I’d officially booked my trip to Havana, Cuba yesterday through a company called http://www.tripcentral.ca with my agent named Lisa. After playing phone tag with her for a bit I put down my $250 deposit on my $595 trip. That amount includes round trip airfare, hotel at a 2.5 star hotel, breakfast and all taxes and single supplement fees [bah]. In my books an amazing deal. I could have paid less then $200 more to be staying at an all inclusive property. But budget aside, I am not the type of person who likes to stay at the hotel for the entire time, nor do I feel it’s convenient to have to come back to the hotel for every meal and it would be a waste of money to pay for meals and not eat them. Thus I picked Kohly Bosque Havana Hotel. The remainder of my trip cost is due December 3rd.
I will be leaving Lester B. Pearson Airport(to date still my favorite airport) at 6:20 AM. Which means I will have to take airlink at roughly between 2 AM and 2:30 AM. I will be touching down in Varadero around 10AM, then as Lisa said I will be “chartered” to Havana. I am kicking myself for not asking her what she meant by that and if it is apart of the package, or at my own expense and if so how much will it cost me. Varadero is roughly 2 hours from Havana and the place of choice for my many cousins who traveled to Cuba on frequent bases.
When leaving Havana I will need to make my way to the Varadero Airport for a 10:20 PM flight arriving at Lester B. Pearson airport shortly before 2 AM. I haven’t been on a flight that short since my trip to Calgary in 1999.
So any one who has read my past post about trying to decide on a location for my trip during my companies’ renovation in January would have read that I had consider several options – Venezuela, Cuba, Venice Italy (again). Privately I had also consider Iceland, taking advantage of the countries economic collapse and the starkingly bottom of the barrow low airfare ($455USD from JFK http://www.icelandair.com). I was pretty dead set on Iceland, until the Canadian dollar began to drop drastically against the USD making the fabulous airfare to Iceland not so fabulous.
Because of little time to save and still planning on going to Africa this summer (no one tell the boss) budget for a trip in January is going to be sparse. Really sparse a minimum of $1450 all and all. That has to cover the:
- Cost of trip: $595
- Airlink transportation from Brantford to Toronto: $160 RT
- Insurance (learned this from last year): $90
- Cuban departure tax $25CUC = $32.77CAN
- Daily spending budget of 100$/day = $800
Total: $1677.77 Over budget by $277.77
Not really a big deal. My min budget is based on saving $200 every pay for the next 6 pays. My last pay I’ll most likely have full access to, but in case I don’t I’ll have to increase my savings by $46.29 a pay. This is not including any donations (see donation page 🙂 ) Christmas gifts, and my January tax refund.
I currently haven’t planned on an itinerary as of yet. But I do know I want to see at least:
- Old Havana
- Swim with Dolphins
- Tropicana – famous stage show. It’s expensive at 70$ So this is a maybe.
- Hemingway Museums.
- Bathing suit X 2
- Hat (Do I own any?)
- Shorts/Capri X 3
- T-shirts, respectable tank tops x 4
- Beach towel/sarong X 1
- Flip flops and sandals ( one pair of thongs and one pair of straps)
- Non perishable snacks (nothing that will melt)
- Guide book- Frommer’s Cuba
- 8 pairs of underwear, 4 bras 1 pair of socks that will never be used
- My travel planner by Ryland, Peters and Small (see previous post)
- Small first aid kit and travel pharmacy (Tylenol, pepto, condoms, sanitary protections.
- 2 small 100ml bottles of each shampoo and Conditionar or 2 bottles of 2-in-1)
- Waterproof eyeliner and mascara and chapstick.
- Copy of my manuscript to edit during down time and laying on the beach.
So far that is my current packing list.