You don’t have to abandon your own individual style when visiting Cuba, but there is a lot to be said for blending in with the locals. The reason for this is that you won’t be targeted for theft as a tourist, you will gain access to places otherwise inaccessible to tourists, and people will pretty much leave you alone to enjoy your holiday. When you depart your villa in Cuba on a sunny Caribbean morning, bear these tips in mind and your Cuban experience will be enriched beyond your wildest dreams.
Don’t wear brightly coloured clothing
Muted colours and pastel shades detract attention from you as a tourist. You will blend in with the locals and will be left to your own devices. Even wait until you arrive in Havana to purchase some of your clothing, that way you will definitely blend in!
Keep your camera in a bag
It’s tempting for people in a poorer country to be smitten by the huge expensive camera hanging around your neck. When it is not being used, store it in your camera bag so it doesn’t attract unwanted attention.
Keep your money in several places
Just carry what you need for the day with you. If you can, split up your money – part in a money belt, part in a wallet, and a few notes in your shoe. You can even split it between family members, this way you always have a backup stash if anything goes wrong.
Plan your day out in advance
You can still go off the beaten track but it’s always good to have a sense of where you are going, that way you don’t have to get out maps and guide books and look like a tourist in the middle of the street. If you do need to check maps, stop for a coffee and do it at the table.
Learn some Spanish
This is the best way to blend in with the locals. Even just a “hello”, “thank you” or “please” is a great way to ensure that you don’t look like a tourist. Locals really like it when you make an effort to speak their language.
Know where you are going and what you are doing at all times. People tend to leave confident individuals alone.
Cuba is a safe place to be, even in the cities, but it’s always good to try to blend in and don’t advertise the fact that you are a tourist – that’s sage advice when you visit anywhere in the world. This way when you step out of your vacation villa in Cuba you will be safe in the knowledge that you have done everything you can to be part of the local community and protect yourself from any unsavoury characters.
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