It has been a complicated year for Cuba Travel. For no rational reason, the Trump Administration suddenly decided to make life much more difficult for everyday Cuban People. Cruise ships departing from the U.S. are no longer authorized to stop at Cuban ports. However, Americans may still fly to Cuba and take part in programs that are designed to “Support the Cuban People.”
Unfortunately, this fact has been obscured by contradictory articles and explanations by many travel writers as well as the U.S. Department of Treasury.
One of the most important overall points about Cuba travel is this: Many of my fellow travelers have been accomplished and well-traveled Americans–doctors, lawyers, architects, CEO’s, artists, etc. Many had visited other exotic places like the South Pole and Uzbekistan. And yet—NONE had ever been to Cuba! Their decisions were usually explained by one or two reasons—the HASSLE factor and the FEAR factor. The hassle factor involves licensing, regulations, guidelines, etc. which are really not very complicated. The fear factor involves the unknown–“Will the Cuban government arrest me for something? Will the U.S. government fine me or detain me when I return? Let’s not take a chance and just go somewhere else.”
A recent travel industry magazine poll indicated that 75% of Americans have no interest or desire to visit Cuba. However, many Americans who DO visit say it was one of their very best trips abroad.
Another important point is that Cubans love American culture and interacting with individual Americans. If you asked representative groups of citizens of various countries if they “liked Americans and American culture,” I believe that you would get the highest percentage of “yes” responses in Cuba than in any other country—certainly in the top five. To Cubans, the American flag represents its people, not the American government. Cubans are very Americanized–they follow our culture: our music, movies, movie stars, television shows, and sports teams.
If you have not traveled abroad recently, you may not realize how most of the rest of the world now views us and our government, even by our former best allies. Since you can still travel to Cuba legally, NOW is a great time to visit with your friends or family, including children. Cuba is very kid-friendly, and one of the world’s safest countries for visitors.