For McCool Travel’s 118th travel profile, I am happy to present Kristin Luna of Camels & Chocolate. I have known Kristin for years on Facebook and Twitter. I knew she writes very compelling travel articles and takes magnificent travel photos, but I did not know that she … Well, I will let you read on to learn more about Kristin Luna on your own.
Kristin Luna‘s bio: “I freelance ad nauseam, serve as co-editor at our city magazine in Nashville, and consult for a number of small businesses, on both marketing and media strategy. A bulk of my freelance work comprises influencer campaigns where I partner with destinations and brands to create an authentic message. I’m not a backpacker. I’m not a nomad. I’m not someone who up and quit her job, abandoning her old lifestyle to travel the world without pause. I’m just a girl who has managed to balance a career with a family and jetsetting—and I want to show you that you can do the same.”
Tullahoma, Tennessee, though I claim Nashville as my own.
Always in my luggage…
a smattering of camera supplies, usually comprising my Canon 6D, 24-105mm lens, 16-35mm lens and various accessories, all of which I carry in my Lo & Sons OMG bag (pretty much the only carry on I’ve found that fits my camera kit, MacBook Pro, Kindle plus personal items!).
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…
Edinburgh, Scotland where I studied abroad in college.
New York, New York where I lived during those formative years as a twentysomething navigating my way through the NYC media world.
The Florida Panhandle where I’ve been vacationing since childhood.
A favorite travel memory is…
Meeting my husband in an international student orientation in Utrecht, Holland 11 years ago. We briefly chatted and immediately didn’t care for one another—I thought him too quiet, he assumed I was a vapid sorority girl (I am Southern, but a sorority dropout…)—after all, I didn’t move abroad again to befriend Americans! Two months later we were dating; a month after that we were living together; four years later, married. 😉
3 favorite travel brands…
- Airbnb because it’s my favorite way to stay locally
- Southwest Airlines because their customer service is on point
- Fairmont Hotels because their properties are always stunning and I can’t get enough of that afternoon tea service!
3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…
Rent a car at the location closest to (but not at) the airport; you’d be surprised how much cheaper the same car can be from the same company just a mile from the airport.
Fly on holidays like Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve to save significantly on airfare.
I’m a fan of traveling just before or just after peak season, such as May or September to the national parks, which are flooded with people during those prime holiday months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Not only do you save a bit of money, you save your sanity not having to wade through the throngs of people taking advantage of their kids being out of school for the summer!
3 ways that I have fun while traveling are …
- brewery hopping
- planning my days around meals (I’ve been known to cram in five on a single day)
- fun fitness offerings like acro or aerial yoga to counteract all that eating and drinking!
8 word (or less) travel mantra…
“Enjoy life, eat everything—diet starts Monday. ;-)”
favorite non-travel website …
A Beautiful Mess. Their colorful site is what my dreams are made of!
most memorable souvenir …
Other than occasional artisan-made jewelry from the countries I visit, I don’t collect anything other than photographs. I consider my blog a living scrapbook of my travels, and my husband and I have a gallery wall in our home with many of our photos framed as reminders of all the awesome trips we’ve been fortunate to take.
favorite cheap eat …
I’ll eat any type of curry, any time, any place. I’ve still never been to Thailand but can’t wait to go—hopefully in 2017?—because I hear you can feast on curry for $2 a meal.
recent discovery …
I haven’t used Fareness.com just yet, but I’ve been eyeing trips to Mexico and Hawaii after searching how cheaply I could reach both destinations from Nashville. Since my husband and I both work from home—we run a small media company together—we are flexible with timing and location independent to an extent, and the concept of that site works quite well for our method of travel.
I am fortunate to have met …
thousands of celebrities. I’ve interviewed everyone from Julia Roberts to Steven Tyler to Taylor Swift during my decade as a red carpet reporter, and the majority have surprised me with their kindness and humility. A few of my favorites include Richard Branson, Bill Nighy, Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, and, of course, Taylor.
I would like to meet …
Michelle Obama. There’s never been a First Lady with the grace, poise, and heart she possesses. America is going to miss her sorely come mid-January.
Thank you so much, Kristin, for taking a few minutes to share travel inspiration and tips.
Follow Kristin Luna on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Camels & Chocolate.
Check out McCool Travel’s previous interviews. McCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons. Previous 5 Minutes post: Chris Owen of Chris Cruises.
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