Design Your Life

‘I Ran Out Of Cash In Cuba’: A Cautionary Tale

By Bianca Lambert

Share

You plan your trip to Cuba down to the exact amount of CUCs that you’ll need … until its time for you to take a 25 CUC taxi back to José Martí International Airport. Then, you look in your wallet and realize, you only have enough to pay your cab driver that drove you three hours to the province of Viñales, 25 CUC for your casa, 8 CUC for one meal, 2 CUC for a 1-hour internet card, and the 14 CUC to catch the bus back to Havana.

What should you do here?

A. Panic

B. Turn on your data and call your parents to send them into a panic

C. Find a Western Union

D. Check your luggage for extra money

E. All of the above


Well, I chose all of the above only to find out I stowed away 60 CUC to take care of my last day in Havana along with my fare for my ride to the airport. To say I was over myself is an understatement. Since I went through this experience, I thought it was only right I share this information with you, so you don’t panic if you run out cash on your trip.

RELATED: 5 Airbnb Experiences To Book On Your Cuban Vacation

If you’re an American citizen that banks with American banks, the only way to get money while in Cuba is Western Union — and they have over 490 agent locations throughout Cuba.

You can have your loved one wire money to you online or by phone. My dad found it easier to take care of it by phone with a credit card since transactions paid for with debit cards aren’t instant like with credit cards. My dad needed my name, location, passport number, and the expiration date. One of my biggest challenges was trying to figure out which address my dad should send it to since I didn’t know Havana streets well, and there were so many location options. Luckily my casa hosts were able to help me figure which Western Union would be closest to us.

RELATED: Here’s The Real Deal On WiFi In Cuba

One piece of advice I want to give you if you’re traveling to Havana, especially as a solo traveler, is to take more what you’ll think you need, and then take a little more than that. Cuba can be a budget-friendly country to visit, but costs do add up when you’re taking taxis and trying to live your best life.

Share
Travel Noire

Bianca Lambert

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Trump Administration Threatens New Travel Restrictions To Cuba

Trump Administration Threatens New Travel Restrictions To Cuba

In another move to undo policies put into place by the Obama administration, the Trump team has recently announced new restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba. Somewhat vague statements made at the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association luncheon on Wednesday has left many Americans confused about what this means for upcoming travel plans to […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin

Flight Deal: Fly From Chicago To Havana, Cuba For Only $218

Flight Deal: Fly From Chicago To Havana, Cuba For Only $218

Looking for some late 2019 travel ideas? If you are in or near Chicago, COPA Airlines has you covered. The airline jus reduced pricing on its routes from Chicago to Havana, Cuba. The lowest priced routes are only $218 roundtrip. The promotional routes are valid for travel from November through mid December. You can use […]

DeAnna Taylor

Virgin Voyages To Have Vinyl Record Store And Karaoke Lounge Onboard

Virgin Voyages To Have Vinyl Record Store And Karaoke Lounge Onboard

If cruises aren’t really your thing, it may be time to reassess. Richard Branson’s new, adult-only cruise line, Virgin Voyages, boasts “no kids, no buffets, and no limits,” challenging all of our cruise ship stereotypes. The aim of the experience is “to get people who’d never dream of going on a cruise ship,” said Branson […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin