Things Americans Should Know Before Heading Out to Cuba

Cuba is a diverse, one-of-a-kind country. It is relatively easy for Americans to travel there as it is a close destination for US-based holidaymakers. When it comes to traveling anywhere in the world, there are some steps that need to be taken and plans that need to be done with enough time in advance. If you are an American traveling to Cuba, then there might be even more planning to do to make your trip go as smoothly and comfortably as possible. Here is everything you should know before hopping on a plane from the US to Cuba. 

You Cannot Be a Tourist

As an American, you can enter Cuba with a valid passport. However, you cannot state the purpose of your visit as tourism; it is not permissible for Americans. Once you choose from the variety of purposes that Cuba allows, you will be issued a visa that you can easily buy from any tour operator in the US. Authorized travel purposes to Cuba include family visits, business trips, religious and educational activities, as well as humanitarian missions. If you are keen on visiting Cuba as a tourist, then you can get around the restrictions by applying for a tourist card. These are usually issued for a short period but will still allow you to have the vacation of your dreams. 

Insurance is Vital

Cuba is a very welcoming country that greets Americans with open arms, but you will need to make sure you buy insurance before your visit. Rest assured that the Cuban health services are among the best in the world. So, in the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident or require hospitalization for any reason during your trip, you will be well taken care of. Getting the right insurance policy and understanding the restrictions of travel will save you a ton of hassle in case of any emergency. It is easy to get insurance when traveling to Cuba, so make sure you prioritize it before making any travel plans. 

Cash Is Better Than Cards

One of the most important things Americans need to be aware of before traveling to Cuba is that their cards will not work there. Most people travel with a little cash and take their debit or credit cards with them. When you are traveling to Cuba, you must make sure that you take enough cash with you and change the currency before you leave the US. Also, note that Cuba has two different currencies – The Cuban Peso and The Cuban Convertible Peso. Try to take more cash than you will likely need just to be safe, and you can exchange it back to US dollars once you return home. 

Internet Is Restricted

Before traveling to Cuba, it is important to know that internet services over there are restricted. The internet coverage in Cuba is very limited, and it can end up costing you a lot for a very poor connection. If you are traveling on holiday, it should not be that big of a deal. However, if you were traveling for business or planning on working remotely, then you might need to think again. Even if you manage to get a relatively good connection in Cuba, some websites might be restricted, unless you have access to a VPN service. 

Cuba Is Safe

Many people shy away from visiting Cuba as they think it is not a safe country. However, the reality is that Cuba is a very safe country with welcoming citizens and numerous great venues. The culture in Cuba is absolutely mesmerizing, and if you are looking to travel there for leisure, you are guaranteed to have an excellent time. As long as you take the usual safety precautions that you would in any other place in the world, you should end up having a fabulous visit. 

Going on a trip to Cuba can be quite fun and exciting. If you are an American thinking of heading out to the Northern Caribbean country, then you must do your fair share of research first so that you can avoid any surprises. Make sure you get the necessary paperwork sorted before you enter the country, and do not forget to get your insurance coverage way in advance. Immerse yourself in the colorful local culture once you get there, and make sure you try as many Cuban dishes as possible. Cuban cuisine is a blend of Spanish, Caribbean, African, and Native Taino ingredients and cooking styles, and it is guaranteed to knock your socks off!