July’s Pick: Weekend-Long Trip to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, FOR FREE

Haiti is not for relaxed vacationing, it’s for vivid experiences. If you want a quick recharge, it’s definitely a good destination. It’s close enough, and it’s very different from the US.

You may have heard some strange things about Haiti. Well, some of them may be true. But we have analyzed 523 personal reviews from travelers to guide you through the Haiti experience.

According to our free travel search tool, you need only two months of your regular spending with a credit card to get enough rewards to arrange round-trip travel to Haiti for free.

Destination: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Most common impressions
Worthwhile experience! Wow!      Crystal blue healing waters…      Buy animal masks and rhum!      Beautiful Caribbean baroque.      Local people are amazing!

Seasons, activities, and places to visit

Port-au-Prince airport (PAP) accepts about 570,000 visitors from the US each year. Many of them come in July because this month is both a summer vacation time in the US and a short break between the heavy rain and hurricanes in Haiti. Still, the best season for visiting Haiti is during the dry spell, the period from November through March.

Discoveries and hacks

Unless you cruise to Haiti and stay at the Labadee resort owned by Royal Caribbean, it can be a rather harsh destination unsuited for vacationing. Many would say you shouldn’t go there, noting that it’s the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and a crime-ridden place half-destroyed with an earthquake eight years ago. This is a common opinion, and we shared it before we looked at the data.

We have compared reviews of the Labadee resort and Port-au-Prince and see that the Haitian capital wins. Yes, the resort is cleaner, and it’s pretty and fun, but that’s all. It’s bland. Port-au-Prince, on the other hand, is full of spirit: it is home to a fantastic combination of subcultures from all Haitian regions in once place, wonderful pieces of art made out of found objects, beautiful cultural heritage. “Amazing,” “fantastic,” and “love” are the words most commonly used to describe the capital city. And all this despite ruins, past tragedy, and lots of trash.

So be brave and go to the heart of Haiti—Port-au-Prince— to recharge your spirit. The only thing we ask you to remember is that your hygiene is your responsibility.

  Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  Labadee, Haiti

Checklist for a better experience

Hygiene

Don’t drink tap water—stick to purified bottled water instead. Don’t use ice cubes for your cocktails, unless you’re absolutely sure that it was made from purified water. Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly.

Wash your hands more frequently than usual. Bring antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Bring antimalarial and anti-diarrhea medication. You may need it.

Stay at global network hotels like Marriott (no, it’s not an advertisement). They filter and purify water, and use only well-washed products for cooking. You can even take a shower there without falling ill.


Comfort

For proper sun protection, bring a light, brimmed hat, sunglasses, and strong sunscreen (SPF 30+).

Don’t bring black clothes: it’s too hot and dark colors attract mosquitoes.

Bring comfortable sneakers or even hiking shoes (for rural areas).


Communication

Bring enough $5 bills for souvenirs. Small merchants may not accept larger bills or be able to provide you with change.

Local people speak Haitian Creole and French. English and Spanish are significantly less popular.

How to get to Haiti for free

For a round-trip ticket and with $2,500 average monthly spending, you need a sign-up bonus from only one credit card and at least 2 months to earn the required rewards:

  • 35K AAdvantage miles with AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® (50K miles sign-up bonus), flight by American Airlines;


  • 35K SkyMiles with Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card (35K miles sign-up bonus), flight by Delta.

For customized results, use our free travel search tool on your own. It will show you the best options available based on your average monthly spending, current credit cards, and loyalty program balances. You can also check transfer opportunities if you have rewards from different loyalty programs.

The bottom line

We would recommend Haiti as a long-weekend destination and would definitely not bring kids there. However, it’s perfect for experiencing something unique without going too far. Another advantage is that you’ll need only one credit card sign-up bonus and two months of regular spending to arrange round-trip travel to Haiti for free.

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