Dr. Cacinda Maloney, travel writer, blogger, photographer and social media influencer, is passionate about value luxury travel as well as adventure and culture. She created the popular blog Points and Travel and is also a brand ambassador for Travelocity, Rocky Mountaineer and the Findery App. Having traveled every six weeks of her life for over 20 years and worked with a multitude of destination management companies, as well as over 30 tourism boards worldwide, she is our official travel crush.
Learn more about this woman who craves adventures by day and luxury by night in our first post of a two-part series. This interview will leave you inspired to plan your next trip…
Tell us a bit more about the reason behind the name of your blog, Points and Travel. The original idea was to write a blog telling people how to maximize their airline points, while also writing about travel. I abandoned that idea within about three months when I realized I didn’t enjoy writing about the mundane world of points. I wanted to write evergreen content about my travels, to share my experiences, and to inspire others to travel more. I rebranded the blog into “value luxury”, as I was always wanting the best value out of my dollars spent, while still having luxury experiences. By using miles and points, my family was able to take more vacations per year, since half the trip was covered at a low cost. Then we could splurge on other areas of the trip.
What is “value luxury”? Value Luxury is not about the price of the accommodation, it is about the value found in a luxury experience. Most of my readers are over 35, college educated and living in affluent households with disposable income for travel. They travel several times per year and are looking for luxury destinations, but also want to experience local culture and adventure in the region. They are also willing to splurge, so it all depends on the value they are getting out of the experience – that value means maximizing dollars for the greatest experience.
What motivated you to become a travel writer and blogger? My passion for travel motivated me to want to document it. I love to talk about it, write about it, experience it, and photograph it.
How many trips a year do you take? A lot. 35 countries in the last two years, and that is counting countries, not trips. Already, by February 2016, I had been to seven countries.
How many total countries have you visited? Last count I was at 69 or 70, but I need to recount again!
On average, how long are you away from home? 2 -3 weeks out of a month.
What is the longest time you have been away from home? Five weeks.
What is your definition of sustainability? It’s taking care of and keeping our planet as pristine as possible for the next generations of global travel.
How do you personally incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle choices? By being less materialistic, using less and always carrying an empty water bottle to refill on all my travels.
What experiences have you had with sustainable luxury from a travel standpoint? Have you ever been influenced to stay at a particular property because of their sustainable elements or options? Yes, I had the chance to stay at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat in Ipoh, Malaysia that is built in and around natural waterfalls and limestone caves. Also, the eco-friendly yoga resort called Blue Osa in Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula and Ecoventura, a ship in the Galapagos where sustainability is at the forefront of what they do everyday.
What fuels your passion for travel? Has this fire always burned inside of you or was it stoked by a particular experience? Travel is addicting! The more I travel the more I crave it. As a kid, I only traveled once or twice a year and only in the USA, so to think of going around the world seemed exciting.
When you aren’t traveling how do you like to spend your time? I love going to the spa with a girlfriend, writing and social media, and hanging out with my husband and my boys when they are around.
Speaking from your vast experience, give us one travel tip that will change our lives. This is weird, but, I always bring a packet of salt and a straw with me when I travel. You can fill the straw with a mix of salt and warm water, pouring it in your nose to clear your sinuses if you get sick or are stuffed up after a flight. It acts as a disposable Neti Pot and works much better than a saline spray. That, and packing cubes! There are many brands out there, but I use ebags. (*editors note- How have we lived without packing cubes? Life changing!)
As a trending leader in the luxury travel blogging sector, what key projects are you involved with in 2016? This year I am heavily involved with a few projects: Travelocity is my main brand ambassadorship and I am happy to represent them worldwide as I travel. They are interested in my travel content and allow me to have great freedom to write about destinations that I am passionate about. I am a brand ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer, the fabulous train rides across Canada, and I could not be more proud of their luxury product. I am also on the team of Findery, a GPS based App, where I create content. It is a blessing in disguise, when you arrive in a city and don’t know where to go it tells you the cool places near and far from where you are located.
*photo credits: Opening photo of Cacinda drinking mezcal in Oaxaca, taken by Cantimplora Travel. Photo of Cacinda and her husband, taken by Johann of Flytographer. All other photographs were taken by Cacinda.
Travel with Cacinda via her social media accounts: .
Twitter: twitter.com/PointsandTravel @PointsandTravel