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First Timer's Guide To Preparing For Havana Nights: What To Pack For A Trip To Cuba
Cuba isn’t the type of destination where you ‘wing it’ simply because there is lots to prep for beforehand. This includes knowledge of what to pack. Besides having your Cuban Tourist Visa and any other documents you may need depending on your passport/country requirements, you’ll be busier than ever before you get on the plane. One thing we can say confidently is that Cuba is always worth it.
Most travelers can’t resist a trip to the vibrant capital, Havana. Many describe Havana as feeling like a completely different world. The political and economic struggles cannot and shouldn’t be ignored when traveling to Cuba and for many travelers. Five minutes in Cuba will be enough to notice the poverty that is prevalent in the country. Still, we recommend visiting, supporting local Cubans, and enjoying the simpler yet lively vibe of the country. Without painting a fairytale image of what is a tough country for Cubans, we admit Cuba is worthwhile. The warmth, the music, and the history are what keep people visiting. Black travelers also enjoy seeing Afro-Cuban culture up close when visiting this part of the Caribbean.
Find out exactly what to pack for your first trip to Cuba. Read on to see our top recommendations to enjoy this Caribbean island.
Related: Cuban Rum Declared Cultural Heritage By UNESCO
But first, what you DON’T need to pack for a trip to Cuba
First things first, there are a few things to note about traveling to Cuba. What you won’t need to pack is a bunch of credit cards as you’ll likely use cash during your trip. However, remember that you will probably have to purchase your internet in Cuba using ETESCA. The main store in Old Havana allows you to purchase your internet using a card only, so it may come in handy in this respect.
Cuba is also not the best location for a workcation, so best to leave the work laptop at home. If you do bring electronics with you, remember the limit is two phones, laptops, and cameras per traveler. You can also forget about bringing drones into Cuba, as they is not permitted. It is recommended to bring evidence of travel insurance and photocopies of any travel documents too. Now, on to the list:
Make up bag
Traveling to Cuba means bringing absolutely everything you may need because things you’re used to at home may not be available in the country. With this in mind, pack a make-up bag that has several compartments and ways to organize your items. Basic over-the-counter medicine is not readily available everywhere in Cuba so a make-up bag can serve as storage for much more; it even includes a jewelry box. We recommend this make-up bag that comes with LED lights to ensure that your vacation looks are perfect.
Travel exercise waist bag
When you’re on vacation, it is so easy to fall off your fitness routines, especially in a place like Cuba where time itself seems to stop. However you like to keep fit, we recommend bringing portable equipment with you to help you along. Whether resistance bands or running shoes or something as simple as a waist bag to motivate you for morning runs. This WATERFLY bag is unisex and ideal for running and hiking. There is nothing like a jog along the iconic Malecon Habanero.
You know how it goes; ordering drinks without ice and acute insecurity about brushing your teeth with tap water. This is certainly how it feels on your first trip to Cuba trying to avoid getting sick. We recommend this LifeStraw water bottle which has an in-built filter to protect against 99.9% of bacteria. It’s a lightweight bottle that is long-lasting and your purchase has a social impact on safe drinking water for a child across the world.
Traveling to Cuba means not having constant or reliable access to Wi-Fi. It makes sense to take advantage of that lack of connectivity by going back to basics and enjoying a good book on the beach. Varadero beach in Cuba might just be the best place in the world to be without internet, by the way. We have a long list of books that you should add to your reading list. Check them out here.
Moisturizing face mask
The high levels of heat and humidity in Cuba mean you need to take a closer look at your skincare routine while traveling. We 100% recommend bringing your favorite skincare products but we also recommend something extra moisturizing. The air and general stifled heat can call for some serious detoxing. This Plantifique clay mask packs in all the detoxifying goodness you’ll need.
Packing cubes to accommodate your Cuban shopping
Let’s face it, you’re going to want to come home with several new treats including Cuban cigars and bottles of rum. We recommend packing cubes to help make the journey home much smoother. These packing cubes will allow you to fit everything in stress-free so you can keep your clothes and items un-spoiled. Check out the Travelpro Crew Versapack packing cubes here.
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