At Travefy, we like to throw the spotlight on travel pros and bloggers that we’re falling in love with. Meet Paul Johnson, an experienced tourism professional who is educating the world to the subtle art of luxury travel.
We were lucky enough to catch Paul for this amazing travel chat, and can’t wait to share it with you.
Photos Courtesy of aluxurytravelblog.com
T: How did you find your way into travel and blogging? How did ALTB came to be?
PJ: I started a tourism marketing company when I was still an undergraduate student at University, distributing tourist literature to hotels, tourist attractions and so on, for visitors to pick up. I stayed on to do a PhD and, when I was writing that up, was when the Web began to emerge.
I got pleasantly distracted with doing websites for tourism-related businesses and, on leaving University, went full time with an internet marketing company catering specifically for tourism. I am still a Director of that company today, but the blog – which I really set up as a hobby during my lunch hours originally – has become my full time job.
T: Why focus on the luxury travel niche when most other travel bloggers focus on budget travel?
PJ: Clue: the answer is in the question!
Seriously, that’s exactly why I did that back in 2005 when I started the blog. I wanted to do something different to the other blogs that were already about at that time, and they were mostly budget backpackers recounting their travels. Plus my interests lay in luxury travel.
T: So, is it possible for the everyday traveler to have a luxury travel experience without ruining themselves?
PJ: Without ruining themselves… financially? I’m going to work on that assumption in answering your question and say ‘yes’.
Contrarily to many people’s perceptions, luxury travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Different people have different definitions of what they regard luxury travel to be, but it doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with cost.
T: What has been one of the best, most eye-opening experiences you’ve had while traveling?
PJ: The smiles on the faces of children who have very little. When travelling through Nepal, I encountered some of the happiest children I know – a stark and humbling reminder that we don’t need material possessions to make us happy.
T: What has been one of the most frustrating/terrible experiences you’ve had traveling?
PJ: Travelling from London to Copenhagen by coach – it took about 3 days. I was a hard-up student, heading for Greenland to do some research and trying to keep costs down, but the journey was so long and tiresome that I ended up flying back home instead of using my return coach ticket!
T: What’s your best-kept secret/tip for others planning a trip to a place they don’t know about?
PJ: Speak to people in the know! Personally, I search my Gmail for the place name or region for contacts who would have an expertise in that area.
T: What’s the next trip you’re going on?
PJ: I’m going to Crete for a few days to do some work for a luxury resort in Elounda, a lovely little town on the eastern side of the island.
T: Ultimately, what’s your favorite travel accessory/ gadget/ item, etc? Why?
PJ: My Canon DSLR! I love photography but do wish I had a bit more time to devote to it to improve my skills.
Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog, one of the world’s leading travel blogs serving over 200,000 uniques per month, and with half a million followers on Twitter and a quarter of a million on Facebook. It has been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph, and ranked as the most influential travel blog in independent research.
For more information, you can contact Paul via www.aluxurytravelblog.com/contact-us