Over the past few months the major U.S. airlines have begun flying to Cuba. We’re going from one extreme to the other, as we’re going from an embargo for Americans to travel to Cuba, to suddenly having thousands and thousands of airline seats a day between the two countries. Given the limited hotel capacity, this is causing the prices of everything to skyrocket.
Why I haven’t been in a rush to travel to Cuba
I know a lot of people were excited about being among the first Americans to visit Cuba, though I’m not sure I have the same urgency. I actually sort of have the opposite approach, and my initial impression is that waiting a bit longer might make sense:
- A ton of Americans are suddenly traveling to Cuba out of interest, though I suspect demand will be lower a year from now rather than higher; those who really wanted to go are doing so ASAP and paying the exorbitant prices
- After the initial interest of visiting Cuba wears off, I think it’ll be at least a decade before we see a bunch of new mega-resorts opening up or see things changing in a substantial way
From friends who have visited Cuba so far, the general consensus seems to be that it’s interesting to see, though it’s far from a seamless experience; you’ll wait for a long time at immigration, won’t have cell phone reception, can’t use credit cards, and almost everyone in Havana is trying to rip you off and charge crazy prices, because they know they can.
So on one hand I don’t feel like there’s a huge rush to travel to Cuba since I don’t see much changing over the coming years, though at the same time with tickets costing ~$100 roundtrip between South Florida and Cuba, I figure I might as well check it out, as I explained in a post a couple of months ago.
Well, now it’s finally happening, as I just booked my ticket yesterday.
I’m headed to Cuba!
I’m headed to Cuba in a couple of days, which I’m excited about. I only have a limited window where I can visit due to other commitments, so I’m just flying from Fort Lauderdale to Havana for a couple of days.
I’m intentionally going into this trip mostly “blind.” Of course my goal is to see Havana, but beyond that my goal is to document what the actual process of traveling there is like as an American — what’s checking in for a flight to Cuba like, do you get questions from immigration officers in Cuba or the U.S., how expensive is stuff, what’s the food like, is Havana actually a city worth seeing or just interesting to see because it was forbidden for so long, etc.
I’ll be going in a couple of days, so if anyone has any tips (whether it’s great restaurants, sites, negotiation tips, or just general warnings), I’d love to hear them!
Like I said, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about Cuba, especially since right now American can only visit on a “wink wink nudge nudge basis,” as you have to travel to Cuba for one of 12 approved reasons (the most common of which is “support for the Cuban people”).
I’m really excited about this adventure!