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Cofresi Palm Beach Resort and Spa Dominican Republic
Cofresi Palm Beach Resort and Spa Dominican Republic
Original photo by Sydney Wetzel
Life > Experiences

I Booked My Spring Break Trip With Groupon

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

If you have ever spent a winter in Pennsylvania, you know that when an opportunity to visit warm weather arises you take it. So when spring break was quickly approaching this year, I was frantically searching to figure out where to go that I could afford since I am a broke college student.

Florida is the obvious choice, but I wanted a new experience since I have been there before. So instead, I scrolled through endless articles and TikTok trying to figure out a cheap alternative to the spring-break-party-haven of the south.

I came across the TikTok user @travel.w.lex who posted a video of a different resort she had found on Groupon. Intrigued, I instantly downloaded Groupon and started searching.

Groupon has a great travel section within their app with a lot of hotel, resort, and travel package deals. I discovered a listing for the All-Inclusive Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Cofresi Palm Beach Resort and Spa Dominican Republic
Original photo by Sydney Wetzel

After lots of research, analyzing Reddit and several reviews, I decided to take a leap of faith and book the resort for $100 a night.

Spring break rolls around and I am about to embark on many firsts: the first week-long vacation I booked myself, my first trip outside of the U.S., my first Groupon purchase and my first all-inclusive resort. To say I was nervous to go was an understatement.

We landed at the Puerta Plata International Airport after a seven-hour overnight layover at JFK airport. The taxi ride to the resort ended up costing just shy of $100 (eek) but that is a story for another time.

We arrived at the resort and were instantly impressed with the place. We checked in and to my relief, my reservation through Groupon was honored and I was able to breathe. The resort was a part of the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club which is a collection of all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Dubai.

Cofresi Palm Beach Resort and Spa Dominican Republic
Original photo by Sydney Wetzel

Upon arrival at the resort, we were given a map with pen markings on it that indicated which restaurants, beaches, and areas of the resort we had access to based on our wristband. We were considered VIPs because of our blue wristbands, but since we were not members of the resort we did not have free reign.

However, we still had a huge portion of the resort we could view, about seven restaurants that we could make reservations for dinner and access to two of the VIP beaches.

One part of my trip to this resort that I was not totally prepared for was the tipping culture at an all-inclusive resort. I would need to tip for my stay, but since I had never been the one “in charge” of a trip I was not prepared for the scale of tipping I would need to do.

The night before I left for vacation I went to my local ATM and took out a bunch of $20s, neglecting the fact that I would need several $1s and $5s to tip with. So if you have stumbled upon this article and are planning on visiting one of these resorts, bring lots of small bills so you do not have to rely on the resort’s exchange station.

Since the purpose of my trip was to relax, avoid snow, and sit by the pool, I would say it was a success. I know that college spring break in the movies is a lot of partying and booze, but with the stress of my busy spring semester, I knew that I would not feel recharged to finish the semester if I did not allow myself to be totally relaxed. So that is exactly what I did.

Overall, if you are going to book a trip on Groupon, do your research first. Double-check the resort, study online reviews and even try calling the hotel or agency to confirm your reservation.

Once you confirm your reservation, make sure you do your research about where you are going, especially if it is international. Equipping yourself with as much knowledge as you possibly can about your destination can help to ensure fewer hiccups and more enjoyment of your trip!

Sydney is a senior at Penn State University majoring in Telecommunications with a minor in Digital Media Trends & Analytics. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes, sports, and discovering new places to visit.