Ladies We Love is a monthly interview series with women from around the world that provide us with inspiration through their travels and personal stories. This week we got to know travel blogger Amanda Twine of Fly Stay Luxe.
Amanda Twine is an Ambassador and Senior Contributor at We Are Travel Girls. Amanda has been exploring the world for the last 15 years, documenting her adventures on her affordable luxury travel blog FlyStayLuxe.com.
1) Amanda, please introduce yourself to our readers? What do you do? Where are you from?
Hi, my name is Amanda Twine. But online most people know me as @flystayluxe on Instagram or the founder of FlyStayLuxe.com, an affordable luxury travel blog. Before I started my blogging journey I worked for an airline as a safety investigator and I’m also a qualified pilot. I currently look after digital marketing for my husband’s business in our home town of Brisbane, Australia.
2) Your blog FlyStayLuxe is an affordable luxury travel blog, what inspired you to start this blog?
I travelled around the world as a backpacker in my early 20s and became very savvy at finding a great deal on travel. When I began working for an airline, I had the opportunity to travel in business class for free and most of my accommodation paid for me. Needless to say, I developed a taste for the finer side of travelling.
Nowadays, I no longer get free flights, as I don’t work for the airlines anymore, so I dabble in a bit of travel hacking as a way of funding my business class travel habit and I’m always on the lookout for a good deal on boutique-style or design accommodation. My friends always ask me how to find good deals on travel, so I decided to start a travel blog to share my tips as well as my travel guides and stories.
3) What piece of advice would you give readers looking to start their own blog?
You have to be committed. Starting a blog is very challenging and time-consuming. But if you have the right mindset, you can make it work. Most people don’t know that I actually started my first travel blog back in 2013. In between working full-time and blogging every evening, I hardly ever saw my husband, so I gave it up. I learnt a lot from that experience and realised I needed to find the right balance between a job that pays the bills and working on my blog.
The best piece of advice that someone once gave me was; do one thing each day towards building your blog, even if you only allocate 15 minutes a day, over-time it will come together. It might take a little longer to get there, but that’s where being committed comes in.
4) You have created your own travel guides, what destination has surprised you the most?
I was quite surprised at how quickly I fell in love with Japan. So much so I’ve been there twice and am thinking of going back again sometime in the next 12 months. For first time visitors, Japan can be a really confusing place. They have some interesting rules and ways of doing things. But learning about other cultures is half the fun of travelling, right?
5) And one which exceeded your expectations?
Iceland, for sure! It was one of those places that is so much better than the photos you see on Instagram. The landscape is simply stunning, the people are lovely, and the food is amazing. Every experience we had there totally blew my mind, even when the wind was blowing-a-gale and there were hundreds of tourists at the waterfalls… it was like everyone was witnessing something awesome together.
6) You have been traveling for 15 years, which destination would you not go back to and why?
That’s a hard one, most places I’ve visited I would like to go back to. Even if I didn’t enjoy it that much the first time, I like to approach things differently the next time around. With a different mindset, I think it’s possible to appreciate any destination for what it is. But if I’m being honest, right now I’m a little over Bali. Being is so close to Australia, so I’ve spent a lot of time in Bali, and even though I love it, things have changed over the years and I think I would like to visit some other parts of Indonesia.
7) You previously worked in the airline industry as a pilot and in airline safety, what influenced you to make the change?
It took me a few years to realise that the only reason I became a pilot was so I could travel the world. Which for the record, is the wrong reason to become a pilot! I found working in airline safety to be a very interesting and challenging career, but ultimately, travelling more was my biggest driver. What I do now doesn’t earn me as much money, but it does allow me the flexibility to travel more.
8) Do you still fly planes?
Unfortunately not. I still have my licence, but flying is an expensive hobby to upkeep. Unless I win the lottery, or someone else pays me to fly them somewhere exotic, I probably won’t be flying much in the future. But the option is always there if I do decide to get back into it.
9) What are your travel plans for 2019?
I’ve actually just booked a spontaneous trip to the Maldives and I’m really excited! Maldives has always been a dream destination for me, but it’s so expensive. I recently came across a really good deal, so I couldn’t help myself.
I’m also joining Becky & Vanessa (founders of We Are Travel Girls) on their first group ski trip in Austria, which I’m really looking forward to. It will be my third trip with Travel Girls Getaways. I’ve previously been to Morocco and Bali with them and I always have a great time connecting with other travel ladies. Other than that, I would also like to visit Jordan, Namibia, Finland and Sri Lanka, but we’ll have to wait and see if I can make those destinations happen this year.
10) What applications or websites would you recommend to our readers for travel planning?
Coincidentally, I just wrote an article about my favourite mobile travel apps. My number one is Google Maps. Anytime I get a recommendation for a café, restaurant or place to visit, I always save it on Google Maps, to access later. I also love using Rome2rio to plan out how to get from A to B when I arrive at the destination. And I can’t go past Skyscanner to find the best deal on flights.
I met both the founders, Becky and Vanessa at one of their Bali retreats in 2017, and I really connected with both of them. They are such down-to-earth ladies and I love their approach to travel blogging. They’re big advocates for responsible tourism, and I love that they have recently started Travel Girls Giving, as a way of giving back to the communities they visit. That’s something I’m proud to be a part of!
12) Now for a fun question, 3 things you never travel without?
My noise-cancelling Bose headphones – a Christmas present from my hubby and a life-saver on long-haul flights, my camera to capture all my amazing experiences, and a great hat – for sun protection, and to look good (of course)!
Read More Ladies We Love Interviews
- Ladies We Love: Hermon & Heroda
- Ladies We Love: Becky van Dijk
- Ladies We Love: Asha Daya of Girl Talk HQ
- Ladies We Love: Vanessa Rivers
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