Cuba is an exciting, agreeable destination for abandoned changeable travellers – but it pays to booty some precautions. Here’s how to break safe and adore your adventures
Pack breathable accouterment like maxi-dresses, midi skirts, shirts, belong acme and continued shorts – in cotton, tencel or linen for best comfort. You can dress up added for evenings out, contrarily do as Cubans do and accumulate it casual.
Humidity can be high, so backpack a fan, hat and sunglasses. Trainers and adequate sandals assignment best on the asperous streets, and a kaftan or cardigan helps on air-conditioned evenings. Bring an awning and cape in the cloudburst division (May-October) and beyond, as downpours are abrupt and intense.
All women, whether Cuban or visitors, acquaintance catcalling and wolf-whistles – accepted as piropos – from men. This is accustomed and usually non-threatening, and it happens whether you're cutting shorts (which are altogether adequate in best places) or a feature dress.
Either abstain comments, or acknowledge in Spanish: 'no me moleste' (pronounced 'no mee mol-ES-tay') which agency 'don't bother me'. Don't booty offence; the catcalls are an acid side-effect of adulthood culture, but they're annihilation to anguish about.
Solo biking isn't big in Cuba yet, and women travelling on their own is alike beneath common. That agency you'll be added apparent to the day-tripper touts, jineteros or jineteras, in chase of adorable CUC (tourist currency) cash. For example, they ability action to appearance you about or booty you to their favourite bar, and they'll apprehend a ample fee for accomplishing so. They're generally affiliated to the atramentous market. Just airing abroad and don't appoint with them.
Instead, booty a hop-on, hop-off bus bout in Havana, Vinales or Trinidad: abundant cheaper than the clichéd archetypal car tour, and you can apprentice to cross the streets after actuality pestered. Alternatively, booty a walking tour, area you ability accommodated agreeing abandoned travellers. Should you get lost, retreat to a café or boutique to argue your map. Apprentice some simple Spanish phrases to feel added independent, and backpack a byword book for back-up.
Stock up on tampons, germ-free towels, absterge and toilet cycle afore you arrive, as all are deficient here. Leave any extra toiletries at your accommodation – they'll be appreciated by bounded women.
Cuban women are appreciative of their admonishment rituals and tend to accept bright beard and make-up. They are, however, accomplished at cat-and-mouse in band for things, so visiting one of the country's boring arising adorableness parlours can booty a continued time. Should you crave a corrective fix in Havana, appointment Habana 1791 and amusement yourself to acceptable handmade Cuban perfume, as women from beyond the country do.
Take precautions with your handbag: if annihilation else, to abstain accident anniversary time to Cuban badge bureaucracy. Back you're out and about, backpack abandoned as abundant money as you need, possibly in a biking wallet, and use a secure, ambiguous bag with a athletic strap.
Cuba is a abundantly safe country, but petty annexation is accepted in areas like the Malecón (Havana's photogenic bank strip) and in the resort boondocks of Varadero. After a backbreaking day sightseeing, barrage a coco taxi, which looks a bit like a tuk-tuk, and is safer than walking abandoned at night in those prime day-tripper areas – abnormally back you've had a few daiquiris and you're not allotment of a group. Taxis are almost bargain and your assurance is far added important than extenuative a few CUCs.
Polly Allen is a travel-loving freelance announcer and blogger. Check out her blog: travellingcalavera.com
Follow her at twitter.com/misspallen