American travelers keep asking, “are we still able to travel to Cuba?” The answer is definitively yes. But if you’re wondering how, here’s what you need to know about travel to Cuba.
In November, the Trump administration tightened travel and commercial ties to Cuba, part of its effort to roll back former President Barack Obama’s historic opening with Havana. The new rules came nearly five months after President Trump announced he would reverse Obama-era policies that loosened the decades-long trade embargo against the communist island.
The new restrictions impact primarily individual travelers. Yes, you can still hire a tour company and join a guided tour that ensures you meet all the requirements and fulfill the full time schedule of activities they require. But what about individual travelers, hostelers, or adventurous people who want to support the humanitarian vision for Cuba, while still traveling in their own independent way? Under new Treasury Department rules, individual “people-to-people” trips — which have enabled individual American travelers to visit Cuba for educational purposes on their own as opposed to with a tour group — have been eliminated. This elimination has had obvious repercussions for companies like Airbnb which famously cater to individual travelers.
But, Instant World Booking has now entered the Cuban market, and is offering a fresh alternative to Airbnb and other services for accommodation at unique and individual Cuban small hotels and casa particulares. The lawmakers have assured that individual travelers are still able to visit the island if it’s in support of the Cuban people. While little-known to American travelers today, this assurance is actually written into the law.
Here’s how you, as an individual traveler, may still lawfully visit Cuba today. One of the approved reasons for traveling to Cuba is called “Support for the Cuban people”. Under this travel category, you engage in activities that result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba. This now includes such activities as renting a room in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at privately owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shopping at privately owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropistas). So, renting one of the many private accommodations now available from Instant World Booking can help facilitate the trip to Cuba you are hoping to make. But remember, in order to meet the requirement for a full-time schedule, you must also engage in additional authorized Support for the Cuban People activities. We suggest you check out the actual requirements at one of these two official sources:
Better yet, do you need to get some sort of license or authorization from the US government? No. As an American traveler to Cuba, you can start planning your trip today. It’s called a general license, and as long as you conform to the activities and requirements outlined in the above sources, your trip is permitted. But, we suggest you read the rules thoroughly. You’ll need to keep some records regarding your schedule and trip. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring your travel is in compliance with the regulations.
To celebrate our commitment to travel in Cuba, we have introduced a new website www.cubainstantbooking.com, featuring a vast set of options for accommodation in Cuba. This site joins the over 100+ other sites in our proprietary network of hotels, hostels, and apartments worldwide. In addition, we are beginning to work with both US and Cuban groups to facilitate accommodation of official travel groups within our network of private lodgings in Cuba.
We hope you are inspired by this article, and will perhaps consider a trip to Cuba in the near future. Remember that your presence can help support civil society in Cuba, and promote the Cuban people’s independence. Please feel free to contact Instant World Booking with any questions you may have.
Working with different online sales and distribution channels (OTAs) is a good option to create new sales opportunities in different markets at the same time, and increase the visibility of hotels online. Every time a hotel signs up for a new OTA they can experience difficulty managing calendar inventory, rates, promotions and reservations from different extranets. Using multiple booking agencies also means the possibility for overbookings.
#IWBMob now enables you to engage your customers on Facebook, directly from your IWB profile page.
A few weeks ago, we announced the introduction of IWB’s new mobile website, called IWBmob. The next phase of this re-branding is now underway. It is a mobile-first design. As an Instant World Bookinghotel/hostel/B&B partner, your profile page, and the entire booking process, has already been redesigned. The impact so far has been remarkable. For users of our new booking engine, the experience surpasses almost any modern booking site available today.
In our last announcement, we promised to introduce some innovative methods of integrating your experience with Facebook and IWB. These are brand new innovations that have not yet been used by other booking services. Now, you and your customers can start a Facebook conversation, directly from your profile page on IWB. This is an innovative method of integrating social media with your booking media. Just post the URL of your IWB profile on your Facebook page, inviting your customers to comment and join the conversation. Then, go to the IWB profile, and begin the conversation by directly posting your Facebook comments there. For more specific instructions, continue reading below.
Why is this important?
Worldwide, there are over 2.01 billion monthly active Facebook users as of 2017. If you think Facebook has peaked, consider that this number has grown 17% since last year. With 2.01 billion, Facebook has more monthly active users than WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram combined (Source: CNBC). For hotels, hostels, and accommodation, Facebook is very important. It’s so important that Facebook has introduced an API called Dynamic Ads for Travel, specifically for hotels. So, this means that Facebook is a very important audience for you, one that you can’t ignore. You should consider how to increase your involvement in this platform.
This is where Instant World Booking enters. We give you a creative and effective way to increase your engagement on Facebook. There’s no cost. See the instructions below. If you are interested in other ways of advertising on Facebook, or just need help setting up or maintaining an active social media presence, we are now offering these services to our partners. Just contact us for help.
Instructions: How to interact with Facebook on your IWB profile page
Copy the URL of your profile page (assuming you’re a hotel/hostel member of IWB).
Post the URL on your Facebook page. Add a comment like, ‘Dear customers, friends, and fans, we’re partnering with Instant World Booking to start a conversation on Facebook. Please go to this page, and post your best photos of our hotel, share your experiences, and enjoy some dialogue. Let us know what you think.’
Go directly to the IWB profile page. Post the same comment there, perhaps with a new photo that you want to share.
Then, sit back and watch the comments come. When you engage properly with your audience, a lively conversation, with photos, is one of the best ways to increase your popularity on Facebook.
There’s a bonus. Any comments that are shared this way have the possibility of appearing automatically on your Facebook page, your IWB profile page, and IWB’s Facebook page. So, your exposure is tripled.
Don’t forget your Book Now button on Facebook
The most valuable feature you can use on your Facebook page is a Book Now button. This is a feature of Facebook that enables your social media followers to book instantly with you. If you know how this works, just add the URL included in our instructions above (#1) as the target of your button. If you have a custom booking engine with IWB, use that URL. If you need help with this important Facebook feature, we can guide you, or install it for you. Please look for our future emails and blogs, since we will be sharing more ways and instructions to get the most out of your social media Blog – Hotel and Hostel Marketing Experts
#IWBMob ahora le permite involucrar a sus clientes en Facebook, directamente desde su página de perfil de IWB.
Hace unas semanas, anunciamos la introducción del nuevo sitio web móvil de IWB, llamado IWBmob. La próxima fase de esta re-marca está en marcha. Es un diseño móvil primero. Su página de perfil, y todo el proceso de reserva, ya ha sido rediseñado. El impacto hasta ahora ha sido notable. Para los usuarios de nuestro nuevo motor de reservas, la experiencia supera prácticamente cualquier sitio de reservas moderno disponible hoy.
En nuestro último anuncio, prometimos introducir algunos métodos innovadores de integración de su experiencia con Facebook y IWB. Se trata de innovaciones nuevas que aún no han sido utilizadas por otros servicios de reserva. Ahora, usted y sus clientes pueden iniciar una conversación en Facebook directamente desde su página de perfil en IWB. Se trata de un método innovador de integración de medios sociales con sus medios de reserva. Simplemente publique la URL de su perfil de IWB en su página de Facebook, invitando a sus clientes a comentar y unirse a la conversación. A continuación, vaya al perfil de IWB y comience la conversación publicando directamente sus comentarios de Facebook allí. Para obtener instrucciones más específicas, continúe leyendo a continuación.
¿Porque es esto importante?
En todo el mundo, hay más de 2.01 mil millones de usuarios activos de Facebook a partir de 2017. Si usted piensa que Facebook ha alcanzado su punto máximo, considere que este número ha crecido un 17% desde el año pasado. Con 2.01 mil millones, Facebook tiene más usuarios activos mensuales que WhatsApp, Twitter y Instagram combinados (Fuente: CNBC). Para hoteles, albergues y alojamientos, Facebook es muy importante. Es tan importante que Facebook haya introducido una API llamada Dynamic Ads for Travel, específicamente para hoteles. Por lo tanto, esto significa que Facebook es una audiencia muy importante para usted, una que usted no puede ignorar. Usted debe considerar cómo aumentar su participación en esta plataforma.
Aquí es donde entra Instant World Booking. Le ofrecemos una manera creativa y efectiva de aumentar su participación en Facebook. No hay costo. Vea las instrucciones a continuación. Si está interesado en otras formas de publicidad en Facebook, o simplemente necesita ayuda para configurar o mantener una presencia activa de medios sociales, ahora estamos ofreciendo estos servicios a nuestros socios. Sólo póngase en contacto con nosotros para obtener ayuda.
Instrucciones: Cómo interactuar con Facebook en su página de perfil de IWB
Copie la URL de su página de perfil.
Publique la URL en su página de Facebook. Agregue un comentario como, “Queridos clientes, amigos y fans, nos estamos asociando con Instant World Booking para iniciar una conversación en Facebook. Por favor, vaya a esta página, y publique sus mejores fotos de nuestro hotel, comparta sus experiencias y disfrute de algún diálogo. Háganos saber lo que piensas.’
Vaya directamente a la página de perfil de IWB. Publicar el mismo comentario allí, tal vez con una nueva foto que desea compartir.
Luego, siéntese y observe los comentarios. Cuando te involucras correctamente con tu público, una conversación animada, con fotos, es una de las mejores maneras de aumentar tu popularidad en Facebook.
Hay un bono. Los comentarios que se comparten de esta manera tienen la posibilidad de aparecer automáticamente en su página de Facebook, su página de perfil de IWB y la página de Facebook de IWB. Por lo tanto, su exposición se triplica.
No se olvide de su botón “Reservar ahora” en Facebook
La característica más valiosa que puedes usar en tu página de Facebook es el botón Reservar ahora. Esta es una característica de Facebook que permite a tus seguidores de redes sociales reservar al instante contigo. Si sabe cómo funciona esto, simplemente añada la URL incluida en nuestras instrucciones anteriores (# 1) como el objetivo de su botón. Si tiene un motor de reservas personalizado con IWB, utilice esa URL. Si necesita ayuda con esta importante función de Facebook, le podemos guiar o instalarla para usted. Por favor, busque nuestros futuros correos electrónicos y blogs, ya que estaremos compartiendo más formas e instrucciones para sacar el máximo provecho de sus redes sociales Blog – Especialistas en Hostelería y Hostelería
You think of California in the summer months, you automatically think of hot summer days. But you will be very surprised to know that in San Francisco, it can be a bit chilly, especially in August. So if you need a break from the heat, head to San Francisco! Its well known for a number unique characteristics like its chilly summer fog, steep rolling hills and eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture. And of course the famous Landmark, The Golden Gate Bridge. This article is the place to find out where to go and what to see and do in San Francisco during the “chilly” Summer month of August!
We recently announced the introduction of IWB’S new mobile website, dubbed IWBmob. The first phase of this re-branding has just been released. It is a mobile-first design. This means that your profile page, and the entire booking process, has been redesigned. And it’s nothing short of revolutionary. Our new design features leading edge mobile aesthetics, and an ultra-responsive, streamlined user experience. For users of our new booking engine, the experience will surpass almost any modern booking site available today.
What does mobile-first mean?
Mobile-first means that our site will respond flexibly to all types of computers and devices, with an emphasis on mobile users. After all, more than 25% of worldwide travel bookings are made on mobile devices. And, mobile bookings are increasing at a rate of 20% or more each year in some countries. But, this also means that our website, and your property information, will be equally beautiful and functional on all computers. In the coming weeks, additional phases of our IWBmob re-branding will be visible across our entire website.
One thing to consider when selecting your primary booking engine is this. Have you gone through the booking process on multiple different mobile devices such as an iPhone, an Android phone, and a tablet? Are the email confirmations that your guests receive equally mobile-friendly? Instant World Booking has this all covered for you.
We invite you to check out your new profile pages (including up to 15 translated pages for each property that we’ve always offered). We think you’ll agree that it works better on mobile devices, and is more straightforward and easy for users, than most other booking sites.
Here are some of best profiles we’ve seen. We recommend you check them out for ideas. Remember, add your best photos!
As an added bonus, we will soon introduce some innovative methods of integrating your IWB experience with Facebook and other social media. These are brand new innovations that are currently not used by any other booking service. Look for future announcements to learn how to take advantage of these innovations.
Nuestro nuevo diseño de sitio web para móviles está aquí.
Recientemente anunciamos la introducción del nuevo sitio web móvil de IWB, llamado IWBmob. La primera fase de este re-branding acaba de ser lanzado. Es un diseño móvil primero. Esto significa que se ha rediseñado su página de perfil y todo el proceso de reserva. Y no es nada menos que revolucionario. Nuestro nuevo diseño cuenta con una estética móvil de vanguardia y una experiencia de usuario optimizada y flexible. Para los usuarios de nuestro nuevo motor de reservas, la experiencia superará prácticamente cualquier sitio de reservas moderno disponible hoy.
¿Qué significa móvil primero?
Mobile-first significa que nuestro sitio responderá con flexibilidad a todo tipo de computadoras y dispositivos, con énfasis en los usuarios móviles. Después de todo, más del 25% de las reservas de viajes en todo el mundo se realizan en dispositivos móviles. Y, en algunos países, las reservas móviles aumentan a un ritmo del 20% o más cada año. Pero, esto también significa que nuestro sitio web, y su información de propiedad, será igualmente hermosa y funcional en todas las computadoras. En las próximas semanas, las fases adicionales de nuestra nueva marca IWBmob serán visibles en todo nuestro sitio web.
Una cosa a considerar al seleccionar su motor de reserva principal es esta. ¿Ha realizado el proceso de reserva en varios dispositivos móviles diferentes, como un iPhone, un teléfono Android y una tableta? ¿Son las confirmaciones por correo electrónico de que sus invitados reciben igualdad de movilidad? Instant World Booking tiene todo esto cubierto para usted.
Te invitamos a consultar tus nuevas páginas de perfil (incluyendo hasta 15 páginas traducidas para cada propiedad que siempre hemos ofrecido). Creemos que estarás de acuerdo en que funciona mejor en dispositivos móviles y es más sencillo y fácil para los usuarios que la mayoría de los otros sitios de reservas.
Para la comparación, aquí están algunos de los mejores perfiles que hemos visto. Le recomendamos que los revise para obtener ideas. Recuerde, agregue sus mejores fotos!
Como una ventaja añadida, pronto introduciremos algunos métodos innovadores de integrar tu experiencia de IWB con Facebook y otras redes sociales. Se trata de innovaciones completamente nuevas que actualmente no son utilizadas por ningún otro servicio de reservas. Busque anuncios futuros para aprender a aprovechar estas innovaciones.
Since summer will be here in just a few days and travel is going to be at its summertime peak before we know it, here’s an very impt article we came across in regards to making sure your Passport is up to date. Your passport might not be valid enough for certain countries. Please read the below Article for some very important information.
In “Moby-Dick,” Herman Melville famously called “lonely” Nantucket an “elbow of sand” that was “all beach, without a background.” The description is more appealing today. The 14-mile-long island, once a refuge for persecuted Quakers, is now a summer refuge for the global elite. But don’t worry, the one-percenters haven’t completely taken over. Thirty miles southeast of Hyannis on Cape Cod, Nantucket is a bastion of conservation, with almost 45 percent of the land in trusts, and over 800 pre-Civil War-era buildings still standing in Nantucket town. There are virtually no fenced-off beaches; most of the 82 miles of glorious coastline are open to the public. Nantucket hasn’t turned into a fossilized monument of its whaling past. Instead, it has evolved into a sophisticated getaway, with dining and shopping options that will impress even the most jaded urbanites. Its serene moors and dunes belie a fatal transience — beaches are quickly eroding, accelerated by climate change, and the island itself is projected to disappear beneath the waves in several hundred years. So enjoy Nantucket’s natural wonders while you still can, striking the right balance of timeless island pleasures and new creature
Nebraska is a Midwestern U.S. State encompassing the prairies of the Great Plains, the towering dunes of the Sandhills and the panhandle’s dramatic rock formations. Lincoln, the capital and a vibrant university town, is distinguished by its soaring state capitol. The city of Omaha is home to the Durham Museum, which honors the state’s pioneering past in a converted railroad depot. Its where the Midwest meets the West, literally. Geographers identify the 100th meridian, which nearly halves the state, as the boundary between the two regions. But travelers don’t need a sign to recognize the divide. As in frontier days, the majority of Cornhuskers live in the state’s eastern half, and out west, the sun still sets over vast grasslands and yucca-capped buttes. Nebraska has wonders in every direction: vast prairies in the east, majestic cliffs and peaks in the west and sand dunes in between, making for a trip as scenic as it is fun. The state is also rich in history, with many opportunities to explore its heritage. See one bold sunset set against the backdrop of the Sandhills, (as in our attached photo) and you’ll understand what drove settlers across the grassland plains and over the bracing rivers to stake their claim to history! Tour Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park, or explore a historic military fort. No matter where you go—or where you’re from—you’ll always be welcomed with a warm smile.
Cruising the high seas has long been regarded by travelers as a romantic throwback to a bygone era of travel, where you wake up to the salt air, open ocean, and all you have to do each morning is get up, then step ashore and go exploring.
In searching for that “just right” first cruise, you’ve followed all the rules — researched cruise lines, examined possible itineraries You’ve booked your ship, selected a stateroom and picked an itinerary.
So what’s next?
You’d be surprised at how many factors — perhaps less earth-shattering but important nevertheless — remain to be considered, such as packing, getting to the ship and life onboard.
If you haven’t booked the cruise line’s flight-inclusive air/sea package, you’ll need to book your own air transportation to the port unless you intend to drive. When flying in, plan to arrive as early in the morning as possible on embarkation day. The day before is even better. The reason: You need to factor in possible flight delays and other transportation glitches that could keep you from getting to the pier on time. The same advice goes for the flight home — book flights in the afternoon, just in case your ship is delayed clearing customs and you debark late.
The following first-time cruise tips and cruise 101 will help you find the answers to any remaining questions you might have, so that you can get off to a stress-free and fun-filled start to your first ever vacation at sea. There are a few ways to make your seagoing escape even more affordable. Below are five tips for cutting costs, from looking for short-notice savings to finding freebies like complimentary dinners in a specialty restaurant or shipboard credits — the equivalent of cash that you can spend on board.
Calling all Elvis fans! Of course we’ve ll been to ~ or planning on visiting ~ Memphis, to visit the Kings castle “Graceland”. What can you say about this wonderful landmark! Its his famed estate featuring mansion tours, exhibits, a car museum & 2 jets. (Not sure if the Jets are still there, I read recently they were up for sale) But along my travels to Memphis, I took an even more interest as to where Elvis was born and his early childhood. So off we went to Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley. His home is now a historic museum site. His birthplace is more than a two-room shack, its a real Elvis a experience. It really is a fascinating little town, and just a short drive from Memphis (under 2 hours by car) Plus Tupelo has been named an All-America City by the National Civic League in 1967, 1989, 1999, 2011, and 2015, so there must be something very special about this little town! Besides the obvious, theres also the the 444-mile historic Natchez Trace Parkway, which its is headquarters are there, a local Tupelo man has a collection of automobiles so extensive and expensive that it became the official automobile museum of Mississippi! Also theres an abundance of dining opportunities, quality Hotel Rooms, many specialty shops downtown, Antique shopes, ect. If you’re an “Elvis Fan Forever” ; ) I would definitely recommend heading to Tupelo.