The sun is really strong in Cuba and I met more than one person who was suffering from sunstroke when we were there in April. It is not always possible to get a Palapa so it is important to have a hat. If you have a favourite straw hat but do not know how to pack it I have suggestions for you.
This is really straightforward and yet, so effective! I owe it to a friend of mine who was traveling with me to Israel a few years ago. I have since taken my hat through several countries without any damage. In fact, you can see our hats in the pic of our room from our hotel review. My husband's hat is in the forefront and my large hat is on the desk. The title of the review (April 19) was Amazing Time at Hicacos.
You are going to be packing your hat with the Crown upwards not facing down.
Place a layer or two of clothing on the bottom of your large suitcase.
Fill the crown with tightly rolled-up socks/undies. So it is snug and firm.
Place it "crown-up" into the suitcase. So, you are looking down onto the top of your hat.
Now, if it is a rolled brim, you are going to do the same as you did in the crown. Fill it with rolled up socks/thin shirts, etc.
Again, if it is a rolled brim, place items around the outside. I roll virtually all of my clothing when I am packing anyway, so it is just a matter of positioning those items around the hat.
If it is a straight brim then you will want the support underneath the hat as well as on top.
Because you have filled the crown and the brim with the rolled-up items it will be firm. Therefore, you can continue to pack the rest of your clothing all around the hat and on top of it.
My husband packed his cowboy hat the same way and had no problems whatsoever.
This process works like a charm!