Travel To Cuba! Is it time to go?
With Obama opening travel to Cuba, where are the concerns?
With an agreement of 110 flights scheduled to Cuba on a weekly basis Cuba is getting flooded with tourists. Still lots of red Tape to stay legal in your travel to Cuba. No, it is not the same as going to France! Cuba is ran mostly by bureaucrats so one trip can go smoothly as going to Canada while the next may give you much grief.
Cuba, at this time is cash only! Theoretically restrictions have been lifted for the use of Visa and MasterCard but the reality is, MasterCard and Visa have moved slowly on the move.
In Cuba, if something is theoretically possible, consider it, not possible. Bring cash!
As things loosen up and Americans and European join in to traveling to Cuba, it has become more difficult to find rooms. Particularly in the popular destinations. With large numbers of travelers, B&B may be the best way to go. There seem to be many that are clean, welcoming and perfect for non-group travelers.
You will also get to meet the local Cubans who run the B&Bs. Tremendously friendliness! You will not feel the animosity the Cuban and American governments have shared for so many years.
What can be striking is, although Cuba has great poverty, you may feel really safe walking in the streets late at night in the big cities.
Cuba is not so ready for tourists yet. At least not the tourist who have luxury expectations. The fact is, Cuba is not your destination if you are looking for luxury travel. There are some real luxury accommodations still.
You go to Cuba to experience the reality of Cuba though and luxury may or may not be available.
Should you use American dollars or other currencies to travel to Cuba? It appears that Canadian Dollars and Euros are the best to use as there are higher fees on American dollars than other currencies. Keep in mind that, with currency fluctuations, you want to do exchanges as close to departure date as possible or you may lose the financial advantage if the Dollar gets stronger against other currencies from the time you exchange to the time you travel to Cuba.
For Taxis, it is best to use local currencies! Or use your own wheels!
Travel visas? If you declare that you are a journalist, you are in the clear for travel to Cuba and the government will take you at your word.
By far the biggest fear with Cuba, is the large influx of tourists and the stress on the infrastructure. Take Trinidad, for example, which is flooded with tourist and is changing from its original flavor and shifting to please tourists. The original character is being lost along with Cubans financially benefiting from this influx.
Cuba has a growing middle class, particularly with Raúl Castro loosening the rules and more small businesses sprouting all over.
Cuba is one of the least threatening country in the world and open to all types of people visiting their country. No freedom of speech, per se, but much general satisfaction with life among Cubans. Most Cubans make about $50/month but that is really pocket money as the government takes care of everything else.
You must experience the farmer rolling a cigar! The donkey carts in Trinidad center…
Enjoy your travels!