I only take in 25 US one dollar bills for my first tips. I do not exchange money when I am travel tired. If you are coming in from the U.S take Canadian dollars or Euros.
Why take US$ at all?
Interesting thing …if you are staying at a resort and say…can I find you tomorrow after I exchange my $…you will be able to find them.
Yes loonies & toonies while maybe more durable are not good for out of country. No coin can get exchanged. But wow you are loosing a lot with our bank rates to convert to 25 USD. (you loose close to $3.00??)
The smallest bill in Canada is the FIVE and I feel it is too lardge for most tips - Si !!! Foreign coins can not be exchanged in Cuba.
OK…I see where you are coming from. Since I travel every year, I always save around $30 cuc for when I return my next trip. For the first timer, your $25us is understandable.
I agree…don’t take the loonies & toonies.
I see a lot of confusion about this subject. Yes, it seems to look like you lose $3 on $25 when you change Canadian to US. But you don’t exactly lose that. Banks in Canada generally charge about a 2.5% exchange fee. So the only real loss is that 2.5%, or about 62.5 cents on $25. Where the real loss would be is if you tried to exchange in Cuba. Right now, $25 CDN would get you about 22 CUC at the bank in Cuba. It would buy you about $22 US at the bank in Canada. But then $22 US would buy about 19 CUC in Cuba.
But that’s all a bit of a moot point, because what Cubaking is talking about is taking a few US dollars to use for tips before getting the chance to exchange his money.
That isn’t an altogether bad idea, as the result is that when you tip with $1 US, rather than 1 CUC, you are effectively giving the Cuban person a tip of 87 centavos. Still better than no tip at all, from his/her point of view.
My preference is to take a few leftover CUC from the previous trip, but that wouldn’t be possible for someone going on their first trip. While that part of it shouldn’t be an issue for someone like Cubaking that has been to Cuba so many times, it could be a concern for some who may be worried about bringing CUC out of the country, since the new rule where it is not allowed came into effect. As much as some may worry about that, it usually doesn’t seem to be an issue. The new rule doesn’t seem to be generally enforced, and many travellers report bringing back modest amounts of CUC to use on their next trip.
People will laugh but I also carry 10 US singles along with about 30 CUCs… We leave in a couple of weeks and this time we have 80 CUC - we sold an old tablet to a staff member (for once I think we came out even;))
I haven’t had to use the US money for several years, but since the cadecas have been closed in many places, it is sometimes difficult to change CDN into CUCs; so the US might come in handy. Even knowing the drawback it’s a handy way have a small tip ready if needed.
I’ve always found it difficult to get enough 1CUC bills as I don’t like to carry a bunch of change with me.
If Aduana continue to seize CUC’s, then US $1’s will be the tip currency, just like DR.
My friend flew out of Cayo Largo 2 weeks ago and the CUC’s were seized at the Airport. The strange thing about it was once he payed for the duty free rum he was given CUC’s as change at the Airport and allowed to take the CUC’s out of Cuba.
Last week I asked our Sunwing Rep why this is taking place in Cuba and he said he had no idea. I asked if we would have our CUC’s seized leaving Santa Clara Airport and he had no idea. The CUC’s were not seized leaving Santa Clara Airport and no one even asked us if we had any.
The Sunwing tour Rep at the resort did tell us that the Cuban Government will be replacing the CUC’s so do not bring any home with us as the next time we arrive in Cuba it will be only souvenier money and worthless. He said this is to take place next month but it is Cuba so it could be a longer period of time but it will happen.
This is the first time in years that I have came back to Canada with no Cuban Currency for my next trip.
Freedom Ryder 8-)…
OK I am not sure still about bringing US$ to Cuba. Giving $1 Canadian to someone as same as giving $1 US because in both cases Cubans can not do anything with it. Cubans can not go to the bank and exchange US dollars and can not exchange Canadian coins as well. So can someone please explain why we should have some US$ bills with us?
I’m thinking that rather than try to exchange CUC back to Cdn, we could take a handful of light weight USD to use as last day tip money when the CUC’s run out.
I did not see any American money at the Airport or the resort but I did see quite a bit of Canadian bills as well as coins. People were paying Canadian at the Airport Duty Free and Canadian money to buy beer with. We were given the choice between paying $6.00 Canadian for 4 Cristal or 5 CUC’s for 4 Cristal. They told us that Canadian coins were welcome.
I will bring Canadian money on my next trip but no American. The Cadeca was still open at Santa Clara Airport and we arrived at 3:00 in the morning so we could have exchanged Canadian money to CUC’s if we wanted to.
Not sure if it is right to ask but 3am in the morning? What did you do 3 am in the morning at airport?
[quote=@admin][quote=@freedomryder] The Cadeca was still open at Santa Clara Airport and we arrived at 3:00 in the morning so we could have exchanged Canadian money to CUC’s if we wanted to.[/quote]Not sure if it is right to ask but 3am in the morning? What did you do 3 am in the morning at airport?
Our flight was late leaving Toronto heading to Cuba. The Sunwing plane had come in from Aruba and was confiscated by the Canadian Customs. The pilot announced that Canadian Customs had reason to believe that there were illegal drugs on the plane and Customs would have the plane for about 1 week. We were to leave Canada on Monday and arrive in Cuba Monday. Instead we arrived in Cuba on Tuesday. On the way home we were also delayed and instead of arriving just before 2 a.m. it was about 5 a.m.
Our last trip, we also were given the option of paying for beer in Canadian or cuc. I’ve never given a second thought to keeping some cuc for return. I understand some people would be hesitant to do so. I usually keep $1cuc coins in a 35mm film canister and have yet to have trouble. Last trip our carry-ons were checked when we were leaving, not sure what they were looking for, but I showed them the canister and they couldn’t have cared less about it. I also keep some paper cuc in my carry-on in one of my pants pockets.
I’ve yet to need more than $10cuc upon arrival, but that’s me
[quote=@freedomryder][quote=@admin]Not sure if it is right to ask but 3am in the morning? What did you do 3 am in the morning at airport?
[/quote]Our flight was late leaving Toronto heading to Cuba. The Sunwing plane had come in from Aruba and was confiscated by the Canadian Customs. The pilot announced that Canadian Customs had reason to believe that there were illegal drugs on the plane and Customs would have the plane for about 1 week. We were to leave Canada on Monday and arrive in Cuba Monday. Instead we arrived in Cuba on Tuesday. On the way home we were also delayed and instead of arriving just before 2 a.m. it was about 5 a.m.[/quote]
wow that is terrible. Sorry to hear that and I would like to hear more but … lets go back on the topic US dollars to Cuba
self edit- off topic
[quote=@admin]Giving $1 Canadian to someone as same as giving $1 US because in both cases Cubans can not do anything with it. Cubans can not go to the bank and exchange US dollars and can not exchange Canadian coins as well.
[/quote]Anyone - including Cubans - can take US Dollars to the Bank or Cadeca and exchange them into CUC. US Dollars face a 10% surcharge that no other foreign currency is hit with, but that aside USDs are perfectly legal foreign tender in Cuba.
That said, I personally would never use foreign currency for anything in Cuba. All my dealings are with CUC or CUP.
I always bring CUC with me (I ignore the no CUC export regulation) or a wait until I find a Cadeca to exchange my CAD into CUC. Resort tourists who feel the need to be tipping immediately are in a different situation of course, although I don’t really understand that “panic to tip” thing… To each their own…
I think it would be accurate to say that any of the currencies listed on the Banco Central De Cuba website could be exchanged, by tourists or by Cubans. As long as they are not coins.
Someone please correct me if I am in error.