Things To Do Before Going To Cuba

Monday, February 6, 2017

pic via.

We leave for Cuba Thursday morning at 6 a.m. and I'm feeling a little underprepared. My knowledge of Cuba is very minimal- I know there's a lot of old cars, rum, and cigars. Other than that, I've got some major reading to do in the next few days.

We'll only be there until Sunday so it's a really quick trip. I've come to the conclusion at this point in my life that quick trips are my favorite. Longer vacations just throw me off. It's hard when you have your own business to completely check out, at least it is for me anyway. After only a few days off the grid I start to get itchy to check my emails to make sure things are still going well in T-Shirt Town.

Also, there's Harlow.

I know that's weird but I can't help it. I hate leaving him. People always say, wait until you have kids! But you can Facetime kids and tell them you're coming back and they get it. But dogs? I'm not so sure. Even though I tell Harlow 100 times, "I'LL BE RIGHT BACK!" when I walk out the door he still gives me the saddest look like he's worried I might be lying.

Ahhh dogs.

Anyway, back to dogs.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'm scared to see the stray situation in Cuba. I worry too much about homeless dogs I see on vacation. In fact, the only "argument" Chris and I had on our honeymoon was when he got mad at me for stuffing bread in my purse (and also for tossing it out the window) at a nice restaurant to give to the stray dogs after dinner.

From what I've read, it's important to bring supplies for the locals- things like aspirin, vitamins, tampons, ext, so in addition to bringing some of those things, I'm also trying to figure out what kind of animal supplies I could fit in my suitcase. If you've been before and know of anything essential to bring, drop me a line please!

Other things to do before Thursday:

We've got our Visas.  Purpose of travel: education.
Convert money to Euros. Our cards will not work there.
Download the one Cuba app people keep suggesting. (It works even when Wifi is nowhere to be found.)
Contact our "Casa Particular," which is apparently Cuba's version of a B&B. Everything I read said to stay in one of these rather than a hotel.

I'm missing 100 things but my brain is running slow from all of the Super Bowl snacks I consumed yesterday.

If you've been, what do you suggest? We're staying in "the heart of Havana," according to our Casa Particular anyway. Also, I've read the food is terrible.... I don't believe it but we're packing Siracha just in case.


  1. also thing to do: find place to take epic pic in car.

  2. Can't wait for your update when you get back. Really would love to go there one day with my husband!

  3. Will totally be following this trip! My family is from Cuba (dad came over when he was 6), and it's a huge item on my bucket list to get there. Also - with you 100% on the stray dog thing. Can't handle.

  4. Can't wait to read your post after the trip! I love your love for dogs and I laughed so hard about your honeymoon fight. Good luck and love on those fur babies there for me too!

  5. I went last year and one thing I didn't expect was that good food can be hard to find, and most of the best restaurants require reservations. In Old Havana most restaurants cater to tourists, and are just kinda OK. Ask the host of your casa to help you make a reservation at one of the nicer places... or try bribing the door guy - it worked for us :) Our most memorable and delicious meal was at San Cristobal Paladar.

  6. I am seriously ridiculously excited for your Cuba recap. It's somewhere I so want to go but I don't know anything at all about it. I'm really excited to learn more about it!

  7. Ahh!! Have so much fun!! My fiance and I want to go to Cuba on our honeymoon, I can't wait to hear what you think!! Have fun!

    1. I've been a couple times and, unless you're reasonably well traveled and don't have the highest expectations for people catering to you and having a laid back and easy time, it's not someplace I'd recommend for a honeymoon. It's BEAUTIFUL and you should go, but know it can be rough around the edges.

  8. I am going the end of April...I am really nervous about the trip so I am anxious to hear what you think. Bring toilet paper! and please tell me what app you speak of.

  9. I heard that toilet paper was really hard to come by, which of course scratched it right off my destination wish-list. But I'm really excited to read about your trip! All the pictures I've seen have been absolutely gorgeous.

  10. The food is terrible IF you are trying to go cheap cheap or eating at a government restaurant. Stick with the private paladars or eat in your casa and you'll be golden.

  11. Great post, great photos, not a place I can see myself visiting

  12. I want to know every detail of this trip! We are trying to go this summer!

  13. I can't wait to hear about your trip! I am going for my honeymoon in April, I am so excited. It's probably not the most honeymoony place we could have picked, but I'm still excited! Can't wait to see your pics, and keep taking care of those sweet dogs!

  14. There were quite a few dogs wandering when we were there last week. But I actually also noticed that most belonged to someone. I guess they just let them wander?

    Have a blast! I fell in love with Old havana and would love to go back!

  15. can't wait to hear all about it! It's actually weird you're the third person I've seen this week post about being in Cuba. Apparently it was ~the time~ to go!

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