What to know when planning a trip to Cuba - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

What to know when planning a trip to Cuba

A photo taken by a recent visitor (Source: Mark Leverenz) A photo taken by a recent visitor (Source: Mark Leverenz)
(KFVS) -

President Obama was in Cuba meeting with President Raul Castro about the future of trade between the two countries.

Cape Girardeau Travel Consultant Jennifer Christensen has booked three trips to Cuba since 2015.

"It is really the time to see it like it is and to see it authentically, that will probably change over the next few years," Christensen said. "You'll have to start to see a difference and within 10 years, who knows where it could be. We've seen it in other countries where tourists come in and it changes the whole landscape."

Mark Leverenz is a recent visitor to Cuba. It's a trip that has excited and interested him for a long time.

"Cuba, we know some things were happening there all of our lives," Leverenz said. "We're baby boomers we're young, and the revolution occurred we and we thought well, we need to see it, cause we know there was a lot of culture there you have the music, you have the food, you have the people and actually the country is very pretty."

"We like to go places were there's not a lot of Americans are, just because we can see Americans anytime," he continued.    

Ann Kammien also went to Cuba recently. She said it's beautiful, but isn't hoping for dramatic change anytime soon.

"Just embrace the culture for all the beauty that it has and not hope for change too quickly," Kammien said. "I think there's a lot of beautiful things about it there now. People are developing more freedom and ability to own things and less communist rule and that will be the best of all worlds for them."

Jennifer Christensen said, currently, the only way to travel legally to Cuba is through educational trips around the country.

She also said there are some parts to society that haven't changed in a really long time, like the cars, some still dating back to the '50s.

"...there are people there to talk a lot on how to maintain vehicles, because all the cars there are pretty old," Christensen said.

"I'm a car guy. I like seeing old cars. It's just like you're in a movie cause most of all of the cars are old," Mark Leverenz said.

Travel restrictions are expected to change as relations between the two counties begins to develop.

Some things to pay attention to include:

  • The money exchange is a long process - You can only bring cash and you can only get it in the country. It is very time consuming. Know your currency because it can be confusing.
  • WiFi is also difficult to get in the country.

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