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Cuba Opens to Travel (Eventually)!

Some wonderful news for travelers today: U.S. President Obama has announced that for the first time since 1961, relations with the Caribbean nation will move toward normalization. As a part of this, embassies will open in both Cuba and the United States and many restrictions on travel will be eased. For example, travelers will soon be able to use credit and debit cards within the country (we'd stick to credit cards for now, but that's advice for another day).

Cuba is only 90 miles from Key West, Florida, and some 200 miles from Miami. It was once a primary destination for Americans. These changes mean that it will soon be rejoining the list of American vacation spots, a position is has held for Canada and European countries for quite some time.

Some restrictions on travel will remain—visitors must align themselves with an established reason to go such as for education, humanitarianism, or journalism—but the pool of reasons has been expanded and just as they do for the rules for travel to Russia, people can and will find ways to navigate those. If the new relationship goes well, travel for an expressed purpose of tourism will not be far behind.

The changes are not immediate and are being hammered out; you can read the White House's early explanation of the changes here. We will cover the specifics of the travel ban changes as they are announced, so come back to Frommer's for the latest.