What to Pack for a Week in Cuba
Dying to spend some time wandering the brightly colored streets of Havana or lounging on the gorgeous white sands of Varadero? You’re not alone. Interest in travel to Cuba has spiked since the Obama administration first relaxed travel restrictions in 2016. Although the current U.S. government has reinstated some of the original restrictions, it’s still possible for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba without much hassle. Now that you know how to get to the Caribbean’s largest island nation, let’s talk about what to pack!
First thing’s first – the weather in Cuba is pretty much always hot and humid. While you’re likely to have a sea breeze nearly everywhere you go (especially in tourist enclaves like Havana and Trinidad), it’s still important to pack lightweight, breathable clothing. If you travel during the rainy season (May to October), like I did, make sure you pack a rain jacket to shelter you from the daily afternoon storms! I never leave home without my KÜHL AIRSTORM JACKET.
Cuban style is very casual, so unless you’re going out for a fancy night on the town, you’ll always fit in no matter what you wear. I wore tank tops nearly the entire time I was in Cuba – some a bit fancier than others. For the time I spent on the beach at Varadero, I loved the KÜHL ASPIRA TANK as an easy, breezy coverup option! The KÜHL TRISTA TANK and STRATTUS SHORTS were the perfect pairing for a bike tour on the streets of old Havana. And of course, I drank my fair share of mojitos while out at night in the KÜHL SKÜLPT DRESS.
Things to Know
- The water in Cuba is not potable, so pack a filtering device. Depending on your destination, bottled water may be difficult to find, so plan ahead and make sure you’re prepared.
- Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes.
- Sunscreen, bug spray, and toiletries are in short supply and expensive – bring your own.
- Cuban currency is only available in Cuba. Bring Euros (recommended) or American dollars (taxed at a higher rate) to exchange in the airport. NO American credit or debit cards can be used on the island!
- No outlet converters are needed!
- Wi-Fi is only available in limited public areas, so don’t bother with your laptop.
Official Packing List
- Water filtering device (I use the GRAYL water bottle)
- Enough cash to last your entire trip (I budgeted about $100/day and paid for all my lodging ahead of time)
- An offline mapping app like Maps.me with locations of your lodging and other points of interest
- Bug spray
- Any toiletries you think you could possibly need!
- Toilet paper/wipes (not always available, or may cost money in public restrooms)
- Hand sanitizer
- 2 casual tank tops – I love the ASPIRA and TRISTA!
- 2 dressy tank tops or short sleeved shirts
- Loose-fitting pants (think linen) – Try the CABO PANT
- 2 pairs of shorts – I love the STRATTUS!
- 1 shorter length dress – Try the SKÜLPT
- 1-2 maxi dresses for evenings
- 1 pair of dressy sandals and 1 pair of active sandals
- Rain jacket – I highly recommend the AIRSTORM!
- A multi-towel or compact blanket to use for beach trips
- Moisture-wicking undergarments – trust me on this one!
- A hat like the KÜHL SUN DAGGER for sun protection