Cuba: How to Travel There Today with Recent Changes in U.S. Travel Policy

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Known for its colonial charm, diverse art scene, and thriving biodiversity, Cuba has become a top bucket-list destination for travelers of all ages, including families. Despite the recent change of regulations mandated by the Trump Administration's Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), travelers dreaming of Cuba can still easily go!

Navigating these regulations can be a deterrent for many travelers considering a visit, though they really shouldn’t be. Below we’ve outlined a brief history and summary of what you need to know about traveling to Cuba. We hope it will put your mind at ease and encourage you to delight in all that Cuba has to offer!

Traditional tourism to Cuba from the U.S. has been prohibited since the U.S. embargo in 1961. People-to-people travel in Cuba was approved in 1999 under the Clinton administration, with the goal of enhancing cross-cultural relations between Americans and Cubans. It has always been the rule that Americans wanting to visit the country need to qualify under 12 approved reasons, including education, visiting family, or carrying out humanitarian projects.

When President Obama announced his policy of opening to Cuba in 2016, these previous regulations requiring that Americans travel with licensed organizations were replaced by a much more open policy whereby individuals had could declare “educational” or “people to people” trips on their own.

In June 2017, President Trump announced changes to this détente, instructing the Department of Treasury, which legislates