Vacation in the Caribbean + My 10 travel tips

Vacation in the Caribbean + My 10 travel tips
19/02/2017 pilotpatrick
vacation in the caribbean

Hola my Aviators,

sunny greetings from the Punta Cana. In this blog post, I show you unpublished photos of my spontaneous vacation in the Caribbean and give you helpful tips when traveling to any place in the world.

You may wonder why I am already on vacation when I just completed my type rating on the Airbus A300-600 with a new company. Last Saturday I finished the initial training so I could apply for a new license at the authority. This takes approximately two weeks until I receive my new license. This is quite bothersome since I am not allowed to fly during this period. To bridge this time my operator granted me some days of vacation. Since the type rating was really intense and I got sick of the freezing weather in Germany I decided to use the time to escape winter.

pilotpatrick saona island caribbean sea starfish

Escaping winter in the Caribbean Sea

Last week I posted a photo on my Instagram on which I asked for an inspiration where I could travel to for sun and beach. I was so happy for all your travel tips. Two days prior my vacation started I finally booked a flight to the Dominican Republic. This was the really spontaneous decision because it was hard to find a location with a good flight connection and available accommodations when I started to search one week ago.

  • Travel tip: Read reviews and visit online hotel evaluation websites. This can help you to find the hotel that suits you best. I usually read the worst reviews first.

I flew with Air Berlin from Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) to Düsseldorf (DUS). From Düsseldorf, I switched on the A330, which took me to Punta Cana (PJU).

pilot patrick air berlin business class punta cana

With Air Berlin in Business Class Seat 4K to Punta Cana

  • Travel tip: Compare ticket prices online. Always check the ticket prices on the website of the airline as well. I usually use google flight search a lot.

Luckily I could book seats in their Business Class. Even as a former Private Jet pilot I have to admit that their Business class product is great. Every seat has a direct aisle access and the seats at the window give a lot of privacy. The best thing is the seats convert to a fully flat bed so the vacation starts already on board 😉 The flight lasted about 10 hours. At 14:30 local time we touched down on PUJ on time. Outside air temperature 27 degrees and sunny. This is what I was longing for.

pilot patrick air berlin business class to punta cana

My business class set to PUJ

pilot patrick approaching pju dominican republic

Approaching paradise

  • Travel tip: Take your time and arrive at the airport early enough. This reduces your stress level. Reserve your favorite seat early enough. Sometimes you can use your bonus miles so it does not cost you anything. Try to travel lightly this makes your life easier 😉

I could not believe it, but already 25 mins after we reached the gate I was outside the terminal in the taxi. The staff at the airport was super friendly and I experienced the first Caribbean vibes. It took a regular taxi to my hotel Paradisus by Melia, which I booked via my travel agency ‘Thomas Cook‘ in Wiesbaden.

pilot patrick punta cana five star paradisus resort

First day in paradise relaxing in my private cabana

  • Travel tip: Compare hotel prices online and with travel agencies on site. In this case, I saved over 1.000,-€ because I got a last minute price via the travel agency Thomas Cook. As you can see the internet prices are not always cheaper.

After 15:00 hours of traveling, I finally arrived in paradise. The sandy white beach with hundreds of palm trees looked like from a postcard. I am usually not the guy who books an ‘all inclusive’ vacation but since I am staying only for 6 days I thought it would be a good idea. Additionally, the Dominican Republic is not really save at the moment, that is why the travel agencies recommend staying in the hotel and booking only guided tours. In my opinion, they sometimes exaggerate. If you know how to behave in a foreign country and know the “don’ts” you should be fine.

paradisus punta cana palm tress

My way to the hotel room at Paradisus resort

  • Travel tip: The website of the Federal Foreign office of Germany publishes current travel and security tips for all countries. Inform yourself prior booking your vacation.

The resort is huge and all rooms are located in separated two-storied villas with a private outside area. I have the impression to be living in a small town rather than a big hotel complex. Unfortunately, I was not satisfied with the first room, that is why I complained. I expect to have a clean room no matter if it is one or a five-star hotel. For the inconvenience, they upgraded me to a higher room category with my own jacuzzi on the balcony. Additionally, they granted me access to the exclusive beach and pool area. Besides that, I am allowed to use the a la carte Restaurant at the beach without any extra charge.

relaxing jacuzzi paradisus resort punta cana

My own jacuzzi on the balcony of my junior suite

  • Travel tip: If you are not satisfied with the hotel room or you are not happy with the series let the reception know. Especially in high-class hotels, they try their best to get everything right.

I have been to the Caribbean before but not to the Dominical Republic yet. Alle people I met so far are really friendly and in a good mood. Spanish is the official language here, but most of them speak proper english and some even german.

  • Travel tip: Always take local currency to the country you are flying to. This helps immensely when you want to get around and when tipping a service. I recommend taking two credit cards with you in case one gets lost or does not work.
altos de chavon tui excursion domican republic

View from Altos de Chavon to the river of Chavon

Excursion

After relaxing for a day at the beach I went on a full day excursion to Saona to experience the Caribbean Sea. As many people do not know at the northern shoreline (Punta Cana/Puerto Plata) of the island is the Atlantic ocean. First stop was in Altos de Chavon. A small Mediterranean replica village located on a cliff of the Chavon river. From there we walked down to the riverbed to jump on a steamboat to drive along a tropical landscape in the direction of the Caribbean sea. Movies like Rambo and Jurassic Park were shot at this location. Once we reached the river delta we jumped into a speedboat to cruise next to the East National Park. In the middle of the Sea is a natural pool with crystal clear cyan blue water. There were hundreds of starfish on the sandy ground of the sea.

pilot patrick vacation natural pool in caribbean sea

Into the blue – natural pool in the Caribbean Sea (close to Saona island)

  • Travel tip: Leave no valuables visible in your room. I do not trust the build in saves, that is why I put my electronics and money in my lockable suitcase when I leave the room.

Next stop was the island Saona. A small island with 300 inhabitants, which was discovered by Christopher Columbus it in May 1494 during his second voyage to the Americas. We had a BBQ at the beach. Locals sold Pina Colada in a pineapple and fresh coconuts. I found a nice private spot to enjoy this picture-perfect paradise.

pilot patrick excursion to paradise Soana island in caribbean sea

I am trying to get my next fresh coconut at Saona Island

In the afternoon we boarded the last boat of this day. A 35 m long catamaran, which took us with drinks and good music to the beach of Bayahibe. I laid down in a net in front of the boat and enjoyed the ride. This was truly a memorable day and I had a lot of fun.

TUI catamaran excursion soana island

2 hours on a 35 m long Catamaran in the Caribbean Sea

  • Travel tip: I see so many people taking photos with their cheap mobile phone camera. Rather take a decent charged digital camera, which takes high-quality photos for  your memories. Save the photos on an extra device.
pilot patrick relaxing in paradise saona island caribbean sea

Relaxing on Saona Island with a Pina Colada

I got back to the hotel in the evening to enjoy two nice dinners at two restaurants. The combination of sun, a lot of food and different drinks made me feel sick the next day. I took care of my diet and rested under a palm tree umbrella at the beach the whole day.

  • Travel tip: Take different medicine with you from home. Something for your throat, nose and for your stomach. I also recommend taking some bandages and disinfection spray.

Luckily I felt much better the next day so I could go on another fun activity. The airline Aerointer in Punta Cana invited me to go on a short helicopter flight over the shoreline. Thanks to pilot Bernie for giving me a different perspective of the island. I think I should get a helicopter license as well. It is so much fun taking off vertically with an aircraft. Watch the full video of my flight on Facebook ‘PilotPatrick

 

pilot patrick helicopter aerointer punta cana

Fun flight over paradise in Punta Cana with Aerointer

Vacation in the Caribbean is ending

After six days I had to leave paradise again. I really enjoyed the perfect weather and the marvelous beaches. The Dominicans are a really friendly and they are brimful of life. I suppose this is because of their relaxed way of living and the good weather all year around. I only left the hotel twice, but both times I noticed that streets are dirty and people and animals live in between trash. That made me really sad to see since the hotel industry boosts the economy in this region.

pilot patrick rimowa suitcase paradise palm trees punta cana

Leaving paradise 🙁 for outfit details visit www.updressed.com/pilotpatric

For outfit details you can always visit my updressed page I am constantly updating this profile. 

My return flight with Air Berlin was a direct connection from Punta Cana to Berlin. This was quite convenient since it was a night flight and the landing in Tegel airport was at 6:30 in the morning. The flight time was around 8:45 hours and the lie flat seat was fantastic to get some sleep. This what I call luxury on board! During the flight, I watched the movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for peculiar children. In case you like fantasy, drama and action at the same time I can really recommend this movie. The touchdown in Berlin was during darkness and the weather was rainy and cold. I missed paradise already!

business class Airberlin Airbus A330 Seat 2A

Seat that converts to a fully flat bed

I hope you like my travel tips and hopefully, they will help you on your next journey!

Where is your next vacation taking you to?

Your Pilot Patrick

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26 Comments

  1. Nelson 9 months ago

    Hi patric and what about your family, I am @nomargh from Instagram I always ask for your family because I want to see them please

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 9 months ago

      Hey Nelson,

      thanks for your great support!

      This Blog and my social Media is about my Lifestyle only.

      Unfortunately my family and friends don’t want in front of the camera. ✌

      We have to respect that!

      Many happy landings!

      Your Pilot Patrick

  2. Christina 9 months ago

    Hi Patrick

    .. kurzer Hinweis – die Insel heißt saona und nicht soana. Zumindest hab ich das so in Erinnerung als ich letztes Jahr dort war (:

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 9 months ago

      Hey Christina,

      du hast natürlich vollkommen recht. Ein Flüchtigkeitsfehler. 🙂

      Liebe Grüße

      Patrick

  3. nimitguptamba 9 months ago

    Hi Patrick, Very valuable travel trips. Thank you for sharing them. Have a blast, and Cheers! – Nimit

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 9 months ago

      Hey Nimit,

      thanks a lot! I wish you too. Hopefully my tips help you on your next journey.

      Many happy landings
      Patrick

  4. bitterhearts89 9 months ago

    I enjoy reading your posts on your blog. Love the tips as I am in the travel industry and found them useful. My next trip is to Europe this summer. Going to visit friends in Paris and hope to pass through Germany to see my friends there, too.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 9 months ago

      That makes me happy to hear. Have a great trip to Europe. Germany is a must see. Save travels and happy landings!

  5. Arthur Estrada 9 months ago

    I’m wondering is flying a helicopter easier because you can fly a plane or do the same principle apply?

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 9 months ago

      Hello Arthur!
      I am not sure if it is easier to fly a helicopter but I think you would learn it faster when you are able to fly plane. The prinicple are different since the engine is on top and not in front. I would love to take some flight lessons to find out!
      Happy landings Patrick

  6. Kaustubh Ambegaokar 9 months ago

    Great blog post and fantastic pics! You’re inspiring me to be fit and healthy 🙂

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 9 months ago

      Hello Kaustubh, thanks a lot! That is fantastic. Great to hear. Keep up the hard work and happy landings. Patrick

  7. Adria 9 months ago

    Hi Patrick!
    Your passion is amazingly inspiring 🙂
    I wish every aviator was like you!
    Happy landings!
    Greetings from Hungary

    P.S. Are you planning to come to Hungary one day?

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 9 months ago

      Hey Adria,
      follow your dreams!
      Sure I am flying to Hungary too.
      Greetings!
      Your Pilot Patrick

  8. Arthur Estrada 9 months ago

    Hola pilot, what a great vacation. I will admit , although I am thrilled for your continued success. I can’t say I won’t worry about your safety on such a large plane. But I trust in your ability. Fly great pilot.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 9 months ago

      Hey Arthur,

      thx a lot! There is no reason to be worried! 😉

      Many happy landings

      Your Pilot Patrick

  9. Eron 9 months ago

    Hey Patrick whatvwas the Name of the Hotel?

  10. Eron 9 months ago

    Thank you patrick kannst du mich bei Instagram grüssen? Wäre eine Ehre für mich!

    Liebe Grüsse

    Eron aus der Schweiz

  11. Patrick.domi 9 months ago

    Hi Pilot!.

    Your blog is enjoyable to read. Are you the only one travelling here? And I wonder who took the great pictures of you, the hotel staffs?. Hahaha.

    Keep on inspiring.

  12. Author
    pilotpatrick 9 months ago

    Hey! Haha no I have my camera team with me traveling. No kidding. Friends joined me I do my best. Happy landings ✈️ Patrick

  13. rita 5 months ago

    Hello !! Pilot I have visited many places and also nice and I welcome you in my wonderful Morocco, thank you

  14. Allan Caine 5 months ago

    It would be so nice to know how pack properly. Not too much to have heavy luggage and not too light as not to have all one needs. I think I tend to bring far too much. Do you have a recommendation?

Pingbacks

  1. […] am back in cold and rainy Germany after six wonderful days of vacation in the Caribbean. The time difference between my hometown and the Dominican Republic was five hours. My return […]

  2. […] That is why I was super excited to fly with Air Berlin in their business class for a spontaneous vacation in the Caribbean. Air Berlin offers non stop connections from Berlin and Düsseldorf to destinations in North […]

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