We've all been there at some point: Arrive in a new country, head over to the Currency Exchange desk, change up all of your money, and walk away with a sizable chunk missing, thanks to exchange rates and commission.
In recent years, companies such as Monzo have looked to bypass annoying overseas withdrawal and transaction fees. Sadly, this isn't an option in Cuba, as most places can't take payments from international debit cards.
The Cuban Peso can only be purchased on the island, so you’ll need to change money upon arrival – there's no escaping that!
Government-owned hotels and restaurants, as well as national transport companies, will only accept the Cuban Peso, so make sure you change up enough upon arrival to set you up for your trip around the island, and avoid wasting time in long ATM queues.
On the other hand, many smaller private businesses such as restaurants, stores, and guest houses are more than happy to accept American Dollars, British pounds, Euros, and Canadian dollars. They will offer you favorable rates, and you’ll also save on exchange rates and commissions.
Our advice: keep a few dollars tucked away in your backpack. That way, when the opportunity comes along, you get yourself a good price while avoiding lining the pockets of currency exchange businesses.