I’ve contacted two hotels in Cuba that do not allow USA-issued credit cards to be used. Is this true for most hotels, restaurants, etc. in Cuba? Just want to double check with USA citizens who have been there recently (hopefully in 2017). Thanks for any and all information.
Sounds dramatic but IT’S TRUE! If you are on your way to enjoy a nice holiday in Cuba, here is a list of things you might want to know and make sure that you get this wish list tick on each and every box.
U.S. based companies’ credit cards DO NOT WORK in Cuba. The only exception I know of is to apply to Stonegate Bank online.
If a credit card is the way then make sure that you must apply for the credit card with sufficient time ahead of the trip to process your credit card application and have your holiday money travel card delivered on time for your holiday in Cuba. If you have decent credit, it shouldn’t be a problem to get a card.
Why Bother With A Credit Card? Cuba is a cash economy by a mile! Cash Is King here!….
Not much in Cuba (casas particulares/B&Bs, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, etc) actually use credit cards of any kind. It’s a cash economy.
It is also a very safe place, so don’t be worried about carrying lots of cash. (It is more expensive than you might think, so take 1.5 or 2 times what you think you might need, just in case.) Some casas have a safe in the room, but not all; cash should be safe in locked luggage.
If you decide to stay in casas (as most independent travelers do) instead of expensive hotels, you can also book the same casas as on other casa sites (like Cuba Junky, where you book directly with the host, then pay on arrival), for more money (maybe double) though through AirBnB, but using a credit card from home. Your decide what will best fit in with your travel arrangement choices.
Flea Bites! Have You Packed Beach Sand Flea Bites Cream?
I’m horribly allergic to the enzymes in sand flea and mosquito bites and the sand fleas always find a way to get the spots you didn’t poison with DEET!
For my money, once bitten, the best stuff to use is “After Bite” (stick or gel). It neutralizes the remaining enzymes under the skin for a while and gives blessed relief from the need to scrape and scratch until you are raw. Add a nice stiff rum cocktail, and you’re all set! The active ingredient is ammonia (you can smell it!), and it really works.