Traveling to new places can be an exciting experience. You get an opportunity to experience new sights and cultures and make lasting memories. However, whether it’s your first time traveling away from home or you’re a seasoned traveler, there are some travel tips you should follow to help make your experience easier and more enjoyable. When you plan to take a trip to a new place like Cuba, here are some tips to help you prepare or your trip.

Be Flexible

When you’re taking a trip to a place you’ve never been before, it can be tempting to pack your itinerary with activities and sightseeing so that you don’t miss anything when you’re on your trip. However, you should also try to be a little flexible in case something unexpected comes up. For example, you want to plan ahead and get everything you need. You’ll need to know how to get a Cuban Tourist Card, for example, as well as figure out how to book your flights and rental car. You don’t want to miss out on a fun experience because it doesn’t fit into your schedule, either. If you’re going to spend a couple days in the same place, it can help to schedule some free time to explore and enjoy your surroundings without the pressure of following a schedule.

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Learn the Language

Certainly, when you visit a new place you won’t have time to learn an entirely new language to help you get around. However, it’s a good idea to pick up a few simple phrases to help you get around without too much trouble. Being able to say “please”, “thank you,” “help,” “how much does this cost,” or “sorry,” can help you get by without too much trouble. If the locals see you’re attempting to speak their language and they know English, they may be more willing to help you out as well.

Pick a Good Hotel

A trip can go from good to bad quickly if you don’t have the right accommodations booked. Before you choose a hotel in Cuba, you want to do plenty of research ahead of time to be sure the hotel you’re choosing is centrally located to the major tourist attractions and that it has the amenities you need during your stay. Whether you’re looking for 4-star hotels in Santiago de Cuba or want something that’s less luxurious, you should always check reviews and location to be sure that you’re picking accommodations that will fit your needs. Some hotels you can’t go wrong with, such as the Iberostar Imperial Hotel, but others should be fully reviewed before booking.

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Make a List

You should always make a packing list at least a week before you leave to ensure that you don’t leave any vital necessities behind when you leave. It can seem easy to simply pack right before you leave without creating or consulting a list, but when you do that you risk leaving things behind. Put together a comprehensive packing list and then consult it as you pack, giving yourself plenty of time to check things twice so you’re fully prepared when it’s time to go. And here’s why backpacking in Cuba is different, so check it out.

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Consider Travel Insurance

You never know when something could happen while you’re away. You could have a medical emergency and need to visit a local doctor or something worse could happen that may end up putting a damper on your trip. It’s best to be prepared for your trip before you go so that you can enjoy yourself worry free. You should especially consider travel insurance if you’re making a trip outside the country.

Carry Important Items in Your Carry-on

Certain important items, such as your electronics, documentation, extra clothes, and medication should go into your carry-on so that you have immediate access to them if needed. Over the years, airlines have gotten better about lost luggage but it does still happen and you don’t want to start your vacation off without some of the essential items you need or you could be in for a miserable time.

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Dress Comfortably

If you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time on an airplane, you should be prepared by dressing comfortably. Unless you’re traveling in first class, air travel is often an uncomfortable experience, which means you should do everything you can to make it more enjoyable. Wear loose clothing and compression socks if your feet and legs tend to swell when you fly. Bring a scarf that can double as a blanket, as airplanes tend to get cold. The more you can do to make yourself comfortable, the better off your flying experience will be.

Cuba is warm and casual, so when you’re planning all of those great things to do in Havana, make sure you’re comfortable.

If you can manage to follow these helpful tips when you plan your next vacation, you should be prepared when it’s time to leave. All you’ll have left to do is sit back and enjoy your vacation!