On August 31st, 2016 a scheduled passenger aircraft left Fort Lauderdale Airport and less than an hour later was in Cuba. This was the first time in fifty years that a commercial flight had flown from the to Cuba from the USA. And Cuba has been on many travelers’ wish lists for a long time – now it’s possible.
Flying to Cuba from Fort Lauderdale isn’t expensive. Jet Blue has one way flights starting from $99. Yes, you can travel to Cuba on a one way ticket but must have proof of your travel arrangements back to the USA. The cheapest two way flight I found was just over a hundred dollars.
Here are some points to remember when you’re planning to visit Cuba:
- Of course you will need your passport but you’ll also need the appropriate visa. Jet Blue can supply these to you for $50 when you book your flight with them. If you use a travel agency, they too will be able to arrange this for you
- The Cuban government requires tourists to have travel insurance. This is a good idea anyway, wherever you travel
- Take cash. At time of writing, American credit and debit cards are not accepted. You’ll be able to exchange your dollars for Cuban currency at the airport when you arrive or at major hotels. There is a charge for exchanging dollars but euros, Canadian dollars and British pounds are exempt from this. The canny US traveler might consider taking these currencies instead!
- Hotels may not be what you’re used to. The chances are that they’ll be clean and comfortable but don’t expect them to be like US chain hotels – they have more character
- Airbnb is growing hugely in Cuba. You’ll find some great deals there and in many places, your host will help you with advice and recommendations. Airbnb hosts will be more likely to give you an authentic Cuban experience
- Many people in Cuba speak at least some English. But I’d recommend that you download a free translation app before you go. Speak and Translate is an excellent app and is free
- You are permitted to spend $500 on goods to take back to the USA with you. $100 of this can be tobacco. Check with your cigar-smoking friends back home – I’m sure they’d love you to take back some Havana cigars
- The climate is rather similar to that of South Florida so be sure to take light clothing, preferably made from natural fibres. Take a light jacket for the cooler months and evenings
Looking for a rental apartment in Fort Lauderdale?
If you’re travelling to Cuba and are looking for a great place to stay before and/or after your trip then this is the place for you. It’s only fifteen minutes away from Fort Lauderdale Airport by cab or uber.
As you can see in the photograph, the apartment is right on the water, affording you fantastic views. The dock is the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine in the evening.
The apartment is perfect for a couple – it has one bedroom with a queen bed, lounge and dining room with water views, and the original Mid Century Modern kitchen and bedroom.