Big News: You Can Now Travel to Cuba Solo
But tourism is still technically forbidden.
Less than a week before President Obama and the First Lady make their historic trip to Cuba, the White House announced yet another major change to travel restrictions.
As of March 16, 2016, individuals can take “people-to-people” and educational trips to Cuba, without having to join a group tour, which can be expensive and restrictive.
To reiterate: Americans can travel solo to Cuba, starting tomorrow. Travelers must simply sign a form declaring their trip as a people-to-people experience, or educational in nature. Straightforward, lay-on-the-beach tourism is still prohibited.
Today’s revisions to limitations between Cuba and the U.S. also permit Cuban citizens to earn a salary in American dollars, and U.S. banks and businesses have been given some slack with Cuban transactions and future endeavors, too.
But with domestic airlines battling it out to win regular routes to Cuba, and familiar hotel brands (think: Starwood) expecting to manage hotels on the island, we wouldn’t be surprised if Obama celebrated the end of his presidency with a nice, long vacation on one of Cuba’s best beaches.
And if you’re ready to go now, check out these fun things to do in Havana—in between all of your educational activities, of course.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.