Traveling solo can be difficult anywhere in the world, but Cuba presents a specific set of challenges.If you strike out on your own without an organized tour group, you’ll have to get used to the Cuban system. One of the most emblematic parts of the Cuban travel experience is the casa particular, a kind of bed and breakfast where you stay with Cuban families in their spare rooms.
You will be able to spot these houses by the blue signs displayed outside, which read arrendador divisa. This means they are approved for foreign guests. Other houses have orange signs, and they are for Cubans only. You can get in trouble if you stay in one as a foreigner.
Prices depend on location and the standard of facilities on offer. You can expect to pay upwards of $40 per night for a well-appointed room in Havana, but as little as $5 for a more basic place to stay in provincial towns.
You can negotiate the price on arrival, and make sure to order your breakfast the night before should you want it. Many house owners will put on a great morning spread for around $5.
If you want to get to know Cuban people, homestays are a far better option than state-run hotels. Staying in casas makes for a more personal experience, and there are plenty of them to choose from.
Once business concludes, a world of wonder awaits in many of Italy’s incredible cities.
I lived in San Francisco during college so coming to visit the city and see all the changes was exciting. The Hotel Zeppelin was built in a once slightly shabby area that has since come alive with new hotels and restaurants for travelers looking for something different. We arrived at noon on a Friday afternoon and were immediately greeted by the hotel staff at the front desk. They were able to accommodate an early check-in, completed in just a few minutes. The lobby is as hip as the hotel name sounds, but it also offered a cozy atmosphere, with a roaring fire and comfy couches and chairs in the lounge area. Unique wall art, statues and lighting remind you of the cool factor.
There are few things as adult-ish as a well-designed living space. When you stop strewing your Ikea coffee table with old magazines and straw wrappers, and start creating a “lewk” that’s more your style, it’s time to invest in a coffee table book. Sometimes pricey, these are not the tomes you curl up with in your cozy chair. They’re often hefty, artistic and fun and, if chosen correctly, a true representation of your own sense of style and interests.
ONCE THE FINAL MEETING WRAPS and the last contract is signed and sealed with a handshake, what’s next? Do you catch a flight back home or do you take advantage of the destination? If your next business trip is to Italy, we suggest adding a few more days to explore the country’s most amazing hot spots. Make time for more than a mouthwater- ing Italian meal in these three cities.