10 Things To Know Before Visiting Cuba
Posted on 21 May 2017
10 things to know before visiting Cuba! For an unforgettable Trendy Escape, keep these tips in mind. Cuba is all the rage these days, celebrities and travelers alike have flocked to the sunny Caribbean isle. For years, American's weren't able to go to Cuba and lets just say they are catching up for lost time. With gorgeous beaches, stunning architecture, tantalizing food and vibrant nightlife, Cuba is sure to be a Trendy Escape you won't soon forget.
1. Get Your Money Right Honey
Cuba has two currencies, The Cuban peso (CUP) and the Cuban convertible peso (CUC). The CUC is used in Tourism. Many foreign currencies can be used in Cuba, the Euro, Pounds, Peso and American Dollar are widely accepted. Like most other countries in the world, if you come bearing cash, they will take it.
2. Stay Like A Local
Cuba offers a myriad of options for where to stay. Before the advent of Air BnB, Cuba was all about the Casa Particulars. It sounds fancy, but it really is just Air BnB style accommodation, renting a room or apartment from a local at a cheap price than staying at a hotel.
If you're the adventurous type and a Casa Particulars will enhance your authentic Cuban experience, there are several websites offering the service like My Casa Particular, Havana Casa Particular, and good old faithful Air BnB.
3.Stay Like A Baller
If the idea of staying with a stranger isn't your ideal vacation option and you want to see Cuba like a Kardashian, then there are some luxury hotel and villa options available, for an epic Cuba vacation worthy of your own E Network Reality Show.
Sites like Cuba Luxury Travel, Cuba Luxury Rent , Cuba Luxury Villas offer luxury villa booking online. If you are looking for a luxury hotel option, many global hotel chains like Melia, Kiwi Collection, and Kuoni Travel have hotels there as well. Sites like Cuba Luxury Hotel and Luxury Link offer travel options there as well.
4.Get Your Immigration A Game Ready
Hello, Tourist Card. Cuba requires visas for Americans and visitors from most countries. It allows visitors single entry for up to 30 days. Not into long trips to the Embassy, like everything else today, you can order it online. Services like Cuba One & Cuba Visa Services can give you the visa hook up for under $100
5.Give Your Bank The Heads Up
We know you’re a jet-setting independent woman and you like to go and come as you please. While you Bank may not be your Mama, they may potentially turn off your purse strings if you’re touting only plastic on your trip and didn’t let them know you were headed to Cuba. Save yourself the drama of having your card declined and being unable to get in touch with your bank by giving them the heads up that you’re spreading your wings outside of your home Country.
6. Digital Detox
Cuba hasn’t really fallen in love with the internet just yet. Prepare to try to carve out an existence without constant Instagram, Facebook status updates and Whatsapp notifications. How will a girl survive!
Can’t live without wifi, prepare to fork over the bank. Honey, it ain’t cheap and the options are few. ETECSA, the Cuban Internet Service will become your new best friend. With only 8 locations available, it isn’t exactly the poster child for convenience.
They are stepping up their tech game and to meet the demands of demanding tourist, many Casa Particulars are now offering Wifi for purchase at 2CUC an hour. So you may want to tell your Tinder Boy & your Chatty Girlfriends Bye till you get back Stateside.
7. Don’t Be Sister Spontaneous
While many epic travel adventures are born from spontaneity, Anthony Bourdain, even has his own show about being unprepared in a foreign country, circa No Reservations, Cuba ain’t the place to try that girlfriend.
Get hip to the world of being prepared or be prepared for a potentially not so awesome experience.It’s not Miami or Paris, you can’t just touch down, whip out Hotel’s Tonight and get a luxe travel deal on the cheap.
In case you missed, travel point 6, the internet revolution hasn’t gained momentum in Cuba just yet. So prepare to arrive with little or no internet access and depending on where you’re coming from, lots of jet lag. So unless you’re planning to start an al fresco Cuba hotel movement, get your housing act together before you arrive.
8. Cell Phone Options
Luckily, most US Phone Providers work in Cuba. Unfortunately, roaming will likely cost as much as your vacation. If you’re committed to being a jet-setter, then you may want to spring for an international cell phone or an unlocked phone that you can purchase a SIM Card for. Sim 4 Global is an excellent option.
9.Don’t Get Suckered By Scammers
Like most tourist destinations, Cuba has its share of con artists. As tourism has become increasingly popular, so has the art of the con. Many people exploit the Western image of socialism and come up with compelling sob stories to con you're out of your cash. While you certainly want to do good and help, be cautious about whipping out your wallet to dole out cash, many tourists are robbed this way. As with traveling to any country, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and travel smart.
10. Bring Cash
ATM’s aren’t readily available. Like with many other countries, banks charge huge fees to draw cash overseas and also large foreign currency transactions fees. Cuba allows you to bring up to $5000 cash with you, so you may want to take advantage of that. Although traveling through an airport with large amounts of cash doesn’t seem pragmatic either.If you do decide to bring cash, stash it in your hotel safe, if you opt for a local stay, you may want to figure something out. Like anywhere else in the world, don’t walk around the city with $5,000 in your fanny pack. Bottom line, be smart.