25 Rules to Follow When Traveling to Cuba

Having frequented Cuba Tour a few times, I’d like to think I know a little something about its people, culture, and surroundings. But, I can remember back to when I first traveled to Cuba—boy, was I out of place. I knew that I had to purchase a Visa for around $15-30 as well as some medical insurance for about $3 per day spent in Cuba, but other than that, I was completely at a loss for what the Cuban people and country was going to be like.So, after visiting Cuba twice already, I’m going to tell you everything I learned and 24 rules to follow when traveling to Cuba as an American citizen:Hotels: For your trip, you’re going to want to research as much as possible to learn which hotels are best for your stay. There are many hotels in Cuba that are not up to “American standards,” so you’re going to want to choose where you stay wisely.Vaccinations: You’ll need to get vaccinated a few weeks prior your trip by your doctor for Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Diphtheria. These vaccinations are usually offered for free for travelers going to Cuba or at a very minimal cost.Medication: Bring whatever medication you take on a daily basis because you may not find a pharmacy or hospital in Cuba that has it. Make sure to bring first aid and remember these types of simple medical treatments are very costly for tourists and even locals in Cuba.Water: You will not want to drink the tap water in Cuba because it can cause diarrhea or stomach aches if you’re not used to the lower quality. You’ll want to buy bottled water instead.Crime: There is actually very low crime against tourists that visit Cuba. The crime you’re likely to see is petty theft—you may want to bring a money belt to be on the safe side.Cuban People: Contrary to what you would have assumed ten years ago, the Cuban people are actually very welcoming to tourists and will be happy to interact with you as long as you’re friendly as well.Panhandling: There are lots of poor people in Cuba who will ask you for spare change—just like in certain cities in America. There are also panhandlers and locals on the street drawing caricatures and asking to take your picture—they will want to be paid for their efforts.Noise: In the more busy areas, you will hear sounds of people and music in the late night if you happen to be out.Weather: Always remember to bring sun block! Cuba’s summers are much hotter than Americas—also they’re incredibly humid, so be prepared. Winter months are very chilly too!Travelers insurance: insurance is highly recommended for peace of mind when traveling to Cuba.Currency: There are two different forms of currency found in Cuba—currency for tourists and currency for its citizens. You will need to exchange your money for the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC).Cash Versus Credit: You’ll probably want to pay in cash more often and use your debit/credit cards less while you’re in Cuba because it may be complicated in some of the areas to use cards instead of cash.Clothing: Bring your summer attire—except if you travel during a winter month. Then you may want to bring some warm sweaters and clothes for the night.Using Your Phone: Some cell companies work in Cuba while others are still being set up. Talk to your carrier first to see if you’ll have to purchase an international phone before your travel you’re your phone does work, you’ll probably want to stick to text messaging with friends and family back home because, depending on your carrier, you may be charged large fees for phone calls.Internet Usage: Now internet usage is complicated. It can be expensive, and it’s probably not worth using too much while you’re in Cuba. The best thing for you is to understand this is time for a fun vacation and surfing on the beach . . . not on the web!Plug Adapters: You’re going to want to purchase a 220v outlet adapter before going to Cuba because your average North American plug will not connect to a Cuban plug.Photos: Remember to bring a digital camera if the one on your phone isn’t that great. You’re going to want to take hundreds of photos to keep memories of your trip!Bug Repellent: You’re going to want to bring mosquito and bug repellent because of the mosquitoes and roaches found in Cuba. You never know when those critters may be crawling or flying around your room!Food: There is lots of restaurants and food in Cuba, but if there are certain snacks you love in America, you may want to bring them to have something to chew on in between meals throughout the day. You may also want to bring your own condiments—because, aside from what you’d expect—Cuba is lacking on condiments for their recipes.Driving: You will be able to hire a driver who will drive you wherever you’d like to go and knows Cuba incredibly well, so you won’t have to worry about constantly using your GPS in a foreign place.Police: Due to the high drug crimes and trafficking that stemmed from Cuba, the police can be very strict and even have undercover officers “asking” tourists to smuggle drugs into other countries. Those tourists can then be imprisoned if they accept these requests.Beaches: The beaches in Cuba—and the Caribbean—will be some of the most beautiful beaches you ever visit. You’ll see the clear water, fresh sand, and everyone having a great time in the sun!Dancing: You’ll love the salsa music and dance that surrounds this wonderful culture. Do yourself a favor and take your spouse or lover out dancing to revel in the vibrant salsa music!Island Time: Cuba runs slightly slower than what Americans are expected to. So don’t be surprised if that shuttle you planned on taking at 2:30 arrives at the bus stop 2:43Departure Tax: There is a $25 departure tax that you must pay to board the plane departing from Cuba. Airports in Cuba only accept cash, so you’d better keep at least $25 with you when you’re heading back to the Cuban airport for this expense.Well, there you have it. Those are my 25 rules to follow when traveling to Cuba. I hope you’ll take note of them before embarking on your journey to one of the most beautiful, exotic, and historical countries in the world. Remember that this a place you’ll always remember so take lots of pictures, meet lots of people, share lots of laughs, and have a wonderful time in Cuba!

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25 Rules to Follow When Traveling to Cuba Having frequented Cuba a few times, I’d like to think I know a little something about its people, culture, and surroundings. But, I can remember back to when I first traveled to Cuba—boy, was I out of place. I knew that I had to purchase a Visa for around $15-30 as well as some medical insurance for about $3 per day spent in Cuba, but other than that, I was completely at a loss for what the Cuban people and country was going to be like.So, after visiting Cuba twice already, I’m going to tell you everything I learned and 24 rules to follow when traveling to Cuba as an American citizen:Hotels: For your trip, you’re going to want to research as much as possible to learn which hotels are best for your stay. There are many hotels in Cuba that are not up to “American standards,” so you’re going to want to choose where you stay wisely.Vaccinations: You’ll need to get vaccinated a few weeks prior your trip by your doctor for Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Diphtheria. These vaccinations are usually offered for free for travelers going to Cuba or at a very minimal cost.Medication: Bring whatever medication you take on a daily basis because you may not find a pharmacy or hospital in Cuba that has it. Make sure to bring first aid and remember these types of simple medical treatments are very costly for tourists and even locals in Cuba.Water: You will not want to drink the tap water in Cuba because it can cause diarrhea or stomach aches if you’re not used to the lower quality. You’ll want to buy bottled water instead.Crime: There is actually very low crime against tourists that visit Cuba. The crime you’re likely to see is petty theft—you may want to bring a money belt to be on the safe side.Cuban People: Contrary to what you would have assumed ten years ago, the Cuban people are actually very welcoming to tourists and will be happy to interact with you as long as you’re friendly as well.Panhandling: There are lots of poor people in Cuba who will ask you for spare change—just like in certain cities in America. There are also panhandlers and locals on the street drawing caricatures and asking to take your picture—they will want to be paid for their efforts.Noise: In the more busy areas, you will hear sounds of people and music in the late night if you happen to be out.Weather: Always remember to bring sun block! Cuba’s summers are much hotter than Americas—also they’re incredibly humid, so be prepared. Winter months are very chilly too!Travelers insurance: insurance is highly recommended for peace of mind when traveling to Cuba.Currency: There are two different forms of currency found in Cuba—currency for tourists and currency for its citizens. You will need to exchange your money for the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC).Cash Versus Credit: You’ll probably want to pay in cash more often and use your debit/credit cards less while you’re in Cuba because it may be complicated in some of the areas to use cards instead of cash.Clothing: Bring your summer attire—except if you travel during a winter month. Then you may want to bring some warm sweaters and clothes for the night.Using Your Phone: Some cell companies work in Cuba while others are still being set up. Talk to your carrier first to see if you’ll have to purchase an international phone before your travel you’re your phone does work, you’ll probably want to stick to text messaging with friends and family back home because, depending on your carrier, you may be charged large fees for phone calls.Internet Usage: Now internet usage is complicated. It can be expensive, and it’s probably not worth using too much while you’re in Cuba. The best thing for you is to understand this is time for a fun vacation and surfing on the beach . . . not on the web!Plug Adapters: You’re going to want to purchase a 220v outlet adapter before going to Cuba because your average North American plug will not connect to a Cuban plug.Photos: Remember to bring a digital camera if the one on your phone isn’t that great. You’re going to want to take hundreds of photos to keep memories of your trip!Bug Repellent: You’re going to want to bring mosquito and bug repellent because of the mosquitoes and roaches found in Cuba. You never know when those critters may be crawling or flying around your room!Food: There is lots of restaurants and food in Cuba, but if there are certain snacks you love in America, you may want to bring them to have something to chew on in between meals throughout the day. You may also want to bring your own condiments—because, aside from what you’d expect—Cuba is lacking on condiments for their recipes.Driving: You will be able to hire a driver who will drive you wherever you’d like to go and knows Cuba incredibly well, so you won’t have to worry about constantly using your GPS in a foreign place.Police: Due to the high drug crimes and trafficking that stemmed from Cuba, the police can be very strict and even have undercover officers “asking” tourists to smuggle drugs into other countries. Those tourists can then be imprisoned if they accept these requests.Beaches: The beaches in Cuba—and the Caribbean—will be some of the most beautiful beaches you ever visit. You’ll see the clear water, fresh sand, and everyone having a great time in the sun!Dancing: You’ll love the salsa music and dance that surrounds this wonderful culture. Do yourself a favor and take your spouse or lover out dancing to revel in the vibrant salsa music!Island Time: Cuba runs slightly slower than what Americans are expected to. So don’t be surprised if that shuttle you planned on taking at 2:30 arrives at the bus stop 2:43Departure Tax: There is a $25 departure tax that you must pay to board the plane departing from Cuba. Airports in Cuba only accept cash, so you’d better keep at least $25 with you when you’re heading back to the Cuban airport for this expense.Well, there you have it. Those are my 25 rules to follow when traveling to Cuba. I hope you’ll take note of them before embarking on your journey to one of the most beautiful, exotic, and historical countries in the world. Remember that this a place you’ll always remember so take lots of pictures, meet lots of people, share lots of laughs, and have a wonderful time in Cuba!

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