A week from today, I will be in Trinidad, Cuba (pictured in the lead photo). This will be my first trip back to Cuba since early in 2015. This will be somewhere around my umpteenth trip to Cuba so far with six more trips planned just this spring.
Over the past year, I’m sure that there have been many changes, but how many?
I, like many of you, have done the homework:
1) There are more flights direct from the US to Cuba.
2) Americans can now travel to Cuba, but not for tourism. Each traveler must fit into one of these 12 OFAC’s categories. However, there is no paperwork like before. The only item necessary is to get a visa to travel to Cuba (see Cuba Travel Services or ABC Charters). So, yes, it is still illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba for tourism. So, if you want to go legally and don’t fall into the categories, check out Gate1Travel’s five and nine-day Cuba trips.
3) There are more travelers in Cuba, not only from the US, but from around the world, trying to see Cuba before it changes.
What does my gut tell me about 1+2+3?
It tells me that things are going to be crowded, almost bursting at the seams. There are no more hotels, roads, or buses than last year. Perhaps there are more paladares (private restaurants), but not enough to feed thousands of hungry travelers. Also, with more flights, there will be longer lines for every step of the process: check-in, baggage, security, and customs. With more flights and travelers, there will be flight delays.
Should you travel to Cuba?
My advice to you is travel to Cuba, but remember to adjust your internal clock. In Cuba, it has been always on island time. When in Cuba, live in the moment. If you must wait, enjoy the wait. Take the suggestion of a very wise Cuban friend of mine who told me in 2013, “In Cuba, there are no problems, only mojitos. One problem, one mojito. Two problems, two mojitos.”
Once I return, I will share with you more about my adventures in Cuba and beyond in a monthly post here. If you are looking for more frequent and thorough updates, check out my newsletter.
BTW, if you are on Snapchat. I’m going to try snapping in Cuba. Follow me at: heidisiefkas