MIAMI, FL - JUNE 16: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about policy changes he is making toward Cuba at the Manuel Artime Theater in the Little Havana neighborhood on June 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida. The President will re-institute some of the restrictions on travel to Cuba and U.S. business dealings with entities tied to the Cuban military and intelligence services. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

How Trump’s Cuba policy could affect your travel plans

Since President Barack Obama began taking steps to loosen travel and trade restrictions on the island nation in late 2014, there has been an increase in people heading there from the U.S.

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If you plan to travel to Cuba, here are six things you should know, based on early reports on Trump’s policy:

1. Travelers once more will have to be part of an organized group.

One policy Trump is reinstating: Travelers will have to be part of an organized tour group operated by a U.S. company, and the tour group will have to maintain a schedule of activities that expose tourists to Cuban culture, the White House said. Obama had scrapped that requirement.

 Related: Trump in Miami: Cuban regime’s ‘end is within the very near future’

2. The U.S. Embassy will remain.

For those who have emergencies abroad, an embassy can be a lifeline to home. Trump said the U.S. Embassy in Havana will stay open. It reopened in 2015 after being closed for more than five decades.

3. You will need to keep your records.

Detailed information on Cuba travel will be required, and visitors will need to hold onto that documentation for at least five years, the Miami Herald reports.

Related: Trump to Little Havana crowd: ‘You wouldn’t move to Palm Beach, would you?’ 

4. You’ll still be able to book an Airbnb.

Though Trump’s policy bars U.S. travelers from staying in Cuban military-linked hotels, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday morning on Twitter that tourists still will be able to book “privately owned lodging like Airbnb.”

5. Cruises and commercial flights will be allowed to continue.

Regularly scheduled commercial flights to Cuba resumed last year following an application and approval process for airlines with the U.S. Department of Transportation. And cruise lines have boosted their offerings to Cuba, with stops in Havana and other popular tourist spots along the coast. Trump administration officials said yesterday in a conference call with reporters that cruises and flights will not be affected by the new policy.

Following Trump’s announcement, the policy took immediate effect. But none of the changes can become effective until new regulations are issued by the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments, The Associated Press reports. The process of setting those regulations could take months, the White House said Friday. If you have a Cuba trip planned in the next few months, you should be in good shape — but it would be useful to have a backup plan.

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