Can Americans still Travel to Cuba – ¿aún podemos viajar a Cuba?

This is a Spanish version of our recent article Travel to Cuba Now Possible with Instant World Booking

Los viajeros estadounidenses siguen preguntando, “¿aún podemos viajar a Cuba?” La respuesta es definitivamente sí. Pero si se pregunta cómo, esto es lo que necesita saber sobre los viajes a Cuba.

En noviembre, la administración Trump reforzó los lazos comerciales y de viaje con Cuba, parte de su esfuerzo por revertir la apertura histórica del ex presidente Barack Obama con La Habana. Las nuevas reglas llegaron casi cinco meses después de que el presidente Trump anunciara que revertiría las políticas de la era de Obama que relajaron el embargo comercial de décadas contra la isla comunista.

Las nuevas restricciones afectan principalmente a los viajeros individuales. Sí, aún puede contratar una compañía de excursiones y unirse a una visita guiada que garantice que cumple con todos los requisitos y cumple con el horario completo de actividades que requieren. Pero, ¿qué pasa con los viajeros individuales, hostelers o personas aventureras que desean apoyar la visión humanitaria de Cuba, mientras viajan de manera independiente? Bajo las nuevas reglas del Departamento del Tesoro, se han eliminado los viajes individuales de “persona a persona”, que han permitido a los viajeros estadounidenses individuales visitar Cuba con fines educativos por sí solos en oposición a un grupo de turistas. Esta eliminación ha tenido repercusiones obvias para compañías como Airbnb, que son famosas para los viajeros individuales.

Sin embargo, Instant World Booking ahora ingresó al mercado cubano y ofrece una alternativa fresca a Airbnb y otros servicios de alojamiento en pequeños hoteles y casas particulares cubanos únicos e individuales. Los legisladores han asegurado que los viajeros individuales todavía pueden visitar la isla si es en apoyo del pueblo cubano. Aunque es poco conocida por los viajeros estadounidenses de hoy, esta garantía está escrita en la ley.

Así es como usted, como viajero individual, todavía puede visitar legalmente Cuba hoy. Una de las razones aprobadas para viajar a Cuba se llama “Apoyo al pueblo cubano”. En esta categoría de viajes, participa en actividades que resultan en una interacción significativa con personas en Cuba. Esto ahora incluye actividades tales como alquilar una habitación en una residencia privada cubana (casa particular), comer en restaurantes cubanos de propiedad privada (paladares) y comprar en tiendas privadas manejadas por cubanos independientes (cuentapropistas). Por lo tanto, alquilar uno de los muchos alojamientos privados ahora disponibles en Instant World Booking puede ayudar a facilitar el viaje a Cuba que espera realizar. Pero recuerde, para cumplir con el requisito de un horario de tiempo completo, también debe contratar un Apoyo autorizado adicional para las actividades del Pueblo cubano. Le sugerimos que consulte los requisitos reales en una de estas dos fuentes oficiales:

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?mc=true&node=se31.3.515_1574&rgn=div8

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_faqs_new.pdf

Mejor aún, ¿necesita obtener algún tipo de licencia o autorización del gobierno de EE. UU.? No. Como un viajero estadounidense a Cuba, puede comenzar a planificar su viaje hoy. Se llama licencia general y, siempre que cumpla con las actividades y los requisitos descritos en las fuentes anteriores, su viaje está permitido. Pero, le sugerimos que lea las reglas a fondo. Tendrá que mantener algunos registros con respecto a su horario y viaje. Recuerde, usted es el responsable final de garantizar que su viaje cumpla con las reglamentaciones.

Para celebrar nuestro compromiso de viajar a Cuba, hemos presentado un nuevo sitio web Book Cuba Hostels, Hotels, & Casa Particulares, que ofrece un amplio conjunto de opciones de alojamiento en Cuba. Este sitio se une a más de más de 100 sitios en nuestra red propietaria de hoteles, hostales y apartamentos en todo el mundo. Además, estamos comenzando a trabajar con grupos estadounidenses y cubanos para facilitar el alojamiento de grupos de viaje oficiales dentro de nuestra red de alojamientos privados en Cuba.

Esperamos que esté inspirado por este artículo, y tal vez considere un viaje a Cuba en el futuro cercano. Recuerde que su presencia puede ayudar a apoyar a la sociedad civil en Cuba y promover la independencia del pueblo cubano. Por favor, no dude en ponerse en contacto con Instant World Booking con cualquier pregunta que pueda tener.


20 Tips To Make International Holiday Travel Easy

Are you planning a trip out of the Country for the Holidays this year? We all think to visit family and friends out of town or to simply get away while you have a few extra days off. Let us give you some forethought and preparation to help you stay safe, healthy, and sane on your way. Traveling abroad and being in a strange place can be a bit intimidating, and to add to the stress, traveling over the Holidays! You just cant plan for everything, but keeping a few important things in mind will make your travels much easier, like keeping a list of your medications in your wallet, in case they get misplaced also, make copies of your ID, Passports, ect.

To read more about International Holiday Travel and how to prepare for your trip, see the link below:

Happy Travels!

http://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/travel-tips/20-tips-safe-holiday-travel/

www.hosteltraveler.com

 


Everything You Need to Know to Choose the Right Accommodation

Choosing to travel is one of the best decisions any young person can make. If you’re heading off to travel the world then one of the most difficult decisions you will make is which countries and cities you should visit. The next most difficult decision is where you should stay when you arrive at your destination! To help you get that important decision right. here are a few ideas and tips for making the right accommodation choices before you set off on your adventures:

To Plan or Not To Plan?

One of the questions many backpackers ask themselves is just how much of their travelling itinerary should they plan ahead before they set off? The answer to this question lies in just how much of a free spirit you are! For some simply having a return plane ticket is too much organization. Other travelers wouldn’t feel comfortable hitting the road unless they had a full itinerary and confirmed hotel or hostel reservations in every town and city they choose to visit. The pro of booking your holiday accommodation in advance is that you can be sure you’ll have somewhere to rest your head when you get off your plane and just want a lie down! If you’re visiting a new city during an important festival or national holiday then it will also give you the security of having a room when one might be hard to come by. The con though is that it is much harder to be spontaneous: if you meet a handsome stranger and want to stay somewhere a little longer then you could lose the deposit money you’ve already laid out for future hotels if you can’t stick to the schedule you’d planned months in advance.

Which Accommodation Type to Choose

The most common accommodation type for travelers and backpackers looking to spend a significant amount of time away from home is the hotel. Obviously hotel prices vary wildly, depending on whether you’re looking for a luxury or a budget room.  Most travelers are looking for budget hotels. These will offer a comfortable bed, somewhere to shower (in either an en suite or communal bathroom) and other basic facilities, but don’t expect a maid service or mint on your pillow each night! If you’re looking to save even more money then why not try a hostel? If you’ve never stayed in a hostel before then it can be a daunting accommodation type to choose. Hostels tend to be much more basic than hotels, with fewer amenities, and you will usually have to share a dormitory style room with several other travelers that you might not know. The benefits of this, however, are that you may quickly find yourself making friends with like minded travelers and that hostel rooms are significantly cheaper than hotel rooms. If you’re travelling with a large group of friends, rather than on your own, then you may find that your numbers make it more cost effective to hire a holiday cottage or timeshare for the duration of your visit. The benefit of this is that you’ll be afforded a little more luxury in this kind of self catering accommodation, with your own kitchen and somewhere to do your laundry!

Think Food!

Finally, you should consider where you will be eating during your travels, and how your accommodation can help to accommodate this. As mentioned above, self catering accommodation such as a time share or holiday cottage will come equipped with a kitchen, making it simple to whip up some affordable eats. Many hostels also come with communal kitchens for backpackers on a budget, providing you with somewhere to make sandwiches or store food from the grocery store: much cheaper than eating out every day! If you choose to stay in a hotel then you will have fewer options when it comes to storing your own food, however you can keep some small snacks in your room: snacks in foreign restaurants can often cost as much as a meal, so this is a great way to save money Just be weary of using the mini bar, even for keeping snacks and drinks cold, as many sensitive hotel mini bars will attempt to charge you just for opening the door! If you do have tight budgetary constraints though, maybe an accommodation option that will allow you to cater for yourself is the best choice for you!


Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 4

Continued from Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 3

Easy Come, Easy Go

Because we often know little about the places that we are visiting we may feel more secure booking everything in advance. By doing this we can lose out on many great opportunities. Once you’re on the road, so much information can be collected firsthand from other travelers, or from locals in the area. Accommodation doesn’t need to be booked weeks in advance, so if you’re in one place and you hear some fellow travelers raving about where they’ve just been, you can chose that as your next destination. There are plenty of websites that can provide you with accommodation options and help with last minute booking. Often, you can grab yourself some bargains doing it this way.

Travel arrangements are often easier to make once you’re in a location also. It may have seemed, from the internet that getting a plane was your easiest option, but when you’re actually in another country you begin to realize that the buses are astronomically efficient, or a train journey is an unmissable experience, or your new found friends have hired a car. Do some necessary planning but don’t be afraid to leave some spaces. Things are often much easier overseas than we are led to believe and we don’t want to limit ourselves with over precautions.

Enjoy yourself

These ideas will help you make the most of what will undoubtedly be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. Having some good back-up advice on-board means less needless worry and more time to focus on what really matters: having fun, meeting new people, absorbing new cultures, embracing exhilarating experiences, really ‘living’ your trip and having the time of your life.


Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 3

Continued from Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 2

Ill? Me? Not Likely!

Check out the information for the countries that you may be visiting and ensure that you’ve had the right inoculations before you go. Some countries will expect you to show evidence of inoculations; particularly against Yellow Fever. It is a good idea to pack some basic supplies with you so that you only need to use pharmacies for the out of the ordinary illnesses. Painkillers, diarrhea tablets and rehydration salts are great basics. Make sure you have up to date and relevant cover should you become unwell and need emergency care. Don’t forget to ensure that you are always covered; this needs to be top of list should you decide to stay somewhere longer than originally planned. Bear in mind the activities that you may be tempted to do. If you might go bungy-jumping in the jungle, riding down the world’s most dangerous road or surfing supreme, inform yourself beforehand of any risks and ensure you’re going to be okay in any eventuality.


Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 2

Continued from Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 2

Don’t Take Stuff You Can’t Bear To Lose

You’re going to be living a transitory lifestyle and safe-guarding belongings can be more difficult under those circumstances. Many hostels have security boxes but if you’re constantly trying to navigate the security of your possessions, it will be a burden. Things that are very, very valuable to you are best left at home. Things that are pretty valuable to you, keep on your person or locked somewhere secure. Even if you think you can trust everyone sharing your dormitory you can really never know.

On the street, keep valuables as close to your person as possible (either out of sight altogether or in a bag that is durable in crowds). There is no need for paranoia, but some scam artists operate by causing distractions whilst your bag is slashed and your belongings taken. Buy a bag that’s resilient or wear your rucksack forwards facing. Be careful not to be too flash with your belongings. You never know who may be watching you whilst you Skype on your IPad or counting the money you’ve just taken from the bank. Practice caution and modesty. Often it’s much more cost-effective to buy a cheap mobile phone in the countries that you visit, than to use your state-of-the-art one from home.


Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 1

Top Travelers Backpack with Brains

In all the excitement of receiving those round the world tickets, (or planning your route around Europe, Asia, or wherever), whilst attending the numerous fair well soirees often we forget the fact that this trip is real. You are actually going. With this in mind, we would like to share some easy fundamentals that will help you make the ultimate of ultimate experiences. We don’t want to be too militant. In fact going with the flow is to be advocated, but laying some foundations that will help along the way is a good idea. Being a bit brainy will help your backpacking experience be so much easier and easier is good. Huffing and puffing your way around the world wishing you were at home is not the way to go.  Backpacking is the experience of a lifetime (especially when done well). For the most enjoyable of trips, here’s some of the best advice from those in the know:

Be a Smooth Operator: Packing Less is Best

Seriously, you may know already if you’ve ever hiked your way into a music festival with your saucepans swinging from the arms of your rucksack, packing too much just makes you feel tired, frustrated and a bit silly. As a backpacker, you’re going to be on the move. There will be times when you’re up at 4am in the morning when everyone in the dorm is sleeping and you want to be able to make an exit that is quiet and nicely done. Don’t become an infamous carrier bag rustler – the world already has too many. Make an art form of what you pack and pack light. You will feel so much more confident with a lighter bag – and yes, on occasion, maybe a even a little smug.

By packing as little as possible you will infinitely benefit yourself. You won’t want to burst into tears every time you have to dash for a bus, or train, or somehow do a 12 hour bus journey with your backpack on your lap. You won’t have to pay additional charges to get it on the plane. You won’t find it so laborious every time you have to pack and unpack your bag to find something (that is always, without fail, right at the bottom). You won’t have to do so much washing and you will have space if you need it for lovely new things you pick up along the way.


IWB Channel Manager now connects to LateRooms.com

New Service Announcement: IWB Channel Manager now connects directly to LateRooms.com and 5 additional new sites, including HouseTrip, FlipKey, Ebab.com, Wimdu.com, and 9Flats. Connect to these services now for no additional cost.

IWB Channel Manager already connects to over 150 of the most popular booking sites. If you’re not already using this valuable service, you can immediately connect your calendar to sites like Booking.com, Expedia, HostelWorld, Orbitz, Travelocity, and many more. Many accommodations use these booking sites to increase profits. But, learning how to use multiple calendar interfaces can be a real hassle. Avoid the hassle, because you only need to update one calendar of availability.

If you haven’t tried IWB Channel Manager before, now is the time. The cost is only $14 per month. Eliminate many hours of work each week. If you already use a channel management service, now is the time to consider switching. Stop paying too much. Instant World Booking offers incredible savings and convenience.

Why sign up for Channel Manager today?

Less than $14 per month
Update your calendar on over 150 booking sites, plus the GDS, for one low price
Multiply your exposure with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, and many more
All major hostelling sites included, even HostelWorld.com
Save time by managing your calendar only once

Sign up today, and have all your calendars synchronized by tomorrow. You can purchase just one month at a time, so there’s nothing to lose by trying it. Just log into your profile and proceed to the Channel Manager page.

Questions?
More information?

For the perfect complement to IWB Channel Manager, try these other services (Hint: ask about our free demos):
IWB Booking engine
IWB Front Desk (property management system)


Traveling through Eastern Europe by Train or Bus

Courtesy of 3 Bros Hostel in Cieszyn:

Traveling through Eastern Europe seems to be an easy thing. There are a lot of direct trains connecting the most popular tourist destinations such as Krakow, Prague, Budapest and Vienna.  Ticket prices may seem quite reasonable for foreign western tourists, however for Eastern European standards they are extremely expensive. It’s possible to save a lot of money and maintain (or increase!) the comfort of travel.

In a past there were 2 direct trains from Krakow to Budapest/Budapest to Krakow.  However the standard of travel was close to be acceptable, it was the most popular way to get to Budapest/Krakow. There is just one night train from Budapest to Krakow at the moment (number of trains was probably reduced due to poor financial condition of the polish public railways).  Travel takes ages and it is not cheap.

Instead of train you can choose one of two bus companies (Orangeways http://orangeways.com/en or Eurolines http://www.eurolines.pl/en/home-page ).  Tickets are twice as cheap and it takes just 7-8 hours to get to the next destination. Unfortunately the bus only leaves a few days each week – not every day.

Same story with connections: Krakow-Vienna. The train is quite comfortable, but much more expensive than a bus (http://www.eurolines.pl/en/home-page ).

You can also get a bus ticket from Krakow to Prague/Prague to Krakow, but it doesn’t leave very frequently, just 2-3 days a week. Direct trains are extremely expensive (60-70 Euros!), so travelling through Cieszyn (a border city) is becoming a more popular way to get from Prague to Krakow/Krakow to Prague. Starting from Krakow, you simply need to catch a bus from Krakow Main Bus Station to Cieszyn. Buses runs every hour (except the night time – last one departs around 10 pm and the first one around 6 am). It takes about 3 hours to get to Cieszyn and regular ticket costs approx. 5 Euros. After arrival, there is about a 20 minute walk from the Polish to the Czech part of the same city, called now Cesky Tesin (yeah, both Polish and Czech variations are so difficult to pronounce…). From the train station in Cesky Tesin, depart a lot of trains to Prague.  Just don’t forget to exchange money – for train tickets you need to pay in Czech Korunas. Catch train (ticket costs around 16 Euros), relax for about 4 hours, and finally you’re in Prague! So simple, so fast, so cheap!

For any detailed information about your travel – you can check the new Cieszyn 3 Bros Hostel’s website – they’ve got all the important information (timetables, directions) on: http://3broshostel.com/en/how-to-get-there

Other connections seem to be bit easier.

It’s quite cheap to get from Prague to Budapest/Budapest to Prague by bus(check Orangeways www.orangeways.com or Eurolines https://www.elines.cz/en/).

…and Prague to Vienna/Vienna to Prague (Eurolines https://www.elines.cz/en/ or Regiojet http://jizdenky.studentagency.cz/).

If you really enjoy trains – do not hesitate to take the one from Prague to Bratislava/Bratislava to Prague. The price is more than reasonable, and trains are comfortable.

Generally, Czech but also Slovakian railways are quite good and cheap, as compared to Polish and Hungarian ones.

Enjoy your travel!

Hostels in Czech Republic