Cuba is a very beautiful country that is part of many a professional nomad’s list of top destinations. Unfortunately, its fragile relationship with other countries result in difficulties for many travelers, particularly those who come from the West. If you fall in this category of tourists, especially if this will be your first time traveling to a strict country, you may want to peruse the following tips:
Don’t Bother Arriving at the Airport 4 Hours Early
Travelers like us know that arriving at the airport several hours earlier than the actual flight will save on a lot of headaches later, as it helps give one enough leeway to account for any unexpected problems when (not if) they happen. But if you’re planning to travel to Cuba, do not bother wasting your time by arriving too early. Two hours are fine, because your seat will already be pre-assigned without your consent. They don’t want any of the protocols to diverge from protocol, so you won’t have to worry about unexpected incidents. Normally, airline regulations that are too strict are a demerit, but in this case it works out to a traveler’s advantage.
Anything that weighs over 10lbs will be under strict inspection. Additionally, the combined maximum weight per person is 50lbs. If you want to carry something heavier, you will have to pay a little bit extra (at the time of writing, it amounts to $20 per additional bag plus $2 more for the total amount of pounds.) It’s not much, but it can add up real fast.
This one will catch many tourists off guard, but most public bathrooms in Cuba are paperless. But don’t worry. You won’t need to be creative with magazines or receipts, because the bathrooms have attendants who “hold the roll” and sell sheets of toilet papers. The prices will vary, and don’t hesitate giving tips.
Fishnet Stockings Everywhere
In Cuba, you will see a lot of women wearing fishnet stockings, even in their hot weather. But leave all of your western preconceived notions in your home country, because the excessive wearing of fishnet stockings in Cuba has nothing to do with sexual provocation. In their culture, the fishnet stockings symbolizes professionalism and adherence to work ethics.
Don’t Expect 5 Star Hotels
Last but not the least, you will find advertisements for 5 star hotels in Cuba, but don’t expect the same quality as 5 star hotels in, say France or Switzerland. At best, a 5 star hotel in Cuba will be equivalent to 3 star or 3.5 stars in your expectations. Their standards are just lower than yours, do not automatically go on online review sites and badmouth the hotel, as you will only look like a complete amateur.