So you’re finally taking that trip to the beautiful island of Cuba! What’s next? Well, packing, of course! We know that packing can be complicated and stressful, especially when you’re traveling to an unknown country, so we’re here to make it simple for you. Continue reading below for our easy, step-by-step guide packing guide for an unforgettable trip to Cuba!
PASSPORT AND VISA
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? You will most certainly need to take your passport and travel visa with you on your adventure. In fact, this is the single most important item to bring with you on your trip — you won’t ever get there without it! Make sure to make several copies (two or three should suffice) of each document, and pack them in separate bags. That way, if your documents get lost, or one bag gets misplaced, you’ll have extra copies on hand!
(For more information on updated travel information and ways to obtain a tourist visa, click here.)
Your American credit and debit cards will not work in Cuba, so it’s very important that you bring enough cash with you. (As a word to the wise, it’s best to bring euros or Canadian dollars — the Cuban government charges a 10 percent fine, in addition to the exchange rate, for converting U.S. dollars.) Once in Cuba, you can exchange that cash for CUCs (Cuban Convertible Pesos). Unfortunately, you can’t purchase CUCs anywhere but in Cuba, so you will have to wait until you get there to make the exchange!
The law requires visitors to have valid health insurance before entering into the country. Make sure that your health insurance covers you while you are on vacation, and make sure to bring that proof with you! Another option would be to purchase travel health insurance from a trusted organization like World Nomads.
Have you tried packing cubes yet? These little zippable, rectangular bags help you organize the contents in your suitcase (and help you fit a whole lot more stuff)! These will revolutionize the way you pack forever!
While you will of course want to pack a larger suitcase for your trip, you will want a small day bag or backpack to haul along on your daily adventures. From short beach trips to long walks through Old Havana, you can use this smaller bag to stash your essential items: reusable water bottles, towel, book, copies of your important documents, cash, etc.!
Cuba is a tropical climate (i.e. IT’S HOT!). You’ll sweat a good amount, so you may want to bring a laundry bag to separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones.
WHAT TO WEAR IN CUBA
SUNHAT, SUNSCREEN, SUNGLASSES
Again, Cuba is HOT! Whether you’re headed to the beach or just strolling around town, you will want to protect yourself from the sun in every way possible. So remember to lather on that sunscreen and grab a sunhat and sunglasses before you venture outside!
In such a hot climate, lightweight cotton dresses and skirts, sleeveless tanks, and short-sleeved tops are the order of the day! There’s no need to bring anything too fancy or stylish (unless you have plans to go somewhere nice!). But please note that it can get chilly in the evenings, so be sure to grab a light sweater for those ocean-breezy nights.
SANDALS AND SNEAKERS
Sandals are perfect for spending long days on the beach and for strolling around town, but if you plan on going on any hikes or doing extensive day trips, then bring comfortable sneakers to avoid blisters!
Congratulations — thanks to a little help from our packing guide, you are all set for your trip to Cuba! Join us on our next Acanela Expedition to this beautiful island.
Oh, and of course, don’t forget your camera!