My latest time-killing hobby has been researching fares on SkyScanner. Though I’ve reached my quota of exotic destinations for the next six months, it’s still fun to look forward to what travels may come.
As I was playing around, I made an exciting discovery. You can book a flight, reserve a room, and eat seven nights in Cuba for less than $750. That made me, Scuba Steve, very happy.
One stipulation (if traveling from the U.S.) is that you must venture to Cuba for one of twelve approved reasons. One particular travel allowance is for “journalistic activity.” This is an easy requirement to fill. Anyone planning to do this trip, use the contact form below and I will provide you with a super-easy journalistic assignment. #HMPYG will provide the letters and materials necessary to show that you are on assignment.
As for booking the trip and eating for less than $750, here’s how to do it:
- Set the search parameters on SkyScanner for the month of September. As many children are in school this month, September is a great time to book cheap airfare. I found a round trip ticket from LA to Havana for a little over $300.
- Search a hostel on this database. There are many that are rated “superb” for under $20 a night. 7 nights × $20 = roughly $140 for your accommodations.
- Eat at mid-range restaurants for about 30 CUC (Cuban convertible peso, roughly equivalent to 30 USD) per dinner. Breakfast is included with some of the hostels, and lunch can be attained with some jamon and delicious Cuban bread you buy at the market. This would leave you spending $30/day on food for dinner. $30 × 7 days = $210. Add $40 for groceries and you’re at a $250 food budget.
- Obtain a a Cuban visitors visa for around $60. See more information in this MappingMegan article.
Keep in mind, some hostels are as low as $10 per night. With that part of the budget cut in half, you could be treating yourself to some delectable cafe Cubano twice a day.
You would want to look good on your trip, of course. One of the best ways to look good on a budget is with shades from our awesome business partner, SunglassWarehouse 😎
What to Check Out While in Havana
Habana 61 is the #1 top-rated Havana restaurant on Yelp. Servers speak English and the consensus is that the food is amazing. Some recommendations include the ropa vieja, octopus carpaccio, and chocolate mousse.
The Morro Castle
The Morro Castle is rich with history and cultural relevance. The fortress overlooks Havana bay and guarded the city from invaders. It also held prisoners, and some were fed to sharks through holes in the wall. Its occupation bounced between the Spanish and British. As you may know from our previous article, tensions between the Brits and Spaniards were high in the 18th century. Admission is 4 CUC (4 USD).
The world-famous nightclub is a landmark in the Marianao neighborhood of Havana. Though many imitations have appeared around the world, this is the authentic original. The club has included many famous patrons, including:
- Frank Sinatra
- Judy Garland
- Ernest Hemingway
- Édith Piaf
- Marilyn Monroe
- Humphrey Bogart
- Nat King Cole
- Tito Puente
- Marlon Brando
The list goes on and on. This attraction is expensive, however. Cabaret tickets may cost upwards to 100 CUC.
For a more in-depth look at traveling/backpacking in Cuba, you may also check out this article.
#HMPYG Contact Form