It's winter. It's been winter for what feels like 56 years. It's only really been a couple of months but that painfully cold air, the slushy roads, the 20 minutes that it takes to get dressed in winter gear before you head outside? Yeah - that's not gonna change for a while. BUT if you don't like where you are, then move! You're not a tree. Do like the birds and head south.
K so you've decided you wanna head south, maybe somewhere that's nice and cheap considering the holidays just passed and everyone feels that holiday debt struggle that comes along with the most wonderful time of the year. So you decide on an all-inclusive. Yeah! That's a no brainer - it'll be cheap and all the food and drinks will be included and I can relax on the beach with salt in the air and sand in my hair! Maybe somewhere like Varadero, Cuba! So you hop on the www and start searching. You'll find that all-inclusive trips with a minimum 4 star rating typically vary between $1100 and $1500 per person - flights, accommodation, food, and drinks are all done.
Woo! But... You'll be in Varadero on an all-inclusive resort. Surrounded by tourist traps. Stuck in a commercialized bubble. Secluded from real, raw Cuban culture. Das naht what I want. The beaches are fab for like 2.5 days, but I want more than what a beach can offer. If you're the kind to relax on a beach and enjoy the sun and sand for a solid week, then cool - you do you, I won't judge! But if you're as antsy as me, you're likely not going to stay in one place.
With that said, Havana is only a short distance away, so going to Varadero without visiting Havana is like having Mac and cheese without the cheese.
And you want the cheese.
But your trip just got a whole lot more complicated. You've gotta book flights separately now, then you've gotta book the resort in Varadero for a couple o' days, and then a couple nights in Havana - oh man. Now what?
You can book a trip to Havana only, but you'll miss out on the stunning beaches in Varadero.
Or you could book a trip to Varadero only, but you'll miss out on the culture and history in Havana.
AND I WANT IT ALL. Don't you?
Here's what you do:
1. Book a package trip that includes round trip flights and a European Plan (with no meals) at a Varadero resort through a travel website like itravel2000.com.
You'll get flights and accommodations at a 4.5 star resort in Varadero for $700 and in comparison, if you book flights through Air Canada from Ottawa to Havana, it'll cost you $960 for the flights alone.
Why not just book a resort in Havana, you ask? Because if you book a resort stay in Havana through someone like itravel2000.com, it would cost you $655 for flights, breakfast only, and accommodations at a 1.5 star resort. Cockroaches, bed bugs, and dirty sheets? Umm that'll be a no for me.
2. Book an Airbnb in Havana for a few nights. There are some pretty sweet-looking ones that range from $85 to upwards of $200. You decide on how baller you wanna be.
Yes, you'd be paying for a week long stay in Varadero even though you'll be in Havana for a portion of the time, but you'llbe saving money this way.
3. You're gonna have to look into transportation from Varadero to Havana and back to Varadero. BUT there's a sweet looking cave you can stop by on the way! AND this ridiculous bridge.
As of right now, I can only tell you how awesome those look from Google images, but STAY TUNED and I'll tell you all about 'em upon my return.
4. Bring cash for food (along with other things like rum and cigars and shit) because you're not getting meals through the resort. Look at this like a plus though - you won't be stuck with resort food and you'll get to experience authentic Cuban cuisine.
And voila! There you have it: how to book a trip to Havana and Varadero using the system's loopholes and getting errthing you want.