Guess what? You can't go on vacation in Cuba. Yeah, that's a new one isn't it?
After our fearless leader, President Obama, made his announcement about "normalizing relations" with the dictator-run country I'm sure your Facebook feed was filled with your friends sharing their dream vacations to Cuba (because awesome!). Well, I hate to break it to all your friends...but I wouldn't count on spending spring break there lounging on the beach.
A U.S. citizen looking to tour Cuba is going to be out of luck. It's still banned. Despite the President's best efforts, legalizing that is in the hands of Congress. That's not to say you can't go to Cuba. You just need to fit into certain categories. Categories that come straight from the White House:
"General licenses will be made available for all authorized travelers in 12 existing categories:
1. Family visits
2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
3. Journalistic activity
4. Professional research and professional meetings
5. Educational activities
6. Religious activities
7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
8. Support for the Cuban people
9. Humanitarian projects
10. Activities of private foundations, research, or educational institutions
11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
12. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines"
Personally, I have no desire to go to Cuba.
Yes, they have good cigars (I've heard). Yes, they have antique cars, antique buildings, antique streets, I could probably go on. But there's a reason everything is old. There may even be a reason Cubans risk their lives to get to the beaches of Florida. Maybe one day I'll decide to go. Who knows? Right now, I'd rather spend my hard earned money for a vacation in Costa Rica, for example.
You can spend your money however you want. I certainly won't stop you from trying to shake hands with the Castro family. Just don't expect to book your flight anytime soon. And don't expect me to be next in line when you do.
Is Cuba a place you'd like to go visit during a vacation?