There are a few things that are an absolute must when packing my bags for Cuba. They are, in no particular order, as follows:
- Passport/Official Documents. Maybe this is a no brainer, but it’s important none the less. Having not just the original copies, but multiple extra copies, is always recommended. Should something happen, and hopefully nothing does, there is always those backups as a safety net. Being in Cuba is going to be amazing, but we can’t get in, or leave, without our official documents in hand.
- Toilet paper. Many public restrooms, if you can find one, will not have toilet paper in them! You may buy a few sheets if someone is currently selling them in the bathroom–if not, well you’re out of luck. For men, this may not present as much as a problem, but for women who have to use toilet paper everytime nature calls, your own toilet paper is a must.
- Comfortable shoes. Having already broken in, comfortable walking shoes is extremely important. We will be walking around everyday for hours and blisters can make the trip slightly less blissful. Even high quality new shoes can cause irritation since the material hasn’t formed to your feet quite yet. In this case new isn’t always better.
- Sunscreen. Again, comfort is everything. Of course a tan is nice, but getting sunburn can be a drag. When your every move is greeted with pain, you’re not going to have a good time. This can be prevented by wearing proper sunscreen. Why risk not having a great trip when it only takes a few minutes every so often to protect yourself?
- Money. Without money, you can get nowhere, buy nothing, and give nothing. Of course money isn’t everything, but it helps you do what you would like to. I want to be able to tip the hardworking local people, but I can’t without bringing cash. I want to give to those back at home by buying artwork, books or other educational materials. I want to be able to travel back into the United States without any hiccups.
As you can see, my list is made up of practical items. This is a MUST HAVE list, and I don’t need a camera, or a recorder, or special pens. I do need these items though to be able to fully enjoy my trip. I want to have as much fun as I can, and soak in the environment, culture and people. I’d rather not have to worry about being physically uncomfortable or legally restricted. The other stuff is always nice to have, but for the bare bones, I can make it with just my documents, toilet paper, shoes, sunscreen, and cash.