Cuba is an interesting country to travel to. Its beautiful jungles, architecturally-magnificent cities, and unique culture all make it a must-visit, instagrammable destination. Did you know that part of Cuba, Old Havana, is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site? There are a couple of things you need to consider before heading down to the pearl of the Antilles.
Read on to learn about travel restrictions to Cuba, what type of travel insurance you’re going to want to get, and how to stay safe!
Traveling to Cuba
The first thing you need to know about heading to Cuba is that travel is still restricted. While there isn’t an embargo anymore, and U.S. travelers are free to head down to Cuba, they must be in one of twelve categories.
The Department of the Treasury lists the following as acceptable reasons to visit Cuba:
- Visiting family
- U.S. or foreign government business
- Journalistic activity
- Professional research or meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Athletic competitions and other types of public performance or workshops
- Supporting the Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Private foundation research or educational activities
- Exporting, importing, transmitting information
- Certain export transactions that have had prior authorization
You’ll notice that “taking a vacation” isn’t on the list. While you can’t state your reason as simply going on a vacation, there are ways around this requirement. It’s important to stop here for a second and make it very clear that we’re not saying you should lie about why you’re visiting Cuba. Rather, consider why you’re going in the first place.
If you’d like to learn more about the Cuban people and culture, then you fall into the educational activities category. If you’re going as part of a ministry program, then you fall into the humanitarian project category. If you’d like to simply have an adventure and document it, then you may fall into the journalist activity category.
After making sure that you’re allowed to visit Cuba, your focus should shift to making sure you have proper travel insurance.
Travel Insurance is Required
Not just any travel insurance either, but travel insurance with medical coverage. Now, it is always a smart idea to pick a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage. In this case, though, it’s required.
Fair enough. We like with this requirement. It keeps you safe and makes sure Cuban businesses aren’t going to get slapped with a lawsuit because a wayward traveler falls on their sidewalk. It’s a win-win.
There are a couple of factors to consider when looking at travel insurance for a Cuban visit. The most important is that if you don’t have travel health insurance when arriving in Cuba, you’ll be forced to take a policy out from a Cuban provider.
Cuban providers sometimes offer some ok policies, but it’s still smarter to get your own policy prior to traveling. You’ll have more options and be able to shop around for a better deal.
Staying Safe in Cuba
The very first thing we need to say is that Cuba is safe! Many people think that it’s teeming with criminals waiting to rip off unsuspecting tourists. This isn’t the case at all.
While Cuba is a safe country, there are still some scams you should watch out for. These include things like fake Cuban cigars, adding extra items to your restaurant bill, being shortchanged while paying for services, and more.
Thinking about traveling to Cuba? Visit us today to start shopping around for custom travel insurance (with medical coverage!).