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First time to cuba

first time here and have a few questions
trips out of resort interested in going to a medical clinic
what is the best gifts to bring with limited bagage weight
flying with sunwing

If you’re only going for a week, men need two or three bathing suits, two or three pairs of shorts, three t-shirts, one dress short sleeve shirt, two pairs of comfortable walking shoes/sandals, and underwear, plus a windbreaker style jacket and wide-brimmed hat. Bring 1-2 bottles of sunscreen because it will likely be very expensive to buy there. On the plane, where lightweight dress pants, a short-sleeve dress shirt and perhaps a suit jacket and summer dress sandals.

When I go Nov. 24, I’m taking one or two dresses, two skirts, three or four pairs of shorts, three tank tops, two t-shirts, three pairs of shoes, four bikinis, underwear and wide-brimmed hat, plus two bottles of sunscreen. On the plane, I’ll wear long light-weight pants, a t-shirt, cotton dressy/casual jacket and comfortable walking shoes.

The clothes for my husband and I are split between one checked and one carry-on luggage. All of this fits, plus medications and make-up. If it doesn’t, I take some out. With the other checked and carry on luggage I plan on taking clothes, fishing lures, baseball mitts or balls (as last time I was there I saw children playing without mitts and only one very old ball), some tools such as wrenches (hopefully they won’t get confiscated by Cuba customs) because drill and socket sets aren’t useful in a country where electricity is scarce for power tools. I’m just trying to think of things that are useful for people without much. Toothbrushes and paste, school supplies (give them to the teachers), mini-toiletries are all good. www.notjusttourists.ca can help get you 10kg of medical supplies to take, which is allowed, according to the itinerary I got from AMA yesterday.

For trips off resort, Havana is a must, and I’d highly recommend a cemetery tour, which seems odd, but definitely one of the highlights.

:slight_smile: You will find all sorts of answers to your questions on Debbies Cuba board. We taking dried soups, small sewing kits, "medical kits (bandaids, antiseptic wipes, ointments, etc), we’ll pack our bags with the clothes and shoes we wear and will leave them there. Most of the resor have some sort of medical office where you can leave your medical stuff, the cusotmer relations folks can divvy out the othe stuff you bring, sounds like the Cubans can do with just about everyting (clothes pins, rope, twine, fishing line and hooks, guitar strings, toothbrushes, toothpaste etc.) You name it, they can use it. Take a thermal travel mug with you and leave it with someone down there. They would be most appreciative.

Don’t forget that you can tip with cash, too. Easy to carry. We went on an excursion with one of the resorts we stayed at and all the folks wanted were cigarettes. We don’t smoke but if we took matches and/or a lighter, that might be a useful idea.

Not sure which part of Cuba you are going to but check out the Cuba forum. Lots of tips and answers there.

Have a great trip! :-*

Do yourself a fovour saskfirsttimer , take things that are light in weight.
Like the previous post said , that they need everything.
But don’t forget , the number 1 thing they need is cash . It always fits perfect !

There is much too much about ‘Gifts’ and tipping these days. Go enjoy your trip. Those of us who have been to Cuba a few times start to understand what we want to bring along as extras. If you feel compelled to bring more then connect with an organization like http://www.njttoronto.ca/links.htm and bring down a humanitarian case.

But please to going to Cuba does not require you take down gifts. It really doesn’t. Cubans are a really proud people - that is part of what makes them for me so special. Yes apparently they do need soap after all the Hurricanes and the devastation. They also need food staples like rice and beans. Will I be bring these down with me - yes - but I know who I am giving these things to as I visit them in their home. For me it is no different than taking flowers to a friend when we visit their home.

As a new traveler - PLEASE - go enjoy yourself, spend your extra dollars on buying Cuban local art or crafts. That will help them and allow you to feel like you have added to their culture not imposing tipping or gifts (our culture) on them. That is what my suggestion would be to a 1st time Cuban traveler.

Nylon guitar strings are very light and have been the absolutely top most-appreciated gift I have brought down in 7 trips. If you like the music, it’s nice to support it.

If you are planning on visiting a medical clinic it would be well to contact http://www.njttoronto.ca/links.htm as they would certainly appreciate the donation.
I agree with Canuks, enjoy your vacation, tip well for good service when deserved and relax. The country has much to offer. Enjoy.

I hope that the above comment is just a suggestion.
A REAL MAN should know what to pack for himself. I would be totally embarrassed if a wife or girlfriend had to pack my suitcase for me. ::slight_smile:

I hope that the above comment is just a suggestion.
A REAL MAN should know what to pack for himself. I would be totally embarrassed if a wife or girlfriend had to pack my suitcase for me. ::)[/quote]

Well stated and…
I really cant imagine, why I would need 3 bathing suits?
When I go back to my room from the beach,
I take my bathing suit into the shower with me
to wash the salt out and then hang it on the balcony to dry


A REAL MAN should know what to pack for himself. I would be totally embarrassed if a wife or girlfriend had to pack my suitcase for me. ::)[/quote]

;D ;D…here’s how it works in our house:
I organize all our tropical clothes into two piles…his and hers. My pile doesn’t get touched, no matter how many items it contains ;). Hubby goes through his pile and yahs or nays the items. It is not unknown for him to sneak in a shopping spree to add to his pile :o…I would never do that ;).

Saskfirsttimer, don’t worry about gift giving but go and have a wonderful time. Your tourist dollars will be a collective gift to the people of Cuba.

A REAL MAN should know what to pack for himself. I would be totally embarrassed if a wife or girlfriend had to pack my suitcase for me. ::)[/quote]

:slight_smile: First of all, we pour ourselves a glass of wine. Then Beau puts out what he wants to take (he knows what he’ll need) , I do the packing. Then he’s the one who weighs the suitcases when I’m done and I get to take out half of what I’ve packed for myself - I’ve cut it down to taking only one pair of evening shoes :’( ;). It’s called teamwork in our house and adds to the pre-trip anticipation. :-*

thanks for all the words of advice keep all those handy tips coming.
having fun… not a problem I can do that :wink:
Thanks steffiej for moving this to the right place like I said first timer.


:slight_smile: First of all, we pour ourselves a glass of wine.[/quote]

Ah yes, bag packing anti-stress medication…must remember that tip :slight_smile: