Once the wheels of our American Airlines charter plane screeched on the runway, signaling that we had landed on Cuban soil, a roar of applause started. Nothing surprising so far, we Romanians do the same once we land to safety. The difference was I had just landed in Cuba, on a plane full of Americans, myself included. The only ones applauding were the Cuban Americans, visiting their families. The rest of us still had our noses pegged to the window.
Solo travel is on the rise. According to Agoda’s Solo Travel Trends 2018 survey, 61% of respondents said they would prefer to travel solo as compared with 48% that said they would prefer to travel with friends. Whether travel is simply getting easier or destinations are becoming inspired or demystified through social media, solo travelers are not letting the fact that they don’t have a travel companion stop them from visiting the destination of their choice.
The mainstream media often climb onto certain narratives that take off as memes for one reason or another and become conventional wisdom, but often the standard narrative does not accurately represent what is really going on.
For example, much of the recent media coverage about the U.S. Cuba travel market, especially regarding flights, has followed the story line that the market is not as strong as had been expected. However, that misses a great deal of the real story.
Despite a State Department warning and declarations from the Trump administration, Americans can—and should—be going to Cuba right now.
On Sunday, I flew to a place that the U.S. State Department considers as risky as Pakistan, Russia, or Sudan. In its latest advisory, the agency says that Americans should "reconsider travel" to Cuba due to "health attacks directed at U.S. embassy employees" in Havana. Maybe that's why there were only 15 other passengers on my flight, a JetBlue nonstop from New York's JFK that could seat up to 150.
Many people have been asking what the U.S./Cuba regulations announced on Wednesday, November 8th mean for them. The regulations are complex and the news reports have been incomplete and often misleading, so we wanted to set the record straight. Please read on below:
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