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Americans can now reserve home stays in Cuba on Airbnb

Airbnb adds listings to Cuba for Americans who want a home stay when they visit Havana and other cities.

With travel to Cuba super-hot these days, Airbnb now features more than 1,000 listings for travelers who want to stay in someone's home when they visit the island nation, the company announced Thursday.

President Obama in January eased the rules for Americans who want to travel to Cuba, touching off a wave of tourism interest in the now easier-to-travel-to country.

Airbnb has capitalized on an existing network of "casas particulares," entrepreneurial homeowners who have opened their houses to visitors for years, it said.

About 40% of Airbnb listings cover Havana; I checked and found rooms available for as low as $25 a night. The rest of the listings include other parts of the island such as Matanzas, Cienfuegos and Santa Clara.

Airbnb is the latest company in the rush-to-Cuba crowd.

In February, travel search engine Kayak added flights to Cuba and Cuban hotels to its listings (though it doesn't have a booking mechanism). The same month travel booking site CheapAir started selling airfares to Cuba that Americans can buy in a single transaction.

Although restrictions on Cuban travel have been eased, Americans still need to fall into one of 12 categories to travel to the island. To see whether you qualify, go to the Treasury Department website and take a look at its FAQs.

Obama's eased restrictions also allow Americans to use U.S. debit and credit cards (although currently there's no banking infrastructure to support this) and to bring back $400 worth of goods.

 

 

 

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