Caribbean Live and Learn Vacation

Caribbean Live and Learn Vacation

No matter how much you may travel, there will be times when you realize you have done something that is going to cost you more money than you wanted to part with during your travels.  This could be due to range of things that could include having to acquire a Visa you thought you didn’t need, to additional travel costs above and beyond what you expected.  This post is about the latter unfortunately.  Hold on while I wipe away this tear rolling down my face.  😉

Flying high above the beautiful blue Caribbean

Caribbean Live and Learn Flight

My Caribbean Live and Learn Vacation.  I kind of hate that expression, “Live and Learn”, because I dislike being in a position when I have to express this phrase because I made a mistake. To me it is as vile as the sound of fingernails being dragged on a chalkboard to my senses.  However, my pain is your gain as a lesson I can pass on to you my reader / my follower / my travel friends.

I recently had to take an unexpected side trip and I chose the Dominican Republic based on a friends suggestion of Punta Cana and how inexpensive and beautiful it is there.  I had never been to the Dominican Republic, so I did some basic research on a well-known commercial travel site; Expedia.There I found an all-inclusive resort package at the “Catalonia La Romana” Resort, which is actually the “Catalonia Gran Dominicus” in Bayahibe, La Romana, and I made my reservations which was packaged together with a flight.  Not quite ‘wandering’, but sometimes a splurge is needed.  :)

However, in my haste due to frustrations over a personal work matter, I chose to fly into Punta Cana airport when the site asked for my preferred airport and this was because I was focused on my friends suggestion.  The description on Expedia also said the resort was “close to the airport.”  Little did I know that this little country, the Dominican Republic, has more than one international airport and there was one a LOT closer to my destination; La Romana International Airport.  Punta Cana Airport was about an hour away from my selected getaway.

I called the Catalonia Gran Dominicus and asked the gentleman who answered if they had a shuttle to and from Punta Cana Airport.  He readily replied they didn’t.  So, my next question was, ‘What’s the best way to get to your location?’ His reply was unfortunately “By taxi”.  I then asked if he had an idea / estimate of what an approximate cost would be so I would have an idea of what to expect.  “$100.00” was his reply. Wow….  I asked if this was a round trip cost or hopefully NOT… a one way fare.  Well as messed up as stuff had been already, of course he replied it was “One way.”  Now my ‘cheap trip’ had just increased by $200.00 which I had not planned on.  Ugh!  (A much stronger explicative was used to be honest. :) ) I asked if there was any better way to get there and he said taking a taxi was my best option. Of course I am thinking maybe he has relatives working at the Punta Cana Airport and that’s why he is pushing the taxi option as the best way.  That’s what I call an example of travel paranoia.  :)

After I hung up, I decided to contact Expedia.  I was going to try to see if I could change my arrival and departure flights to the closer airport knowing full well that there would probably be an additional charge of some sort.  The representative was very courteous and after a while he said there were flights I could change to, BUT, there would be a $200.00 surcharge for the change as well as “some other expenses” which he seemed to say as kind of an aside fact.  I though, well, I have to spend $200.00 anyway for a taxi, so that’s not bad.  However, what were these “other expenses” he quickly mentioned?  I asked if he could look them up so I would know what I was actually dealing with as a bottom line cost effect of my blunder. After less than a minute he said there would be a price difference in the airfare now which amounted to over $800.00 U.S. dollars in additional cost.  So, an extra $1000.00 U.S. dollars to make the change.  OUCH!  (Again, another type of stronger explicative was thought of at this point).  Obviously I passed on this change because this was already an unexpected and now a costly side trip.  So, taxi man, here I come.

As I sit in the plane in Miami awaiting my destination, I can only wonder what is in store for me. Live and learn… Please do learn from this event that cost me, so the same doesn’t happen to you.  Even the smallest of places may have an airport that is closer to your destination. Make sure to take the time to pay attention and check out all your options before you hit that “complete booking” button.  :)

I hope this travel post  is helpful, informative, and maybe entertaining for people looking to not make costly mistakes by learning from others ; again: live and learn.  :)  I truly appreciate you taking the time to stop by my website!  Please feel free to leave a comment!

For legal reasons, I want to mention there was no type of compensation for mentioning the Catalonia Gran Dominicus Hotel or for adding a link to their website.  This was done of my accord to give you the reader and idea of what the facility has to offer based off of my experience staying there.  A travel post will eventually be written about my actual stay there which I enjoyed very much.  That too will also be created expressing my own opinions and experience without any type of compensation.

Wishing you always happy and safe wanderings!  :)

About VacationWanderer

I have 'wandered' pretty much around the world but still have a lot to see and experience. My favorite things to do in life are travel, photography, and learning new languages or foreign language phrases to use along the way. "Hello", "Thank You", and "Please" in any language will open many doors for you. :-) I love to share my travel experiences with people and hope to inspire those who are still just thinking about it.

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