Cacinda Maloney has traveled every six weeks for the past nineteen years, learning a lot of tricks and tips along the way. Back in 2012, she started Pointsandtravel.com and has since become a voice for finding the best in value luxury (the place where luxurious experiences and good deals meet). She has worked with multiple tourism boards, is a founding member of the Value Luxury Network and a member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association and the International Travel Writers Alliance. In our interview today, Cacinda tells us her thoughts on where the travel industry is going, how digital media will impact that shift, and what advice she wishes she’d been given when she started. Enjoy!
Nineteen years ago, you say you were wisely advised to travel every six weeks of your life in order to avoid burnout. Who gave you this advice, and how did you make that prophecy a reality?
Dr. Mark Radermacher, a trainer I hired for my business, gave me this amazing advice and I love to pass it on. My husband and I are both physicians and so we used this advice to keep us motivated to work hard in our practice. It worked like a charm and before you know it, we had traveled all over the world. Each trip didn’t necessarily have to be far away, we did between 3-7 international trips a year and the rest were closer to this side of the world.
Where do you see the travel industry going in the next 5, 10 years? How will digital media impact these shifts?
I see it exploding! I think more and more people will realize that they can actually see the world if they make it a priority. Digital media has made a huge impact in the industry and opened up a gap for new ways that travelers can get information. This was crucial for opening the door for this new wave of world travelers, who don’t necessarily travel like their parents once did.
What advice would you give a hopeful freelance writer about making a living travel blogging?
It can be done! It may be meager at first, but you do have that side benefit of travel! Study hard and network, learn how to tell a story, find out what interests people and write like you are telling your best friend what an amazing trip you just had. Be professional and be consistent. Never give up, if that is what you want to do.
What do you wish you had known from the start that you know now?
Being an older generation travel blogger, I wish I had more technical knowledge about computers, software and hardware. The same goes for photography. Technology is the one thing that frustrates me the most. Kids these days are trained on how to set up a website in 5th grade, so they have such a great advantage to be great travel bloggers. I was lucky, in that I knew how to run a business, had a great photography eye and knew the fundamentals of writing, so I started my blog with a business mindset right from the start.
What was the transition like from freelancer to full-time blogger? (I know you transitioned to full-time earlier this year!)
Well, I was ready for a change in my life. I had worked long and hard at the clinic for 19 years and had reached burn out. I needed a creative way to express myself, and I somehow just fell into travel writing, blogging and photography, since travel was a lifetime passion, I eased into it quite easy. In the beginning, though I was a bit unorganized and didn’t know how to spend my entire day doing this, but eventually a schedule unfolds. Before, when I was part-time travel blogging, I just wrote and edited photos every chance I had a free moment!
If you had to pick one thing, what’s the one thing you love most about travel, and why?
This may sound crazy, but it is the feeling that I get when I know I have a future trip planned. I love THAT feeling, that I have something to look forward to, to plan, to think about. Then, when I actually go on the trip, I have literally thought about each day of the trip and how it should go, so I have in my mind’s eye what will happen, yet I do allow myself some unaccounted moments! Once there too, I just don’t think about home or my troubles/worries and I just enjoy each thing that unfolds in front of me, whether it is a world-class monument, a UNESCO world heritage site, a dive trip, a new culture, crazy good food, beach or snow, it doesn’t matter. I also enjoy the people that I meet along the way; they make all the difference in a trip.
Dr. Cacinda Maloney of PointsandTravel.com is a travel writer, blogger and photographer who has traveled the world every six weeks of her life for over 19 years. Her niche is “value luxury”, where she gets the most from her travel dollars by using loyalty programs to travel for less at luxury properties. She searches for the point where luxury experiences and price intersect and she shares that information with her readers. She is price-aware, yet knows when to splurge. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Interview conducted in June, 2014 by Kristin Winet.