Okay so we know you’re deep in the preparation stages for your upcoming trip to Cuba to join us for DevelopingEM 2015.
We’d just like to remind you of a couple of critical travel tips.
Travel to Cuba
As you know travel to Cuba is pretty easy, unless you’re coming from the USA.
For the Antipodeans we’d suggest going through Vancouver and Toronto. It might seem like the long way round but actually it’s only 3.5 hrs from Toronto to Havana. And you get your visa on the flight.
Europeans have got it easy with multiple flights from many origins going direct to Havana.
For those from the USA there are direct flight options from Miami and New York but our experience is that these are a pretty painful process. It’s actually easier to go through a third country and often these second flights have visa issue on board.
If you’re really struggling with your plans let us know and we’ll see what we can do to help.
All international delegates will require a visa to enter Cuba. Many airlines issue these visas either at check in or on board but it’s worth checking first. Applying for a visa can take as little as two weeks but we’d suggest you get cracking if you haven’t sorted this out already.
Official approval for US citizens to travel to Cuba is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The DevelopingEM conference, as an educational event, satisfies the general license requirements of OFAC regarding travel by US citizens to Cuba. More information on getting OFAC approval is available on our website and we do have some experts within our faculty who can guide you.
We would always strongly suggest you get travel insurance for any overseas journey.
In the case of travel to Cuba there is governmental advice that all tourists entering Cuba require Medical Travel Insurance provided by a company that is on a Cuban government approved list.
Country specific lists can be found with an online search.
Getting access to cash
One of the more frustrating aspects of travel to Cuba can be the difficulty accessing cash.
On a good day a non US visa debit card will be able to get cash from most Cuban ATMs but the success of this method varies almost by the day.
Buying items with credit card is becoming increasingly possible with non US visa cards and Mastercard. Other types of credit cards and indeed all credit cards linked to US banks will not work anywhere.
Cash is your best bet but again there are restrictions. All conversions of foreign currency engender a fee but the conversion of US dollars attracts a a larger fee. The best currency to exchange is probably the Euro. Australian dollars cannot be exchanged.
A good fall back is that cash advances may be obtained at banks, large hotels or Cadeca exchange houses against non US Visa and Mastercards.
In short have multiple options and a supply of exchangeable currency.
We look forward to seeing all of you very soon in wonderful Havana for what we hope will be the best conference of 2015.