by Megan Collier
First published in the “Summer in Haiti Vol. 1′ 2015 digital edition
Useful Information When Traveling to Haiti
When it comes to any sort of international travel outside of our home country, there are often the same concerns that get brought up and that need to be addressed before the wheels go down on that plane. Each year, thanks to the government’s tireless efforts to create a more tourist friendly place for those hoping to experience and explore all that Haiti has to offer, there has been much more added to make sure all of the needs of tourists get met. From knowing how to make a phone call back home to figuring out the best and safest way to exchange money while there, the following is some useful information that you may want to know before heading to the beautiful country of Haiti…
Making Phone Calls
If you are traveling throughout Haiti and need to make a phone call back home, you should know that there are actually no area codes within the country. When you need to make a domestic call to land lines, all you need to do is dial the 7-digit number. If it is a cell phone that you need to get a hold of then dial the cellular prefix, which is 3 digits followed by the 4-digit subscriber number.
“Haiti’s country code (509”
If you are expecting a phone call while in Haiti on your cell phone, then be sure that the person calling you knows that they always need to dial the international access code (depends on the country they are calling from) as well as Haiti’s country code (509) and then followed by the subscriber’s number. It is of course the same process when you need to make an international call to a different country outside of Haiti.
“Important: Emergency Police Number in Haiti is 114”
The fact of the matter is that whether we are on vacation or not trying to relax or work on business matters, we have the constant need to want to stay connected to our world that all lies within our cell phones and lap tops. Though there are always improvements that can be made, Haiti is consistently becoming better at providing more and more WiFi accessible places.
“…your best chances at staying connected are at your hotel or resort where internet access is almost a sure guarantee.”
Though currency rates are constantly changing from day to day, they can easily be seen by simply searching Google or Yahoo for the average currency rates of each country. This is the best option because it will give you a much better idea as to what the ballpark rate should be. For example, the dollar is always strong there so if you walk past a place that is far below the average exchange rate, then you know not to do business there.
“Always remember whenever you exchange any money within Haiti, you need to do so safely inside a bank and always avoid places that have no sign or extremely high prices.”
Using Credit Cards
Though it is not always the case, chances are that in any bigger resort or hotel that you are staying at within a decent sized city, they will more than likely be able to take credit cards. Other places that tend to also take credit cards are the bigger tourist attractions that see the most crowds. To be safe, always make sure you do have enough of cash.
Depending on where you stay, the medical care will of course vary from town to town. If you are staying within the capital of Port Au Prince, then there will be many more hospitals and places that are able to provide the best emergency medical care if need be. However, if you are staying in a more rural area then the medical care access will decrease, as with anywhere in the world.
“When you are staying at a hotel or resort, make sure to ask them for their list of the nearest hospitals and clinics, which they will all have and are able to provide for you.”