In January 2015, President Obama took historical steps to break down the hardened barrier between Cuba and the U.S. The United States re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba that had been undone since 1961, but additional changes in June 2019 have blurred the lines of travel between Cuba and the U.S.
Now, many Americans are still wondering what exactly has changed as a result of this new policy. Here are a few things you need to know about traveling to Cuba.
Can Americans Travel to Cuba?
First, traveling to Cuba as a U.S. tourist is completely legal, even in the face of the travel changes set forth last June. However, you can’t just jump on a flight and head to Havana when you feel like it. Unlike many other countries, traveling to Cuba takes some pre-planning and additional documentation.
In the past, Americans who wanted to visit Cuba had to do so by flying to Canada or Mexico first. That’s no longer the case, and you can even fly from your local airport to Cuba with fewer than two stops. A private jet is a preferred method of travel because it simplifies the process and makes the flight more enjoyable.
The Cuban government also welcomes American travelers. Most of the restrictions on travel or how you spend your money are American rules, not those set forth by Cuba.
What to Do to Prepare for a Trip to Cuba
To journey into Cuba, you must first be granted access to the country. Trips must fall into one of 12 travel categories, including the following:
- Family visits
- Government business
- Religious reasons
- Humanitarian projects
- Support for the Cuban people
If you are lucky enough to get approval into Cuba, be aware that they are not necessarily ready for a huge influx of visitors. U.S. credit cards still aren’t accepted in Cuba. You will also be taking a break from the internet, too. There is very limited connectivity in Cuba for the internet to work properly.
Cuba also requires its foreign travelers to obtain a Cuban Tourist Card in order to enter the country, which you can obtain online. You’ll also need to get health insurance, which can be obtained at the airport in Havana if you don’t want to procure it ahead of time.
Last but not least, review the Restricted List to see where you can and can’t spend money. This is a list created by the American government and prohibits organizations, hotels, stores, and other places that are connected to the Cuban military.
Even though traveling to Cuba right now can be a little bit of a hassle, now is the time to visit. Getting to the island now allows you to experience Cuba before it becomes too “Americanized”.
Let Access Jet Group help you travel to Cuba in the best possible way. Contact us today to book your flight and secure the best pricing!