Off to Cuba: How I can afford  to travel frequently

Insel Holbox Mexico


The excitement level has reached its peak and I still can’t believe well be leaving for Cuba in about 48 hours. I still have to pack some things for our vacation and this time, packing is quite challenging. As many of you know, Cuba is a very special travel destination and requires a bit of planning and creating lists of things to take on your trip. However, I’ll tell you more about it in the further text. Besides from my packing list, I would also like to share some thoughts and answers one question I get so often:

How can I afford to travel so much?

Packing for 3 weeks in Cuba


People often ask me how I can afford to travel so much. Every time they ask me this question and get my answer, they start talking about their own reasons, why they can’t do the same. There are two big reasons literally everyone gives for why they don’t travel even though they would love to. These are always: lack of money and/or lack of time. It’s ironical, but we usually either have one or the other, but “never” both. That’s what we like to say and think most of the time.

But, what if this problem is only existent in our heads and is a matter of priorities? What if we are always keen on looking for reasons for why we can’t do this or that? What if we are programmed to think that everyone else has a better life and better circumstances to do things we can’t do? I’m no exception and I stopped counting the many times I caught myself thinking:

He/she can only do that because of …“whatever”.

However, I rarely saw similar thoughts as something positive and thinking that way never made me feel positive about myself or my own life. It made me feel envious without having a good reason to be envious about other people’s achievements. Also, it made me forget something I’ve been trying to convince myself and other for years – we are the only masters of our destiny & we can make our life what we want it to be.

One can judge my point of view or accept it, but either way, I hope my words at least provide ample food for thought. As it turns out, there’s no magic to “being able to travel regularly”. Traveling is now no longer just for the wealthy. It’s the matter of priorities. If you truly want to travel, then put it at the forefront of your priorities to make it happen. These are just a few things you can do to get started:

  • Choose a cheap apartment
  • Stop going on pricey parties every weekend
  • Minimize your shopping habits
  • If you need one, get yourself a pre-owned car instead of a new one
  • Don’t be too picky and organize your trip yourself (look for cheap flights and cheap accommodations)
  • Put traveling at the forefront of priorities in your life
  • Work for it 

If travelling is what you want to do, it’s really up to you to make it happen! It takes a lot of effort, hard work and saving skills to be able to travel often. However, if you don’t see it as a priority, you shouldn’t be judging others. But let me give you a concrete example: me and my husband live in an extremely small apartment. Our rent is very low and instead of having a big apartment we would rarely use at the moment (we usually spend at least of 70% of our time working/studying), we decided to take a small apartment and save up to be able to travel often. We still don’t have kids and we know things are going to change when we do. This is why we want to make use of our current “status” to travel as much as possible.

As you can see, everyone has priorities in their life. Whether it is that fancy car, that new cool apartment or that awesome bag you need to have in your life. People consciously or sometimes subconsciously prioritize things they want in their lives. If your wish is to travel more, trust me, your priority will be to do so. If it’s not, you’ll find other things to put at the top of your priorities. And let me tell you something. That’s completely fine. Because it works for you and it should make YOU happy. However, don’t judge others for their choices and priorities.

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”

― Dallin H. Oaks


Now, let me share with you my packing-list and thoughts about Cuba. Ever since we booked our flights, I’ve been reading articles, watching documentaries and movies about Cuba. I can’t remember being so well prepared for a trip before. The things I read about Cuba are extremely diverse. Some loved it, some hated it. The majority complains about food, the lack of shopping possibilities and poor infrastructure. Cuba is different and I gave my best to be well prepared for this trip. So here comes the list of things I’m taking on my trip:

  • Enough cash (Apparently you can’t be sure you can withdraw money from cash machines)
  • Insurance policy in Spanish (You could be asked to show it to the authorities)
  • Tourist card (No entry without it)
  • Snacks, chewing gums & cereal bars (For the road trip)
  • Cosmetics/Toiletries (Not always possible to buy them + expensive)
  • Antiseptic and disinfection agent (Always good to have)
  • Microfiber Towels (Dry very quickly and are space-saving)
  • Medicines (Simple painkillers are always nice to have)
  • Insect Repellent (Yes, there are loads of mosquitos on Cuba)
  • Sunscreen (Caribbean Sun ?)
  • Walking Shoes (For our hiking trips)
  • Headphones (Mostly for the airplane)
  • Power Adapter
  • Gifts for the locals (I read that the Cuban locals really appreciate gifts like toiletries, pens or anything else they can’t really buy in their shops)


Ein Food- und reisesüchtiger Mensch, der sich auch mit 28 über kleine Dinge freuen kann: Eine Schoko-Mousse-Torte lässt jede Sorge zumindest kurz verschwinden. Allerdings nur dann, wenn die Schokolade dunkel ist.

Auf “The Cosmopolitas” schreibe ich gerne über alles, was so in meinem Kopf herumschwirrt: Über diverse Gedanken, Essen, Reisen, Mode, und, und, und…
|| Sonst bin ich…
…eine wissbegierige Persönlichkeit, eine Predigerin des lebenslangen Lernens und bald eine Matrosin.:)

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  1. December 17, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    I’m leaving for Thailand this week and totally using this packing guide!!

  2. December 18, 2017 / 4:39 am

    “But, what if this problem is only existent in our heads and is a matter of priorities? What if we are always keen on looking for reasons for why we can’t do this or that?”

    Loved reading this. It’s a good reminder to set priorities straight because I’m a firm believer of the saying, “If you want it, then work for it.” Also, I’m keeping this blog post bookmarked if ever I visit Cuba someday! Thank you for this!

  3. December 18, 2017 / 8:01 am

    Liebe Timo,

    Als Geschenke für die Einheimischen kannst du auch Kleidung, die du nicht mehr brauchst, mit aufnehmen. Ich hab damals einige Sachen dem Hotelpersonal gegeben und ich kann dir versichern deren Freude darüber ist mit einem Humana Container nicht zu vergleichen! ?
    Ansonsten kann ich dir folgende Tipps geben: genieß jeden einzelnen Moment, lass dich von der Musik mitreissen, mach eine Jeep-Safari und besuche auf jeden Fall eine Obstplantage.

    Viel Spaß und ich freue mich jetzt schon auf deinen Bericht!
    LG Anita

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