Destinations Magazine

5 Tips for Doing Cuba

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw
5 Tips for Doing Cuba Cuba is a tropical island with a rich culture, language and history. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit this small Caribbean island to experience a taste of the old world and the unique style that Cuba offers. Arriving in Cuba is only the beginning, and knowing a few key tips can help make holiday in Cuba an enjoyable experience. (Photo "Cuba Cay Largo" by mrkt)
Saving Money Tips
1.   Beware of multiple currencies
5 Tips for Doing Cuba
Budgeting travel in Cuba is a task that requires forethought and planning. Upon arrival, the first order of business is to change money. Cuba is one of the only countries in the world that still uses two currencies, the "Moneda Nacional" and the convertible peso. Most business transactions and small services will be paid in the moneda nacional, while other, larger, transactions will be made in the convertible peso. The value and exchange rate upon arrival depends on where money is changed, but the general rule is to never deal with U.S. dollars due to stiff tariffs imposed on exchange rates. (Photo "Cuban Convertible Pesos" by tyom)
2.   Opt for ‘homestay’ or hostel accommodation.
Depending on the length of holiday in Cuba, renting a shared home or hostel may be the most economic option. Private hotels and homes can be quite expensive, especially closer to larger cities like the capital, Havana. Although the safest option may be to book accommodations through an agency or travel guide book, a bit of investigation can yield more cost effective results. The best bargains for temporary will be found in outlying areas near bigger towns or cities.
3.   Go authentic –try local restaurants
5 Tips for Doing Cuba
Food is also another avenue in which loads of money can be saved. Often, tourist restaurants intentionally have higher prices due to high tourist traffic. The best option, both culturally and economically, is to stay away from such places. Smaller restaurants charge less and offer a more authentic Cuban experience. Another swell part of being in Cuba is being able to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of Cuban food vendors. Such treats as empanadas, pan con jamon y queso, and other authentic foods serve to liven the experience. Cuban street cuisine is generally safe, but precaution should always be taken while on holiday. (Photo "Veradero Beach" by Zanuda)
4.   Plan your wardrobe accordingly
Cuba is the land of eternal summer. Average temperatures are around 30 degrees, and Cuba enjoys over 320 days of sunshine annually. For men, light cotton trousers or short pants are recommended. For women, a light blouse, sandals, and a comfortable hat are the recommended options. Casual wear is ideal for outings and formal appointments.
5.   Be street-savvy
Holiday is a time to relax and recharge. Safety is a vital part of an enjoyable journey, and Cuba is no exception. Spanish is the official language of the country, hence it is strongly recommended to learn the basics of the language to be able to negotiate situations. Not being able to understand basic concepts can lead to potentially dangerous situations, especially in a foreign country. Another safety tip is to know of and avoid dangerous areas. If travel to remote areas of Cuba is involved, it is important to remember to not exhibit expensive possessions in poorer areas of the country and to always stay with a guide if possible.

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