With its legendary beaches and affordable rates, the Dominican Republic is a hotspot for Minnesota travelers, with thousands going each year.
“It offers so much,” said Andrea Wallace, owner of Escape With Us Vacations in St Paul. “It has everything for couples, families, romance, sports enthusiast. There's so much to do there.”
But some are second guessing trips there after several American tourists are seriously ill and others have died after visiting, the latest, a 53 year old New York woman, reported Friday.
Now the FBI is investigating those deaths, saying it's awaiting toxicology results, and travel experts say anyone who visits should be careful.
“Certainly check the seals of your bottles,” said Wallace. “You can always open the doors and the windows to get some fresh air, and always use the same caution as you would when traveling anywhere.”
That's the same kind of advice Wallace gives all her clients, stressing that people die on vacation every day in every country. And while none of her customers have so far decided to cancel trips to the Dominican Republic, she says there are other great alternatives.
“If you do have a concern, that's absolutely OK,” said Wallace. “We can find you someplace else that's absolutely awesome.”
Some travel insurance policies allow full refunds for any reason...but for people without that kind of coverage, they'd have to pay change or cancellation fees to make other plans.
The U.S. Department of State has not increased its travel advisory level for the Dominican Republic. On its scale of 1 to 4, it remains at a 2.