An experienced luxury travel writer, photographer, and social media influencer, Dr. Cacinda Maloney of PointsandTravel shares her love of travel thru her writings about adventure, cultural, and luxury travel experiences. She stepped out of her comfort zone years ago by traveling every six weeks of her life for over 25 years. She now travels even more than that and traveled to 47 countries in 2016 and then 20 countries in 2017 and more than that in 2018. She loves transformation travel that is rich in cultural experiences.
And Dr. Maloney was kind enough to answer a few of our travel questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Cacinda: I have been traveling every 6 weeks of my life for over 25+ years for a lifestyle choice, but now I travel more than that. Originally what got me hooked was a phone call I made to my business trainer when I asked him about a trip to Vienna. I called him and within 25 minutes, he had given me the top things to do in detail, as he knew it like the back of his hand. That is what I wanted to be able to do, know a place like that.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Cacinda: Primarily luxury, not over the top Beyonce style, but the best value luxury an affluent traveler can afford and enjoys. My tag line is "Adventure and culture by Day, Smart Luxury by Night!", which sums up how I like to travel.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Cacinda: Oh come on, seriously? How does one answer that question? There have been so many great vacations! Remember I go all the time! But I would say, as an American, if you haven't made it to Western Europe, then you better get started there. I love Italy and Spain, as well as so many more countries over there with amazing histories. But there are so many places to see in this world, you must go to the Galapagos Islands; Palawan, Philippines; Manitoba, Canada; Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, Chile,
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Cacinda: Tanzania on an African Safari and Easter Island, Chile.
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Cacinda: iPhone, Mac, DSLR camera, power sources, noise cancelling headphones, and a sweater.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Cacinda: Just do it, get out there in the world and see what it has to offer.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
Cacinda: Bucket List Journey is my good friend and travel buddy and she has a fantastic website.
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Cacinda: Palawan, Philippines, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and Savannah GA, USA.
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
Cacinda: Travelocity, TripAdvisor, and Award Wallet for points storage.
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Cacinda: Always sign up for those frequent flyer accounts and make sure you get every mileage that is owed to you on it or its partner's airlines. Check to see which alliance the flight you are traveling on is in, so that you get your points without a hassle.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you've ever been given?
Cacinda: Easy to answer this one: "Travel every six weeks of your life." - per Dr. Radermacher, my business trainer, circa 1993 Words to live by.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Cacinda: Yes, getting something stolen. Honestly, this doesn't happen that often when I travel.
TA: Which country has surprisingly good food?
Cacinda: Guyana! Try the Egg Ball!
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
Cacinda: Santorini island was probably the most romantic, but unfortunately it wasn't with my partner, but with a good friend. I would say a drive down the Amalfi Coast was the most romantic place I have visited with my partner. Positano was icing on the cake.
TA: What's one way people can get the most out of their cruise experience?
Cacinda: Take the daily free walks to the city.
TA: Have you ever met someone while traveling who changed your life? Who were they?
Cacinda: Yes, my friend, Annette Slowik-White of Bucketlistjourney.net. Met her at a luxury farmhouse in Tuscany, Italy and I have been traveling with her ever since!
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you've ever visited?
Cacinda: I loved Genoa, Italy. Krakow, Poland, Lviv, Ukraine. Those are all affordable and amazing at the same time! Also, a lot of the post USSR countries are super cheap and cool too!