Are you looking to travel to Cuba independently? WIthout a tour guide, without somebody holding your hand? If so these ten tips Are you going to be invaluable. What’s up world it’s Jon and this is going to be my final video on Cuba. I’ve created a pretty big Cuba playlist, a lot of vlogs on there, some other tips videos. So definitley check that playlist out, i’m going to link to it down below. Let’s jump right into My top 10 tips to have a good time in Cuba. Tip #1, download the app maps.me. I did not have this app on my phone. I met so many people in Cuba that already had it. While I was trying to figure out where I was going in Havana. The old fashioned way by trying to remember landmarks. They had turn by turn directions. Already set up, I even remember one experience. Where I had somebody in a colectivo with me giving directions to a cab driver. Using maps.me. Definitley don’t forget to download this. You can not download it when you’re in Cuba. I tried. Tip #2, this involves Havana airport. And your arrival. When you get to the arrivals area after customs Don’t stay on the ground floor. Instead look for the staircase. It should be an escalator. But it’s probably not going to be working. So take the stairs up to the second floor to departures. Find the cadeca window. That’s the money exchange. Their will be no line there. On the first floor I gurantee you’re going to be waiting some time to exchange your money. Then instead of going back downstairs. To arrivals, where there is going to be a line for taxis. Instead, look for a taxi dropping somebody off on the second floor at departures. I tested both of these moves. And I got in and out of Havana airport really really fast. Tip #3 get yourself some local currency. The Moneda Nacional. Now this is different than the standard currency that most tourists get. The CUC. Which you’re going to get at the airport. Or any exchange house if you ask for it. However, at any Cadeca you can also get one of these. The Moneda Nacional. And this is one of the coolest bills I have ever seen. A Che Guevara three peso note. Now this gives you access to local markets , local places where they’ll only accept , money in this form. It is so much cheaper. The actual exchange rate is 24 CUP to 1 CUC. Or about 24 of these , to 1 U.S Dollar. You can pay for colectivos, local groceries, local items. And I gurantee you most other tourists , are not going to be thinking of doing this. And I actually got this idea from a book called the Real Havana. And I’ve e-mailed the author back and forth. An amazing guy. I’m going to leave a link down below if you want to check that book out. It’s something like $4.00 on kindle. And worth every single penny. Let’s move on to #4. This one is for the American’s out there. And I know there’s quite a few of you watching this video. Do not bring U.S Dollars to Cuba. I repeat, do not bring U.S Dollars to Cuba. You will get a 10% penalty , exchanging that money anywhere in the country. Instead, change your money to Canadian dollars or Euros in advance. Before you go. I’m going to recommend Euros personally because the exchange rate in Cuba 1 CUC to 1 Euro. Is 1 to 1. And it is a lot easier to keep track of your money that way. I did Canadian dollars. And at times it did get a little bit confusing for me. Numero cinco check your receipts closely at restaurants. This one happened to me a couple of times. I saw a beer, I saw a drink, I saw an appetizer. That was not on my bill, the first time , I thought it was a coincidence. The second or third time it started to be a bit of a pattern. So make sure that if you have an item on your reciept, you actually paid for it. Tip number six. Food selection. I never got sick in Cuba, but I did meet some people that got food poisoning. And one rule of thumb I use, not just Cuba, but anywhere around the world is , if you’re walking around looking for a restaurant And you don’t have any recommendations. Look for a place that is either pretty full Or has locals eating there already. They’re going to be going somewhere that is going to get them sick already. So do be careful in Cuba. Moving right along, number 7. Spanish. And i’m talking about learning some Spanish. Before you get to Cuba. I’ve been to different countries in Latin America and Cuba had by far the least amount of English speakers. I’m not saying you have to be fluent. But I do think if you learned a few useful phrases And at least how to count to 100 Some basic things. You’ll be fine in Cuba. If you need some advice on how to learn Spanish. I have a method that i’ve used online . I’m going to put a link to it in the description below. It’s a youtube video I made about studying Spanish. If not you can always try Pimsleur. Rosetta Stone. Duolingo. Talking to your neighbor who speaks Spanish. Whatever works for you. Definitley go to Cuba with only English. At least know something. Tip #8. Stay in casa particuluares. Over hotels. Now there aren’t that many hotels in Cuba right now. Outside of resorts and some of the higher end properties. But I think you’re going to get a far more authentic experience staying at these bed and breakfast style places. Where you’re going to meet real Cuban people. Who are going about their daily lives and also trying to make a little bit of income on the side. You can usually get a nice breakfast included. In the price. And you can also locate these casas by the blue anchor that will be on their door. And you don’t always have to have reservations especially during non-peak seasons. Feel free to get to a new city Just walk around, trying to locate those blue anchors on doors. And see what kinds of places you can stay at. Number 9. And this is if you’re a little bit more adventerous. And you want to meet some real Cuban people out at night. Don’t go to all of the popular tourist bars in Havana. Don’t go to all of the popular tourist bars in Trinidad. In Santiago. Any other city. If you’re in Havana. Get a beer, Go to the malecon. You’re going to see a lot of local people hanging out In groups. Usually pretty friendly if you want to approach them. Try to talk to them. In other cities just go to a town square. If you want to really have a night out. Like Cuban people do. Just go outside and be part of the city. Number 10 and this isnt’ so much of a tip more of a suggestion. For you. Something to think about. Why don’t you bring some gifts, some small items from wherever you are in the world to Cuba. And give them to people that you’ve enjoyed their time. Or if you’ve enjoyed their company. I brought small postcards from New York City for example. A lot of Cuban people are never going to leave that Island. And they want to know more about the world. It’s very difficult, they’re very cut off. The internet use is very low. There is not a lot of internet available. So why not bring the world to them? Bring some small gifts. You’re going to make people’s day. Trust me. If you enjoyed the tips in this video I want to encourage you to check out my Cuba playlist which i’m going to be linking to right here. And definitley subscribe to Here Be Barr by clicking on that good looking guys face Right here. We’ve got travel vlogs, travel tips videos weekly coming out, looking to help you guys travel smarter. If you’ve already subscribed. I do want to ask you for one favor. Definitley hit the bell icon down below. And it’s going to allow you to get e-mail updates every time I publish a new video. Be a part of where you go.