Anyone doing this trip?

Hi  Have just moved house and booked very late so mind in a whirl.  Did an Exodus trip a few years ago with a couple of friends and did a Gulet holiday with a singles company but this is my first trip on my own so it would be good to make contact befoe departure and share any tips etc as I haven't had time to do much research. eg. Are the mosis ferocious?

monty

Hi - I am ! I also travel alone and booked quite late. Really looking forward , people who have been to Cuba say it is a fantastic experience. I am still reading my guide book , hope that does not sound too serious. I will just take some bite stuff and antihistamines for the mozzies, unless in the meantime I hear otherwise.

carriewarnekey

Hi, I am going on the taste of Cuba experience departing 8th Aug. I only booked it today - all quite scary and late. I am coming on my own too! I have never done anything like this so i hope it will be good! Ive travelled alot of Europe on holidays with Friends, but never done anything quite like this. so i hope it will be ok! Carrie

SallieG

Hi, good to hear from both of you.  Carrie, it's nice to know someone is as bad as me for leaving decisions till the last minute.  I'm sure we'll be fine!!  I'm a secondary school teacher, soon to be Head of Year 7 but let's not talk too much shop!  Have you been able to get on the same flight from Gatwick?  they told me i had the last seat!!

monty

I am sure it is gonna be great ! I have a seat on the 11.45, Virgin flight from Gatwick (well I hope so ) Look forward to meeting you both. Cant wait to arrive in Havana for the first night .

By the way I am Tracy.

carriewarnekey

Hi Tracy/Sallie

Yeh i am on the flight (11.45) from Gatwick, had to bpay an excess of £40 to get on, but hey it was so last minute i kind of expected it. Got my Exodus luggage tag yesterday - exciting. Think im going to wear it on my hand luggage though!

Thats good Tracy - sounds like we'l have something in common re: teaching.

Ive borrowed a friends guide book so swatting up.

Its getting exciting now! :) Carrie

clotilde123

Hi everyone,

 so pleased to hear so many solo travellers have plucked up enough courage to do this trip..me too..first time on an Exodus trip and really excited. I am doing the usual, reading travel books and Graham Greene "Our Man in Havana", wondering what to pack (I have discovered a water filter bottle that gives clean water which is good) and generally boring my friends stupid about the fact I'm going to Cuba !!

 So pleased it's not all couples and we can share meals and trips out etc..will also be at Gatwick 11.45 with Exodus tag so will look out for you.

Looking forward to a wonderful holiday. Is anyone bringing stuff for the locals ? I'm not sure what they would appreciate.

I'm a social worker so another "public sector " person.

 Rosie

 

SallieG

Hi all.  I'm very impressed with all the research.  I have 2 guidebooks (very small) that I'm dipping into but otherwise I'm travelling with optimism and hoping for a good guide!  As for packing...I usually end up with the heaviest bag.  Full of good intentions but end up filling all the gaps.  This time though....(will probably be no different).  I'm not planning on taking anything to give away as I'm never sure the stuff goes where it should, I would like to think I can identify a need while away and support a charity on return.  I looked at a site called Stuff your Rucksack but there was no registered charity for Cuba.  What have you all doing re money?  My research has indicated Euros (which I ordered today and definitely nothing with USA connections.  It's good to know there are a few of us solos for companionship.  Beginning to feel it's a shame it's only a week :-)

SallieG

Hi all.  I'm very impressed with all the research.  I have 2 guidebooks (very small) that I'm dipping into but otherwise I'm travelling with optimism and hoping for a good guide!  As for packing...I usually end up with the heaviest bag.  Full of good intentions but end up filling all the gaps.  This time though....(will probably be no different).  I'm not planning on taking anything to give away as I'm never sure the stuff goes where it should, I would like to think I can identify a need while away and support a charity on return.  I looked at a site called Stuff your Rucksack but there was no registered charity for Cuba.  What have you all doing re money?  My research has indicated Euros (which I ordered today and definitely nothing with USA connections.  It's good to know there are a few of us solos for companionship.  Beginning to feel it's a shame it's only a week :-)

monty

Hi All, Sounds like between us we should be able to find some great places to explore after the guide book reads. Re the currency I am going to take some Convertable Cuban Pesos (which I understand to be the tourist currency, please correct me if wrong) and also euro. I also was not going to take anything for the locals as I heard that not always a good thing, But was told to take some 'samples' minis of cosmetics/shampoos for the staff at the hotels !! A friend of a friend did this trip last yr and gave me this info  - See U all at Gatwick. Tracy

 

SallieG

Hi Tracy

I understand that it is not permitted to take any Cuban money in or out of the country which is why I'm taking only euros.  Thomas Cook was really helpful when I made enquiries.  My maths is hopeless so converting to euros and then to Cuban pesos is going to be a nightmare for me!!  A well it's good to keep the brain busy.  Must start making a packing list soon.  Good tip about the toiletries. It'll be great to see some sun - the weather here in north wales is diabolical!

monty

Hi Sallie - thanks for the info re currency ! Happy packing

 

carriewarnekey

Hi Again, My friends parents went to cuba the other week - and apparently it is best to take english money - and change it up when there, that is also what the travel agents told me aswell! But slightly worried now if everyonre seems to be taking euros. Although gathering myu friends parents the other week and thats what they did, i assume it cant be too wrong! I know this is personal to diff people but how much are people planning on taking/changing in terms of pounds?? I was thinking £300 is this too much/litte? (Ive no idea!)

I brought a suitcase the other day - so started to get things together! App it is worth taking a small, lightweight rain coat! Carrie :)

clotilde123

Hello everyone,

Thanks for tips about packing..trying to keep the suitcase weight down at moment which is never easy. A bloke in Marks and Spencer today told me bring a torch as the electricity often goes out in evenings but it is never scary he says. Don't forgot swimming costume as I believe there is snorkling and stuff and I guess the rest is just comfortable, cool clothes and something if it rains.

 I'm looking forward to the music, architecture, beaches and the experience of being in a Communist country. I'm sure we'll have some great nights out.

I believe Euros/ Sterling are fine and you can get money changed when there.

Counting the days !!

 

SallieG

A colleague of mine is off to Cuba today -he's taking sterling.  His point being that we'll lose twice on exchange rates. Anyway my decision is made now as I have the euros in my bag.  Trip notes mention that there are ATMs in places and credit cards can be used.  I have erred on the side of taking more than I think I'll need.  I noticed the bit about waterproofs too so am going to look for something today - mine 's a bit bulky.  Just a note if any of you are travelling from out of London-check the tubes.  I'm travelling to my daughter's on Saturday and going to Victoria to get the Gatwick express on Sunday. Some tubes are down on Saturday but she thinks Sunday is mainly ok.  I'm off for some essential body maintenance now in preparation for the swimming costume!!! Yes, definitely getting exciting

carriewarnekey

Thanks for the tips re - torch- i'll pack mine! Went to London today and broke camera - so must sort that tomorrow! Flight is 11.45 - are people planning on getting to the airport 3 hours before e.g. 8.45? PS: Im so looking foward to the beaches and def want to do the day that suggested the catermaran! I dont need to book this beforehand do i?:)

SallieG

Bad news about your camera Carrie.  I'm hoping to book in on line which you can do in the 24 hrs before the flight.  I have, hopefully, already reserved a seat  through Exodus customer services.  Booking on-line means I don't have to be there the whole 3 hours before hand I think but I'll be aiming to get there in plenty of time.  My mobile no is 07738074663.  I'm really looking forward to the beaches and sunshine too and am definitely up for the catamaran trip. looking forward to meeting you

carriewarnekey

Hi Sallie - thanks for your number - ive put it into my phone. I have also booked my seats on the flight - going out im row 54 and seat A and back im row 80 and seat K. They said we get meals as standard on the flight and dont need to book them which is good! Also, yes i plan to check in online before hand - so ideally i'll get to the airport 2 hours before at say around 9am ish! Got to pack tonight thats the worst bit - now off to get eyebrows waxed - lol! And sort camera! :)

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