Preparing for your trip

Package: Authentic Havana, May 2017-Oct 2017 Season

Checklist

Item Due
Complete your tour registration and send color copies of each travelers' passport photo/signature page. A link to this secure form will be included in your booking confirmation email. Within 24 hours of booking
Ensure you have a current passport, and that the name on your booking matches your passport exactly. Immediately
Make your final payment, if any balance is due.
120 days prior to travel
Book connecting flights to your departure city, if necessary. (Please confirm your international flight schedule first!) After making final payment
Make advance seat reservations for your international flight, if you have a preference. After receiving your e-tickets
Obtain required travel visas. See below
Print your itinerary and other final documents, which we will send you via email approximately 14 days prior to travel. Prior to travel
Enroll in The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) if you're a U.S. citizen so the State Dept. can locate and assist you in case of an emergency. Prior to travel
Call the airline to confirm your flight schedule and any special meal requests. 72 hours prior to travel
Arrive at the airport, ready for the trip of a lifetime! 3½ hours prior to departure

Important Notes

Travel Certification: Shortly after we receive your final payment, we will email you the official Travel Certification form that all passengers will need to complete, sign and return to Friendly Planet via fax or email in order to travel to Cuba.

Travel Documents

Passport & Visa Requirements for Cuba

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid at the time of entry, though we strongly recommend it be valid for at least six months after your return date.

U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter Cuba. Under current U.S. law, travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens and residents for tourism is prohibited. However, there are several forms of authorized travel, including licensed "People-to-People" cultural exchange programs such as those operated by Friendly Planet. Travel to Cuba is regulated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Please see the Treasury website or the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

For U.S. passport holders, we will pre-arrange your travel visa, and the visa fee is included in your package price. After you book, please send a color scan or color photocopy of the photo page of your passport to documents@friendlyplanet.com so that we may process your visa.

If you hold a passport from another country, it is quite possible that you may enter Cuba on one of our programs; please contact us before you book to learn more.

If you were born in Cuba, regardless of your citizenship, you must apply for a visa directly from the Cuban Embassy. Please notify us when you book if this applies to any travelers in your party.

Passport Copies

For this package, we are required to obtain copies of your passport(s). Please scan the photo and signature pages of each travelers' valid passport and email them to documents@friendlyplanet.com. If you are unable to scan your passport(s), please make clear, legible color photocopies instead and mail to our office address. If you do not presently have a valid passport, send us a color copy of your most recent passport and let us know when your new one is expected. Then send us a copy of the new passport upon receipt.

General Requirements & Guidelines

  • It is the responsibility of each traveler to determine passport and visa requirements and comply with them and to secure the proper travel documents. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary expenses, please carefully review the requirements so that you can obtain all necessary documents well before your trip. Requirements are subject to change, often without notice, and we suggest you verify requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate. Airlines and cruises may deny boarding and your trip may be disrupted if your passport and visa are not in order. We will not be held responsible for any charges, trip interruptions, or cancellations due to incorrect or missing visas, nor will travel insurance cover your lost expenses.
  • Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately.
  • Minors (children under 18) traveling abroad without parents or with only one parent are required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present additional documents such as (but not limited to) notarized permission letter and/or unabridged birth certificate. The U.S. Department of State has more information. Some other countries have similar requirements; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.

Final Documents

Your final travel documents will be sent to you via email approximately 14 days prior to your departure. This email will include a copy of your electronic air ticket receipt (e-tickets), your daily itinerary, hotel and emergency contact information, and any other information relevant to your package.

Flights & Transfers

Flight Schedule: please see your flight schedule below. Note that airlines may change flight schedules even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes.

Need to arrange connecting flights? Please do not book any connecting flights until you make your final payment and confirm the schedule for your included flights. Because schedules can change, we strongly suggest that you leave plenty of connecting time—at least 3½ hours—between flights. And if you are traveling during March or mid-October to mid-November, when airlines traditionally modify their schedules, we suggest that you allow 5–5½ hours between flights. It's not worth missing your flight!

Arrival & departure transfers: Scheduled group airport transfers at the destination are included with this package; please see the package page for details. Private transfers may also be available for an additional fee—contact us for price and availability. Or you may instead arrange your own ground transportation to the package start and end points. (Note that there is no discount for any unused included transfers).

Want to reserve specific seats?

When you book your package, we do not usually assign seats; the airline typically does this within 24 hours of departure. If you are not happy with your seat assignment, you may be able to change your seats, subject to availability, either when you check in at the counter or during online check-in (if available). In most cases, you may also request specific seat assignments more than 24 hours before departure, but this may incur a fee. Learn more about Advance Seat Reservations.

Need to request a special meal?

If you wish to request a special meal, contact the airline order it for all your flights, once you receive your electronic tickets via email.

Looking to earn frequent flyer miles?

You may be able to earn frequent flyer points on this package. Once you receive your tickets, contact the airline directly to enter your frequent flyer numbers in your flight record. As you travel, check with the agent prior to boarding each flight on your package to be sure the frequent flyer information has been entered properly. Keep your boarding passes and passenger receipt, as these documents are proof that you have actually flown the miles you are asking to be credited to your frequent flyer account.

Interested in upgrading to business class?

We may be able to provide you with discounted rates for business class upgrades. If you are interested in upgrading to business class, please contact us. This package includes very special contracted airfares which do not permit upgrading with frequent flyer miles.

Questions about your flights? Call our air department at 800-555-5765 ext. 208.

American Airlines (AA) Toll-free number is 800-777-3999.

Sample Flight Schedule

DEPART
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
AA1345 Miami (MIA) Havana (HAV) 4:20 pm 5:35 pm 1.15 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
AA1334 HAV MIA 11:45 am 1:05 pm 1.20 hrs
NOTE: Airlines, schedules, and flights are subject to change at anytime without notice. 

Federal law forbids you to carry hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your checked or carry-on baggage or on your person, including explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids & solids, loaded firearms, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Common examples include paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, mace/tear gas and oxygen bottles. Restricted materials may vary by airline and destination. Some items, in quantities of no more than 70 ounces total, may be carried within baggage, including medicinal or toilet articles such as hairspray, perfume and certain medicines that are necessary during your journey. Please check with the airline and/or visit the FAA website prior to travel if you have any questions.

Packing & Luggage

What to pack: Check out our blog post on our Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel.

Baggage allowance: Baggage fees must be paid at airport: $25 for 1st checked bag weighing no more than 50 pounds total, per person for each flight. A second checked bag is $40.00. Carry-ons are not included in the total weight. Your carry-on luggage should not exceed 22” x 14” x 9”. Your carry-on luggage should fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment. In addition to your carry-on, you may also have one personal item, such as a camera or purse. You will receive specific baggage allowance information with your final documents, or you may review our Airline Baggage Allowances page, which has information for our various carriers. If you exceed the baggage limits, you may be subject to excess baggage charges assessed by the airlines. We are not responsible for lost or damaged luggage.

If you exceed the baggage limits, you may be subject to excess baggage charges. For more information about baggage restrictions on your international flights, see our Airline Baggage Allowances page. Note that the airline baggage allowances may be greater than ours, as our packages have other limitations such as space aboard our motorcoaches. Porterage is covered in your package price, but only for one checked bag per person, and it is much easier and faster to move in and out of hotels with a single bag.

We will mail you Friendly Planet luggage tags with your invoice. Fill in the luggage tags with your name and contact information and attach to each bag, including carry-ons and camera cases, so that your luggage can be identified should it get misplaced during your trip. However, we are not responsible for lost or damaged luggage.

Meals

The meals included with your package are listed in the itinerary. For all other meals, you're at liberty to dine where you like. Your hotels will have several dining choices, from coffee shops to specialty restaurants.

Special requests

If you have a special meal request or require wheelchair or electric cart assistance, please send us your requests in writing, and we will do our best to accommodate them! For requests involving your flights, please call the airline directly to reconfirm your requests, once you have received your final travel documents.

Travel Tips

Check out our country guides for information about currency conversion, tipping, weather, what to buy, voltage & plugs, immunizations you should get, and more.