Nothing can ruin a vacation like getting to your epic destination and realizing you forgot an essential item.
Read on: Havana Travel Guide
Here is a list of things you may consider taking with you on your next trip to Cuba. This packing list should be used only as a general guide. You don't have to take every item on this list - use your best judgment to determine what you will need and try to pack light. It will definitely help you along the way.
P.S. Click on any of the pictures or links to shop exactly what I use when I travel. Especially if you are an Amazon Prime member!
I always try and do every trip with a carry on only. Not only is it lighter and easier to travel alone but I save time not having to wait in lines to check my bag and pick up my bag after a flight. You'll be surprised just how much stuff can fit in a carry-on!
A quick note on packing light: To help pack as light as possible I try and bring clothes that serve multiple purposes. A maxi skirt that can be work over a bathing suit as a cover-up and also be worn with my heels for a nicer dinner. I also pack the same general colors through out my bag so that everything matches easily.
Obviously, you will want to look at the weather before heading out to Cuba. The island is generally hot and humid, so pack a lot of clothes that will keep you cool. Even if you are visiting in the winter, it never really gets too cold in Havana. At most, bring a light cardigan for the inside of nice restaurants.
Read on: 17 things you have to do in Havana
Sundresses and Going out dresses
Dress up or down in Cuba, it's up to you.
Other clothing essentials
- Underwear, bras, and socks
- Pajamas (I usually wear my athletic wear at night to save room)
- Belts, scarves, jewelry and other accessories
- Athletic wear (sports bras, workout pants)
- I always opt for a cross-body bag. It makes it harder to steal (or forget places)
- Cute towel for the beach
Best Shoes For Cuba
Depending on how light you pack, you'll want a versatile shoe. Cuba can get dirty and dusty real quick, or be extremely sandy if you're near a beach. During a normal trip, I generally pack three pairs of shoes in my carry on: sandals, light-weight sneakers, and low heels.
Like I said above, I try and pack everything in the same color scheme so that I match effortlessly. For sneakers, I don't mind if they are black - they hide dirt better anyway, also black sneakers match leggings and a sweatshirt, my normal plane attire. They have to be lightweight though! Look for sneakers that are mesh on top, this will help smoosh them in your bag.
For walking shoes, I usually stick to good old keds. I do usually try and find the slip on kind to make life easier. I find that these shoes blend in well and can hide under a maxi skirt if need be. They are also pretty comfortable and I'll even throw some sole liners in there to make them even more comfortable. I also pack a pair of sandals for walking in a beach enviornment.
For heels, I always go with the ones I linked below. A low heel helps me walk in them and fit them into my bag easily. I find that nude matches pretty much anything. Even if I buy a dress on the trip, I can pretty much wear this shoe regardless.
Toiletries, Medication, Personal Items
Don't forget that if you're only bringing a carry on all of these will have to miniature sized. Also, when it comes to toiletries - the less you pack the better. Anything you don't bring can easily be bought abroad. Often times for cheaper than in the states! For example, when I recently went to Tulum my travel sized toothpaste ran out. I went to a store and a full sized Colgate bottle was less than a dollar! (In the states, that same bottle is $3-something.)
- Ear Plugs
- Why is this first you ask? Because it is the most important thing that should be in your toiletry bag. I can't even tell you how many times I have been SO THANKFUL I had earplugs on me.
- Hairbrush or comb
- Some of you are going to think I'm crazy but I literally travel with the tiny brush I've linked below. I've found normal brushes take up SO much room and having a tiny one is totally fine.
- Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash
- If I know I'm staying at a nice hotel I only pack Conditioner to save room. Shampoo and body wash at hotels work perfectly fine for me. Also, stop buying those mini bottles of brand name shampoo. They are so expensive. Buy reusable bottles and fill them up before you go.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Natural Sunscreen
- Chances are you are going to be swimming near wildlife and coral. Please consider the environmental impact of sunscreen and purchase natural sunscreen!
- You should be wearing sunscreen everyday on your face! This is my favorite for daily use.
- Contact lenses and contact solution
- Tampons or sanitary napkins
- Insect repellent
- First Aid Stuff
- Snorkel Equipment
- I know, this sounds weird. But, you should really buy this ahead of time because it is so expensive once you get there. If you rent it in Cuba, they will charge you $18 - $20 a day!!!
Things I don't ever pack and simply buy (or ask the front desk) if I need them:
- Nail file/clippers
- Shampoo/Body Wash (I wrote about why above!)
- Aloe Vera (I try and apply sunscreen so I don't need it but if you do get a bad burn you can simply buy it while you're there)
- Camera (I use the Nikon D3300)
- Extra Lens (I use a Sigma Wide Angle) and camera equipment
- iPhone Chargers
- Pack a long one just in case the plug isn't close to the bed!
- I bought this 3-pack of chargers a while ago and I love it because it comes with different lengths. The small one I keep in my bag with my portable charger. The long ones I use next to the bed.
Money and Documents
- Credit and/or debit cards
- Drivers license
- Airline tickets, hotel reservation and car rental info
- I use an app called Tripit to store all my travel itinerary information.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (email@example.com).