Everything Travel

Tips For Visiting Cuba!

Sorry I have been so absent lately, but I will try my best to catch up (I’ve gone to Vancouver Island, Lake O’Hara, and I will be going to Las Vegas so lots of posts coming your way!).

This is my final Cuba post (visit the travel portion of my blog to read the other posts).

This post is a list of tips/tricks I have for visiting Cuba! Of course, this list is not extensive and I highly recommend reading multiple sources before going there.

  1. Your pillow! You know that old pillow on your bed you’ve been hanging on to? Bring it and then leave it for the maid to take after! The pillows in Cuba sucked as they do not have much access to new ones . . . you will be happy and so will the person who is cleaning your room.
  2. Bring snacks (I brought granola bars, candy, chips, Crystal Light, etc.). It’s not like in Canada or other places where you can run to the 7/11 and buy a bunch of snacks. Choices are limited and places are not always open.
  3. Bring a good water bottle (I recommend a “Bubba” mug or one that is well insulated). This way you can fill it with cold water (buy bottled) or a drink and you won’t have to go searching for something to drink.
  4. First aid kit. Remember resources are limited so something as simple as a band aid can be hard to find. I recommend packing a little first aid kit with items like band aids, PolySporin, Advil, cream for if you get a sun burn, Gravol, etc. Basically, pack anything you would need if you hurt yourself or feel sick.
  5. Plug converter. Some of the plugs in our room were like the ones in Canada, but others were not so we packed a converter just in case.
  6. Toilet Paper! This sounds silly, but due to limited resources toilet paper availability is slim. We packed some so we would not have to worry about running out. All the ‘public’ washrooms do not have toilet paper or anything so I recommend bringing some with you when you leave your resort. Also, remember it is custom to have a bathroom attendant in all public washrooms (even the airport) and in Cuba you are expected to tip them (once you do they reveal their secret stash of toilet paper and paper towel…if not you’re on your own).
  7. Toiletries. I would recommend bringing all toiletries you think you could possibly need. I often have a habit of forgetting to pack shampoo and/or just buying it when I get there. In Cuba this is much more difficult and therefore do not forget. Also, when you are done with them at the end of your trip I recommend leaving what you can for the locals as they are grateful for anything (someone even asked us at the market if we have deodorant (used or not) that she could have).
  8. Towels. We were at our resort a week and I still don’t know where you get a pool towel. Since resources are sparse towels were hard to come by, so I recommend bring your own beach towel, shower towel, and wash cloth. This way you won’t stress about finding those items.
  9. Gifts. Everywhere I read and everyone I talked to mentioned this. My mom and I went to the dollar store and bought little toys, stationary, toiletries, candies, etc. to give out. These small items made lots of people very happy. We even brought some old purses and bags we no longer needed to give to the people there as their options are limited. Some gift ideas I have are: old clothes, old bags, toiletries, toys, unique candy, gardening gloves for the outdoor workers, hair stuff, make up, etc. Basically, anything you might use day to day that they most likely will not have access to. {make sure to say they are GIFTS FOR FRIENDS when asked at the airport}
  10. An open mind. It is important to have an open mind when going to Cuba. Obviously, the governmental structure will be different than you are used to, but it is crucial not to criticize them as you may upset the people and just imagine how you would feel if someone came and started to criticize where you call home. Also, keep in mind that their ‘five-star’ resorts will differ vastly from ours due access to resources. This means furniture may be older and outdated, there may not be as many food choices, etc.

I recommend looking up info about the Cuban Culture and the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ in order to avoid in hassles. Overall, Cuba is a beautiful country rich in history filled with kind people. I definitely recommend visiting and also learning more about their culture.

Thanks for reading this post!

-Ariel.

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