10 Helpful Tips: Panic En La Playa = No Problema

Panic En La Playa Dos Pyramid
Request days off - check. Practice Spanish and copy mi "pasaporte" - check. Let my bank know I'm fixin' to bust it big out of the country - check! Yet somehow the excitement surrounding Panic En La Playa Dos has left me daydreaming, and thus a little ill prepared? Worry not Panicfreak, for travel-master Lauren Grisham and Burnthday have prepped 10 hits of safe-travels Dramamine that'll keep you afloat and rockin' down in Punta Cana!

1. Lay of the Land - Let this Punta Cana Property Map be your guide, Spreadheads; you'll be occupying buildings 1-7. Over in building 8, time-share and member bookings not partaking in PELP will be housed. If you're arriving via cab or private shuttle, have them drop you off at the Group Lobby for Group Check-in, NOT the main lobby. Lord knows you aren't making this trip for the food alone, but you should check out the 9 restaurants and try the 24-hour room service. Pig out Brazilian steakhouse style at Ipanema, feast on the patio or enjoy the AC at Toro Steakhouse, and get shrimp bits chucked down your throat at Zen Hibachi. Wake up to buffet breakfasts sometime before noon, grab lunch by 3, and hit the Woodstock Terrace for a pre-show BBQ after 5, or a sit-down dinner starting at 6pm.

2. Taxed, Man - Pay the $10 Dominican entry fee online or once you get to the airport, and REFUSE the resort's departure fee - despite what they may tell you, it only applies for stays of 30 days or more. Be aware that those resort credits won't work on much and cost 16% to use, and on-site ATMs give pesos and won't service Scotia, Credit or Debit Cards in spite of the plus sign, so pack cash and a wad of singles for tipping. Also, this event will exclude you from a couple perks like the in-room Fender Guitar delivery (damn!), but Cloud 9 waived the $25-75 entry fee for the Oro night-club, and Widespread Panic has the music covered.

Panic En La Playa Dos Best Day Ever3. Drank - Between copious pours of fruity drinks, Tecate, Dos Equis and Presidente and hopefully some H2O, the Hard Rock is heavily stocked with what they consider "premium" liquor... AKA local booze of the schwilling kind. Rum, Vodka and Tequila of basic variety will endlessly flow from your room tap, and the good stuff can be found at many of the bars, lounges and nightclubs. Request at will, tip away, get served proper and don't be denied.

4. Body Spray - Blood thirsty mosquitoes are certainly fewer in late-January, but rain and still winds will bring 'em out. They like to hit at night out on the porch, so if they just seem to love ya just grab some OFF bug spray with 20% DEET. Bring sunscreen and apply liberally, too - be the cat with a fresh tan eating lobster by the pool, not the lobster eating pain medication in a puddle of aloe vera. Sprays sold in the gift shop will set you back a small fortune, so think about it!

5. Get Wet - With 13 pools you oughta keep your cool, and assuming you look good without a shirt, we suggest you pop off your bikini top for an adults-only-swim at building 6's Eden Pool... David and Juan should be pouring drinks and sushi/chinese food will be served poolside. Isla, Toro and Ipanema are all close to the waterfront area pools so check 'em out, too, but be EXTREMELY careful of the ocean riptide. Those waves get powerful and dangerous, brah!

6. Phone Home - Instead of setting up an international talk and text plan, put your phone on airplane mode and use the one in your room for free calls to US/Canada, then login to the resort's free wifi to send texts with apps like Voxer, Tapatalk, or Viber. No smartphone? Pack a walkie-talkie set or just unplug the damn thing and go scream at the ocean!

7. Dress Code - Clearly everything operates on a different frequency on Cloud 9 Adventures! Unless you're arriving early or staying late, leave the pants and fancy shoes at home 'cuz any restaurant or casino dress codes have gone out the window.

8. Wood Poster - After many late arrivals missed out on last year's print, the event poster system has been tweaked a little. On day 1 get a voucher for Jeff Wood's double poster set (should be at check-in). You can choose between purchasing single prints, a matching set, or the uncut pair, and if you still want more and there's leftovers, go back to the booth on day 2. You'll also wanna get that beauty home in one dry piece, so think about carrying-on your own poster tube.

Hector The Connector Panic En La Playa10. Don't Forget - The room has a small safe, hairdryer, soap, shampoo, etc., so what you'll need is Imodium, Excedrin and heady-heady Gold Bond. Also a rain jacket, cell charger, iPod dock, sunglasses, a tumbler or large lidded cup, Cigarettes (duty free?) lighters and papers, extra beach towel, disco carnival thong, comfy shoes and flip flops... Oh, and bring some deodorant you darn wook!

11. Bonus! - Trip Advisor Bob!! Have you really not heard about our tripadvisor.com forum master, Bob? He unknowingly booked at Hard Rock Punta Cana over these dates and is on site now and probably 3 sheets to the wind, fielding questions from Panic fans and blogging "LIVE" from the Hard Rock Punta Cana. He's primed and greatly anticipating your arrival! For a chance to shake Bob's hand, head over to the Guitar Pool at 4pm on January 28th. Bob should be under the Michael Houser Flag at the PhantasyTour.com meet up!

You're now ready for an incredible journey to the Dominican Republic. Leave a comment with your own tips and share the excitement with those other 3,199 friends soon to be blessed with the "Best Day Ever"... IT'S ON!!!