Sue Mansfield

Re: Re: Re: Salsa Holidays (SMa) - 12th January 2006 16:41:29 in section Help
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Hi Shelly,

I think I'd agree with Chris that you'll need a lot more spending money than you suggest. A daily budget of £30-35 won't go far in the sort of hotels that Kerry's trips use. Don't forget that apart from the 2 nights in the all-inclusive holiday the only meal that is included is breakfast and you'll need to budget for paying for all other food as well as drinks etc of an evening and possibly also the admission into clubs etc. I'd check out with Kerry just what is and isn't included and it's also worth checking whether you're likely to need to use taxis to get back to your hotel of an evening etc too. You could find that you'll probably be expected to keep any of the Cuban dancers that go out with you of an evening in drinks etc and that can work out expensive in Havana especially. The Club Dance Holidays' factsheets on their website (I know you're not travelling with them) give a very good breakdown of what you can expect to pay in the way of meals and drinks etc and while you might get away with less than Chris suggests I would still be inclined to budget for up to £750 spending money for the 2 weeks. If you bring home some all well and good but you'll pay a surcharge if you have to fall back on using your credit card because the cash and travellers cheques run out.

For anybody else thinking of a trip to Cuba it's worth checking out Kath Bateman's trips - she has one planned for July too. Her trips are based in Santiago but you can add on Havana or other flexible options. It still includes a daily 3 hour class with excellent teachers etc but the costs are lower because you stay in 'casa particulares' on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis which is a great way of experiencing local life. I went last summer and had 2 weeks in Santiago plus a week in Havana for very little more than Key2Cuba charges for just 2 weeks and brought travellers cheques back. Santiago is a much cheaper city than Havana and I wasn't having to buy evening meals at all during the 3 week stay but from memory I still spent over £600 over the 3 weeks. Admittedly this included gifts for the family back home etc and a godd few CDs for me but if you're likely to do the same then you certainly need to factor this into your spending money budget. I thought that this was such a good deal and the whole experience so good that I've booked to return on March with Kath. She does get a lot of repeat business so I don't think I'm alone in being able to recommend what she offers. Less glitzy than what's on offer with others but a tremendous experience and definitely a good way of getting to know Cuban people and culture.

SMa

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