I figured we could have saved about $7,000 if we had booked our trip to Cuba without using a travel agency in Los Angeles that booked through a Cuban travel agency. Not only is it too many fingers in the pie, but they tend to penalize Americans and charge Americans more to travel to Cuba.
The People-to-People Exchange presented to us as a reason to travel to Cuba did not really exist. I'm sure the other types of tours as those through National Geographic do involve local Cubans but our solo trip did not, even though it was promised to us.
The hotels are relatively cheap, meals very inexpensive, and nothing is really expensive, unless they can charge you more for being an American. That's not to say I regret going or that I regret booking through the Los Angeles travel agency that we used, because that would not be a true statement. I am very glad we went to Cuba, and to try to book this travel without first-hand experience would have been sort of a nightmare. But in retrospect, we did spend a lot more than what was really required.
I'm sure, too, once the Embargo is lifted, the level of service and the type of accomodations offered will be vastly improved once Western influence moves in. But if we wanted a 5-star vacation, we could have stayed at the Four Seasons in Miami, which is where we stayed on our return home, just to recoup. We wanted to experience Cuba, in all of her craziness and contradictions, and that we did.
You can see more photos and hear more about what it costs to go to Cuba in my personal blog today at this link, as my final and LAST blog about Cuba: What Does it Cost for Americans Visiting Cuba During the Embargo?
Certified HAFA Specialist
Sacramento Real Estate Listings
Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.
The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.
Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.