous Dominican host, don’t be afraid to ask if the juice they are offering you is made with drinking water. Even if the answer is affirmative, you may choose to err on the side of caution, as they may not have dried the fruit off completely before tossing them into the blender.

Street Food
Some people love to buy fried treats and other snacks from venders on the side of the road. This might be especially appealing if you are after the ‘genuine Dominican experience.’ A word of caution: if you’d like to try something from a street vender, take the recommendation of a savvy local who has good hygiene instincts. Some venders reuse the same oil day after day to cut costs and food may be left out all day putting it in the temperature danger zone and exposing it to flies and dust.

Many visitors have regretted satisfying their craving for the famous ‘yun yuns’ or ‘frio frios.’ These are snow cones that look very appealing on a hot day. But the lack hygiene in the preparation of the syrups and the handling of the ice can make them unsafe.

Sun Safety
The Caribbean sun is much more intense than the sun you are accustomed to back home because it is closer to the equator. Even if you don’t have the habit of using sunscreen when you are outside in your home town, it is an absolute must when visiting a tropical location like the Dominican Republic. A bad sunburn can really ruin a nice vacation.

The heat can also be a snare. If you are at the beach, avoid heat stroke by taking a dip in the ocean every few hours and alternate sunbathing with lying under the shade of a big beach umbrella. If you are in the city, 3-4 showers a day will keep your body temperature in check.

And be sure to stay hydrated. Even though you may be enjoying a few more mai tais and piña coladas than usual, don’t forget to drink plenty of cold water along with them!

A healthy trip is a happy trip. These easy precautions are well worth the effort.

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