Packing to visit a country you’ve never been to before can be hard, so today I wanted to give you my top five tips for packing when going to Cuba.
1. Bring a carry-on suitcase
You’re going to be so thankful you didn’t bring too much luggage!
- the rooms are smaller than American rooms, much like European rooms
- you’ll know that everything you need will be right there with you when you make it to Havana
And believe me, when you’re carrying your suitcase down the bumpy streets in Trinidad – where the buses often can’t get to your casa – you’ll want the rolling bag that is light and easy to handle.
2. A lock for your suitcase
If it’s a long, hot, sweaty day, you might not want your passport in a carrying pouch on your body.
Instead, get a TSA lock, and when you leave your room each day, put your valuables in your suitcase and lock it. After that, no worries – it’ll be fine at your casa particulares (casa particulares are Cuban Bed and Breakfasts).
3. A small day pack
I recommend using a small day pack instead of a backpack.
Because really all you need each day is your:
- water bottle
- mini bottle of sunblock
- and something to put your hat in
That’s also why I like a little drawstring bag as a day pack.
4. Sunblock and bug spray
Sometimes we forget those things, and there’s no Walgreen’s in Cuba. So be sure to pack these!
I like to take Burt’s Bees bug spray which I buy on Amazon. It’s organic, and I don’t have to worry about it damaging my skin or feel guilty if I use it every day.
And you’ll want bug spray for when you leave the cities. In the cities there’s a lot of fumigation that happens and there aren’t a lot of mosquitoes there as a result.
But, when you get out into the countryside – and you’ve got to go, because the Cuban countryside is amazing – be sure to bring your bug spray!
5. A bar of soap and washcloths
I put this on every packing list, because again, it’s like traveling in Europe, where they don’t always give you a washcloth.
In Cuba, sometimes at casas they’ll forget to leave soap for you, or there’s typically shortages in Cuba, and it can be hard to find some.
I bring the little bars of soap from hotel visits, or I bring a nice bar like Dove soap; something that smells good and is really good on your skin. And then that last day you can leave it, along with a tip for the maid as a thank you. Because imported, name brand products like that don’t come in.
I hope these tips helped! Have a great trip to Cuba!
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