Ø Who are you?
My name is Paul Johnson and I work in online marketing for the tourist industry.
Ø Where are you from/Where’s home?
I live in Kendal, Cumbria, UK, midway between two of England’s most beautiful National Parks – the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
Ø What type of traveller are you? Backpacker, full time traveller, luxury traveller?
I like to travel in luxury, but am not averse to camping and going more off-the-beaten track.
Ø Where was the first trip you took?
As a child, I used to holiday in France every year with my family.
Ø Do you have any funny or crazy travel stories?
In Lithuania last year I had a Russian banyan (a kind of sauna where you’re thrashed with sticks). Let’s just say it was an interesting experience and involved a degree of nudity which didn’t really sit well with us British! Anyway, the next day I had a Thai massage at the same resort. On arrival, the Thai lady told me to undress in preparation for the massage and lie face down on the bed when I was ready. Following the previous day’s experience, I pointed to my shorts and asked if I was meant to remove them also. She nodded. They were swimming shorts and I didn’t have underwear underneath – she had assumed I did. Enough said!
Ø What is the worst place you’ve travelled to and why?
I honestly don’t have a ‘worst place’.
Ø Where is your favourite place in the world?
It might sound like a cliché, but home. I love travel and love exploring new cultures and destinations, but returning home always gives me great pleasure also, probably helped that we live in such a beautiful part of the world.
Ø How do you fund your travels?
My travels are funded by the clients I work with.
Ø What is your most fond memory from your travels?
Our honeymoon was very special. We went on safari to Tanzania, followed by a remote private island off Zanzibar for a little R&R.
Ø What would you be doing if you weren’t travelling?
I wouldn’t mind being a photographer (although preferably a travel photographer!).
Ø Have you ever experiences any cultural faux pas?
See incident in Lithuania above!
Ø What is your Favourite airline?
Currently it would have to be Virgin Atlantic – I’ve had the pleasure of flying Upper Class with them quite a few times lately.
Ø Where are you off to next?
We are just back from a safari in Marrakech. Next up are trips to Greece and Morocco.
Ø What is the name of your travel blog and why did you choose this name?
A Luxury Travel Blog. luxurytravelblog.com was my preferred name but was already taken (although I do now own it) so I just stuck an “a” in the front!
Ø When did you start blogging?
2004, although not until 2005 with A Luxury Travel Blog.
Ø Why did you start a Travel blog?
My day job is tourism, but I started it really just out of personal interest.
Ø What are your tips for new Travel Bloggers?
Be in it for the long term. Starting a travel blog now isn’t going to be easy – particularly for the first few years – since there are so many travel bloggers out there nowadays. You’re going to have to be committed to your blog, even when the future looks seemingly very bleak at times, if you want to make a career of it.
Ø Do you wish you did differently when you started out?
I wished I had a better quality design at the outset (we used to have only very small thumbnail images which really weren’t good enough) and I wished I had gone full time with it sooner than I did.
Ø What has been your most successful blog post and what was it about?
In terms of traffic, it would be 4 simple steps to cheaper hotel rates, with TravelPony
It’s had more than 2.5 million views because it happens to have been advertised extensively.
Ø What do you do to help make your articles successful?
I do a lot of ‘top 10’ style posts which seem to go down well and are shared extensively. I naturally try to ensure the content is worth reading, have good quality images to accompany the text, and that the posts are well promoted.
Ø What social media platform is the most helpful for you and why?
Twitter, probably because it’s where we happen to have the greatest following (around half a million followers).
Ø Have you worked with any “big name” sponsors, if not who would be your dream to work with?
Yes, I have worked with a number of large brands over the last year – for example: American Express, BMW, Land Rover, TUI Travel, Virgin Atlantic.
Ø Do you have any tips for new bloggers who want to work with sponsors?
Work on the blog, not on getting sponsors. Whilst it’s not impossible, the reality is that it’s very difficult to attract sponsors if your site is still in its infancy. Invest your time, therefore, in building your site and not in trying to attract sponsors. Many travel bloggers will commit several years of hard graft to their blogs before they try and make it more financially sustainable.
Ø Which travel bloggers do you admire?
Those who openly share tips and advice and don’t keep their cards so close to their chests.
Ø Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Just do it. It’s easy to procrastinate – just get out there and enjoy travelling.
Ø What is your Travel Motto:
I don’t particularly have one but a friend once said to us (at the time I was buying my wife’s engagement ring, I seem to remember!) that “You never regret life’s extravagances.” I suppose to some extent it’s saying you get what you pay for and, if you splurge a little here and there, you rarely find yourself regretting it later. I like to apply the same ethos to our travels.
Website url: http://www.aluxurytravelblog.com
Google+ profile: https://plus.google.com/106483048508230954628