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Kayla Douglas

Experience5 Years

Kayla began chasing passport stamps as a teenager and hasn’t stopped since. Her love for storytelling and building communities – both on and offline – blossomed into her becoming a social media marketer, a role perfectly aligned with her passions.

Raised in upstate NY, Kayla craved the chance to explore the world beyond the confines of her small town from a young age. While pursuing her International Studies degree, she jumped at every opportunity to expand her horizons. Her sophomore semester of college in France — which admittedly was a lot less studying and a lot more hopping on train, plane, or bus to discover her next destination! — shaped the way she viewed her evolving definition of “home.”

Bitten by an unshakable wanderlust, Kayla embarked on a full year of travel through internships and study abroad programs as a college senior. She returned full of stories, from how she realized the world of D.C. politics wasn’t quite for her, to finding an apartment in France only after arriving with her luggage, to dancing through Oktoberfest tables alongside German friends followed by celebrating Holi Festival in the remote Indian village of Vrindavan. Kayla began working in the travel industry mere weeks after finishing her undergrad.

With a background as a former travel agent and passionate social media marketer, her experience aligned perfectly with SmartFlyer’s Marketing and Social Media Manager role. She is passionate about empowering the ever-growing community of Smarties to approach social media marketing with authenticity while working in tandem with travel industry partners to tell their stories through the SmartFlyer lens. Always on the hunt for the next hot travel trend, you can typically find Kayla reading, running, writing, and consuming content, an americano (or glass of wine, depending on the time!) rarely out of reach.

Which destinations are you looking forward to visiting and why?

My list of destinations is ever-growing, so it’s nearly impossible to answer this question. But, breaking into South America is high on my list right now. I’m seriously swooning over the combination of Ecuador and Peru by land and sea – I’d be so excited to explore the Galápagos Islands and the Sacred Valley all in one trip!

As a social media marketer, how do you prepare for your trips?

I’m a super visual person, so putting together a virtual board of interesting spots is a must. I’ll bookmark cafés that I want to try, murals I need to find, and shots of the scenery that I’m dying to discover with my own eyes. Of course, if there are any special restaurants I want to try, I’ll try and snag a res prior to departure. For me, packing is always an afterthought! I’m totally the one throwing things in my suitcase a few hours before an international flight, barely able to get it zipped.

Favorite Travel Tip

Take all the pictures. Capture as much video as you want. But don't interupt your travel experience by trying to post to social media in the moment. For me, travel is about human connection and being in the moment. You'll lose out on that if you're too worried about editing your photo while on the top of a mountain. Wait until you're back to your hotel for the night (or better yet, when the trip is over) to start sharing your experience online; that way, you can ensure that you were present when it was happening and then able to relive it when you share the destination with your community.


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