More than meets the eye



The Caribbean amazes me; there’s something about the laid-back vibe and the beautiful beaches that instantly catch the imagination. These days you can cruise around the Caribbean, taking in several islands over a few days, but I prefer to base myself on one island and truly experience the way of life. Of course, this means long-haul flying, but even this can be combated by being clever and pre-booking a night in an airport hotel, such as one of the Heathrow hotels. If you’re looking for a way to kick-start your paradise break, this is it.

For an island with more to do than just laze on a beach, the Dominican Republic is a great choice. Teeming with great value all-inclusive resorts, you’ll find this a great way to save money, as your food and drink is already taken care of before you leave home. If you combine this with airport parking and my airport hotel idea, like the great range of Gatwick Airport hotels on offer, you’ll have a relaxing break which doesn’t hit your pocket, and you’ll even find you save money on those expensive taxis and public transport.

This Caribbean dream just got better!

Punta Cana is one of the most popular resorts on the island, and you’ll find true picture-perfect beaches here, with coconut palms and white sand like talc. The beaches do have to be seen to be believed, and are the perfect backdrop for a few days’ relaxation and chill-out, cocktail in hand. You’ll find water-sports and facilities to make your day go smoothly, but it’s all very laid-back and you’ll soon find yourself in the same infectious frame of mind!

Punta Cana City, Dominican Republic Photo by Ted Murphy, Creative Commons

Punta Cana City, Dominican Republic Photo by Ted Murphy, Creative Commons

Of course, the Caribbean is known for its underwater world as much as that on land, and there are many fantastic snorkelling opportunities, as well as deep sea fishing, especially at Montecristi.

The general landscape of the Dominican has to be explored, as it’s green, lush and mountainous, with long rivers, perfect for a spot of white water rafting if you’re feeling adventurous, as well as many nature and marine reserves to visit. Jeep tours are offered, so speak to your hotel to get the best of the excursions on offer, and be sure to remember that camera. Santo Domingo is great for culture and history, with lots of colonial nods.

Like much of the Caribbean, the Dominican loves to party, with traditional dance, good music and a delicious glass of rum. You’ll find the best of the nightlife in the larger resorts, and in the hotels too. Food-wise, if you’re staying all inclusive, you’ll have plenty of choice, but be sure to try some fresh seafood, as it’s some of the best you’ll find.

As you can see, a holiday in the Dominican is varied, which is something you wouldn’t often expect from a Caribbean break. There is much more to do than lazing on the beach, however I’d certainly be doing a fair amount of that anyway! Cut the stress and tiredness from long-haul flying by taking advantage of airport extras, to cut costs and add convenience to your travel plans. There are many fantastic value Manchester Airport hotels on offer, for flights from the north, and many great value air fares from there too, so check out what’s available. Regardless of where you fly from, you’ll find a selection of hotels, and I can’t rate this idea highly enough.

For adventure or relaxation, partying or chilling the hell out – the Dominican has it all, and then some.