Adventure on a Budget: Havana, Cuba

This week’s travel plan on a budget takes us to the Caribbean island of Cuba! Havana is Cuba’s beautiful capital, and the people certainly match the atmosphere. Although historically rooted in conflict and trade-wars with the United States, you can now visit Cuba with a special kind of tourist visa. With a limitless amount of things to do in Havana over a week-long stay, this destination is truly one of a kind.

 

Dates: October 8th - October 15th

 

Flight Cost: $215 out of Boston Logan Airport (https://www.skyscanner.com)

For the price of an upscale dinner date in the city, you can get a roundtrip ticket to and from Havana, Cuba! United and Delta Airlines will get you there and back comfortably on a six-hour direct flight.

 

Housing Costs: $57 (https://www.hostelworld.com)

Drobels Hostel, Havana, Cuba

Hostels are by far the cheapest (and most fun!) way to experience a solo trip, and Drobels Hostel in the center of Havana’s Old City is proof of that. For just $8 a night, you can share a beautiful room with other international travelers. Is communal life not your style? Fear not, upgrade to a more private room for just a few more bucks per night! Located just steps from the city’s Central Park and adorned with terraces and colorful furniture, this hostel encompasses traditional Cuban style at a fraction of the cost.

 

Transportation: $40 - $80 (https://lonelyplanet.com)

Due to importation bans on American cars after the Cuban Revolution, stepping into Cuba is a bit like stepping into the 1950s as their vintage cars still rumble down the streets. Although the classic cars definitely take home gold on style, they’re a bit pricier than other modes of transportation, so stick to the public bus ($5 - $10 per day), bici-taxis (around $2 per trip) or good ol’ fashioned walking when choosing how to get around the city.

 

Food: $150 (https://goatsontheroad.com)

Meals won’t run you too much in Cuba. Smaller plates called “peso” foods such as pizza, sandwiches, rice dishes, etc. cost around $3 each, while bigger plates like pasta, fish and meat are more in the $8 range. According to Goats on the Road, you should keep in mind that Cuban portions can be huge, so consider sharing a couple dishes with friends before ordering the most expensive item on the menu. Depending on how much you indulge of course, enjoying alcohol can be done frugally! Draft beers are around $1 and classic cocktails shouldn’t exceed $3 at local restaurants/bars.

 

Excursions: $80

The great part about visiting Cuba is the close proximity to all the sightseeing. Old Havana, Fusterlandia, El Morro, Plaza de la Catedral, El Capitolio and the Malecon are just a handful of gorgeous, free of charge spots located right in the middle of town. Famous cigar factories and select museums are a must-see in Havana, and for just around $10 each, it’s a worthy expenditure. 

 

Total Estimated Cost: $562

Given there may be front or back-end fees here and there, maybe you lose some baggage or decide to splurge on plane food – give or take a few bucks, but overall, this number isn’t far off from what you could spend on an entire trip to Cuba. Travel should never be thought of as something exclusively for the wealthy, if you do some research, you can find deals like these and have your dream vacation without feeling guilty!