USA Today list 10 tips for visiting Cuba

Posted: 29-Sep-15 14:49

An exciting new era is dawning for tourism in Cuba, so USA Today has been the latest online publication to jump in the bandwagon and publish a list of tips with important things U.S. travellers should know before visiting this Caribbean nation.

USA Today list 10 tips for visiting Cuba

USA Today recently published an online article created by Austin-based news correspondent and writer, Rick Jervis, listing 10 tips for American travellers visiting Cuba.

After travel restrictions were eased by the Obama administration, the U.S.’s closest overseas neighbour has been receiving a lot of attention from worldwide media recently, especially from The States and thus, Cuba is quickly becoming the most talked-about topic and coveted emerging destination for American travellers.

Are you planning a trip to Cuba?

Visiting Cuba is a thrill, but there are a few tips to keep in mind when you visit, see below what USA Today recommend their readers to keep in mind before travelling to this amazing country:

  1. Book flights as early as possible. Flights to Cuba are very popular at the moment and they can fill up weeks in advance. For those flying out from the U.S. flight frequencies are limited as only charter flights are allowed to service the island for now (although this is likely to change soon as both countries are currently in talks to negotiate regular commercial flights, expected to be operating by the end of 215).
  2. Choose an accepted reason for travel. Visiting Cuba for strictly tourism reasons is still forbidden for American citizens, so you must be visiting for one of the 12 accepted reasons. These include visiting for a cultural or educational exchange or visiting family.
  3. Choose your accommodation well in advance - Cuba has a very limited hotel capacity and even though more and more hotels are being built to keep up with demand it's a slow process that will take years, nothing in the island is done in a hurry. With that in mind, make sure to book a room as early as feasible possible, especially if you have particular hotel preferences because popular hotels fill up fast.
  4. Consider renting a room in a "casa particular" (private homes). There are some lovely options on AirBnB.com and a beautiful room in a local home can be much more affordable than a hotel room.
  5. Bring plenty of cash. Your credit card might not work in Cuba, so make sure that you have enough cash to cover your hotel, meals, transportation and other expenses. If you have US dollars it is a good idea to exchange them for Canadian dollars or Euros before you head to Cuba because US dollars are taxed at a much higher rate.
  6. Understand the currency system. There are convertible Cuban pesos that are known as CUCs, as well as the national Cuban peso.
  7. Be patient. The pace of life is slow here and things aren't always well organised, so take a deep breath and roll with rather than getting frustrated.
  8. Beware when renting a car and driving on your own in Cuba. The roads aren't always in good condition and there are only a few signs. You might choose to hire a driver instead.
  9. Be prepared not to be very well connected in Cuba. The internet is slow and only available in the major cities and your mobile phone will likely not work. This is not the place to stay up to date with work emails – it's somewhere to go if you want to really relax, disconnect and get away from it all.
  10. Go off-the-beaten-path - avoid limiting your trip to visiting the most trodden tourist hotspots, some of which have only been devised for tourists' enjoyment and don't allow you to immerse in the full Cuban experience or interact with locals.

USA Today is the latest to issue and publish their own tips on travel to Cuba, following a trend that’s taken the internet by storm and has been included by publications like National Geographic, CNN or Planetware. We have created our own, far more extensive list with our Top 15 things to do in Cuba now, before it all changes and this gives more specific advice on what to do there rather than how to prepare ahead for travel to the island.


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