For us the term ‘travelling light’ seems like an obscure pipe dream. Often we arrive in a destination with shoulders laden with backpacks and cases of enough photographic tripods and lenses to fill a small studio.

For that reason we aim to packing RIGHT is the aim of the game and we’re constantly on the lookout for bags and accessories that not only look good but help compartmentalise the craziness while on the road.

That’s how we met Marina Tokarski and Gus Agra of Von Routte; a couple who, like us, work together, create together and travel together. And who have also dreamed up some of our favourite backpacks that manage to fuse the perfect blend of style and structure for adventures abroad.

Marina and Gus has just returned from Cuba where they’ve put their leathers to the test as they walked the streets of old Havana (still enjoying a renaissance since opening its doors to travellers from all over the globe).

Here are their suggestions for doing Cuba right…

We love to travel and get to know different places and different cultures. It’s the best way to open your mind to see everyday things in a different perspective.

We are completely influenced by those experiences and we inevitably translate that in our products and in the way we design, manufacture and market our products.

Havana is a fascinating place to visit because of its history. It’s a place that breathes culture and resilience. The architecture of the old buildings is incredible, people are very friendly and warm, and everywhere you go there’s music. There’s no place like Havana, it’s completely captivating.

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

y O, Vedado, Postal Code: 10400, Cuba, Calle 21, La Habana, Cuba
+53 7 8363564

Unlike in Australia or other places where you have many cafes to go out for breakfast or brunch, you don’t really see this habit in Havana. Probably the best places for a full breakfast meal would be hotels, like Hotel Nacional. Make sure to drink a traditional cafe con leche (coffee with milk) and enjoy the tropical fruits.

The hidden gems in Havana are Los Paladares. Paladares are independent restaurants often placed inside people’s houses. They usually don’t have a big variety on menu, but the homemade meal is delicious and they will have local bands playing, creating this warm and amazing atmosphere.

La Bodeguita del Medio

Empedrado, La Habana, Cuba
+53 7 8671374

La Bodeguita del Medio is a great place to visit with friends. It’s a traditional restaurant with great food (in particular the lobster), amazing live music and the best mojitos ever. Actually, La Bodeguita claims to be the birthplace of the mojitos!

For a fun night, Havana Vieja or Old Havana is the best place. It’s full of restaurants, live music and cabarets. It’s worth catching a show from Legendarios del Guajitiro, to have the Buena Vista Social Club experience. After that, you can wander around Obispo street and do a little bit of a pub crawl.

Havana Vieja is full of hotels and close to many attractions. However, it’s also worthwhile to get away a little bit from the touristy areas, so you can walk around local suburbs and find hidden local gems, get a little bit of the feeling of the local life.

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Meg & Dom

Tags: Cuba, Insider Tips, My Series

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