Here are a few tricks to make Cuba cheap, although it will never become as cheap as Asia.
The better you understand Cuba, the cheaper it becomes. Due to the unique system of double currency and the Cuba wide mentality that makes scamming an art, understanding Cuba a bit is already a big saver. Some tips to live in Cuba on a low budget:
Buy food at the market and prepare your own meals. This will bring down prices of feeding yourself by 80%. The market is extremely cheap!
Eat in MN restaurants or Cafetarias. You can find a good meal as cheap as 25 pesos (about 1 dollar) (MN is Moneda Nacional, currency is a complicated thing in Cuba…)
Buy big 5 liter bottles of water and fill up your little bottle.
Be a student and take your student card with you. Age does not matter! Use it at every occasion and negotiate a lot.
Buy, rent or borrow a bike.
Negotiate a lot and about everything. That does not make you cheap… they will respect you for it.
Spent a few days at a Campismo, they are very cheap
Never arrive somewhere with a Cuban by your side.
Ignore everybody that talks to you on the street.
Don’t make Cuban friends.
Speak Spanish. Nothing drives up prices more than the inability to communicate.
Know what you owe and count your change.
Book your casa beforehand, using the Internet.
Stay away from the tourist areas.
Don’t believe anything anybody tells you.
Use MN whenever you can.
Not all of these tips will enhance the fun you have, but they all bring your budget down. There are other ways that make Cuba cheap and preserve the quality of your holiday. For those we refer to our book, which is cheap to, compared to the savings it will bring you.
Nothing raises prices more than the inability to communicate. I have said it before, and will say it again… Learn some Spanish!
Actually you know more Spanish than you think. Almost all words that have more that 3 syllables in English are derived from Latin and have the same meaning in Spanish. Just pronounce: reservation, communication, vocabulary, direction, investigation or permission with a Spanish accent and you will be understood.
An exception would be ‘introduction’ (‘exception’ itself is no exception by the way), if you ask to be introduced to someone, you are asking if you could put part of yourself into the other person. In Spanish, you present yourself
You see, your Spanish is already a lot better than you think.
No matter how hard you try, Cuba will never become cheap as long as you are not a Cuban. So the best tip to make Cuba cheap… become a Cuban… … the second best tip is to read our book. See a chapter on this site to understand that we do have good information for you.