What to take to Cuba

Cuba isn’t like any other destination. You need to be prepared.

You won’t find any shops like back home. You won’t be able to purchase things when you’re there.

Do yourself a favour and take my advice on the below products. Thank me later!

Here are my go-to Cuba items:

Travel light! Don’t lug big heavy shampoo bottles around Cuba, but take these Ethique Shampoo Bars instead. They lather up so well, leave your hair perfectly washed, smell delicious and are super handy for travelling to Cuba. Take a couple to donate to locals as well, and karma will forever be on your side. 

Top tip: take them out of the bathroom when you’ve finished in the shower. Put them outside in the fresh air or in front of a fan. This will dry them out so they don’t stay humid and wear down quicker. 

The best thing I’ve discovered to take to Cuba. I took this for the first time in March 2023 and it changed everything! You can fill it up anywhere: puddles, rivers or taps, and it instantly filters the water as you drink. I didn’t get sick once. 

I used to spend so much money on single-use plastic bottles. Not only is that bad for the environment and your bank balance, but also it’s logistically difficult. 

In Cuba it’s not uncommon to not be able to find bottled water. Sometimes you’ll find it, sometimes you won’t. Often it’s easier to find rum than it is bottled water! 

So do yourself a favour and bring this along. 

Top tip: buy the litre bottle and thank me later – it’s hot in Cuba and you’ll drink a lot! It might not fit in your backpack but you can attached it to the straps with the handy cabiner clip. 

Essential. Don’t go to Cuba without this. Particularly in the summer months, Cuba is very prone to power cuts. Don’t let them catch you out. Take a power bank (or 2), charge it every time you get a chance, and you’ll always have your phone/iPad/headphones charged up. 

If you can do a kind deed and leave it to a Cuban person who needs it (i.e. those in the countryside, not Havana – Havana rarely sees power cuts because it’s on it’s own circuit), karma will be on your side. 

Top tip: this is the exact one that I take and it’s lasted years! I put it in a sock (don’t laugh) because it doesn’t come with a case. Works a treat!

If you only have space for 1 donation, make it this. Give it to the people in the countryside. It’s ideal for humans and animals, for cleaning wounds.

The Cubans don’t have anything like this and it goes a long way in hospitals and private homes. It saved my dog from an awful bacteria infection on her skin that was days away from seeping into her blood system, so if you can save just one animal/human, let it be with this. 

Forget the mechanical ones. They need batteries or electricity, neither of which are reliable in Cuba. Also, in my opinion, you get a much better air flow from the classic hand held fan.

This one is my go-to. It’s lasted me years, and anyone who knows me in Cuba, knows I’m not to be seen without it. 

It gets HOT and humid, especially in the spring/summer months, so you’ll definitely be needing this. 

This is to pop in your day bag for when things get sweaty – because they will. 

Honestly this and the fan I do not go without. The girls who have come with me on my Cuba trips are always envious of these two hacks, so I decided to share them with you!

Top tip: I just take 2 of these in total, and I hand-wash them each night in my room and leave them to dry over night ready for the next day. 

I bought this to go to Cuba last year and haven’t looked back. 

Great for the beach (the sand really doesn’t stick, it’s amazing).

Great for showering if the towel provided is tiny (common). 

Great for sitting on for long journeys – the classic car seats are leather and get sticky – this is the stuff the other blogs don’t prepare you for! 

It dries super quick and very easy to fold and pop into luggage. Doesn’t take up much room.