Kristin is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to travel. She’s been all over the world and has a keen eye for finding the best deals and experiences, which is clear from one look at her website, Be My Travel Muse. She’s an expert in solo travel and has many travel guides for her favorite destinations, as well as resources to help you plan outdoor trips, spiritual journeys or find the best way to spend a day (or a few) in a new favorite city. Find out more about Kristin’s story, how she got started in the travel space and how she’s transitioning from a travel party of 1 to 3 with her partner and the addition of their son Felix.
How did you become a solo traveler known for sharing such useful tips?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles and after working in finance for four years before finally just deciding that it wasn’t for me, I took my savings and I bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. From there, I started my blog. And now I’ve been doing this for about ten years!
I ended up as a solo traveler because nobody else was available to go with me, so in reality I had no choice. It’s not really what I wanted but I ended up loving it and now I encourage other people to travel alone! You can read the full story of how I got started here.
What do you love most about your lifestyle?
The freedom. That’s what led me to do this in the first place.I love working for myself and being able to work from anywhere in the world.
What are your top tips for those who haven’t traveled much and need some help getting started?
I highly recommend you just do it! You could start close to home so that it’s less intimidating – even if it’s just ten miles away, that’s a good place to start.
When it comes to packing, what’s your rule of thumb?
The biggest rule is to keep it as light as possible. If you can possibly go carry-on only that’ll simplify things so much. I did that for the whole first year that I was a nomad and it just made things so much easier.
- I never paid any checked baggage fees
- I always had my bag with me
It’s a simpler way to travel – everything has a purpose and a place. I highly recommend only bringing what you absolutely need.
Can you share with us your top travel hacks for accommodations, flights, or activities?
Gosh, it’s hard now because flights have gotten so crazy expensive lately! My main tip would be to just check a bunch of different resources and if you are flying from a country that is not your own, look on their website in their language and use Google Chrome to translate for you. I got some great deals that way, for example flying within Chile it’s much better to book on the Chilean Latam website, which ended up being a quarter of the price.
What’s the best piece of travel hacking advice you’ve ever received?
It’s better to get as many points as you can with a credit card, like Chase or American Express, then transfer your points to an airline for the flight you want, rather than having loyalty with one airline and hoping that your miles will work with them.
I’ve definitely gotten burned in the past because some airlines keep devaluing their miles and if I just had points with Chase instead, I could have transferred them to any airline I wanted instead of being all in with one. This strategy gives you more freedom to choose and is a much better option in my opinion.
How has your life and career changed since meeting your partner and starting a family?
Everything has changed a lot since starting a family because I used to focus so much on traveling alone and now I travel mostly with my partner and my baby.
I also started a new brand I would love to share with the traveling families out there, called Parenthood Adventures. Parenting Adventures covers everything from traveling tips for new parents to top toddler hacks and baby products you shouldn’t live without.