When traveling to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, be sure to carry a passport. While a birth certificate or other documentation along with a photo ID may get you in the country, it may not get you out. For some reason, people have, on occasion, been detained for days or weeks for not producing a valid passport (even though they got into the country without one), while they contact their country's embassy, send for paperwork, and prepare to leave with a bad taste in their mouths. Is it a ruse to keep you there until your pockets are completely empty? Who knows? Just be sure every person in your party (including children) has a valid passport at least six months old. Visas may be purchased before entry to the Dominican Republic or a tourist card may be bought in-country upon arrival for $10 U.S.

Minors traveling in the Dominican Republic alone are required to have written authorization from a parent or legal guardian. Along with this, minors intending to travel to the Dominican Republic are required to have authorization that has been written in Spanish and notarized at a Dominican Republic consulate in their home country or at the Attorney General's office in the Dominican Republic. 

While these regulations may seem inconvenient, they have been instituted in order to prevent international child abduction. The Dominican Republic, along with many other countries, have stepped up their efforts in these matters. Until recently, the age at which these rules took effect was 13. Wisely, the age was raised to 18. For more clarification on the Dominican Republic's laws regarding the travel of minors, visit www.migracion.gov