CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - A growing number of Americans dying or getting sick when in Dominican Republic has some who planned to travel there skeptical of whether it’s worth it.
Amy Myers, of Concord, was one of the 6 million people who planned to travel to Dominican Republic this year. However, she says, she canceled her trip because her family’s vacation simply wasn’t worth the risks.
“I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to one of my friends or family," said Myers. “I was really looking forward to it. I mean, I’ve heard great things about Punta Cana."
Recently, Myers says she heard some not-so-great things. And after a string of deaths in the Caribbean country, Myers decided her family wouldn’t be taking any chances.
“We just decided this week to cancel the vacation," she said.
The decision wasn’t cheap - it left her and her family with over $1,000-worth of flight cancellation and transfer fees. But Myers says for the safety of her family, the expenses are worth it.
“If you cancel, you’re probably in penalty of losing everything if you paid in-full at this point," said Roni Fishkin of from Mann Travels, Travel Agency.
Luckily for Myers, her travel agent is working to find them a new destination for their end of the summer vacation, which means some of their costs can be salvaged.
“If you’ve already booked and paid in full – which is a lot of people’s situation for the summer - if you haven’t used a travel professional you are going to have a lot of trouble getting your money back, because airlines are still flying to the Dominican Republic, hotels are still open, there’s no reason why insurance would kick in unless you’re sick or there was a death in your family," said Fishkin.
Right now, the U.S. Department of State has put a Level 2 Travel Advisory on the Dominican Republic. That means you can still travel there, but they want you to be very careful.
“We’d never send our clients to an area that’s not safe," said Fishkin, “I believe that booking through a travel professional helps, its not a guarantee.”
Fishkin says you can also buy whats called “Cancel for any reason” travel insurance when booking through their agency.
“Cancel for any reason is just that - you don’t get 100 percent of your money back, but you do get some of it back,” he explained.
Fishkin says if you are still planning on traveling to the Dominican Republic, or any foreign country for that matter to, “Be careful... It’s unfortunate, but it shouldn’t stop people from exploring and traveling the world.”