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Kayla Douglas

Experience3 Years

Kayla began chasing passport stamps as a teenager and hasn’t stopped since. Her love for building communities through the sharing of  travel online evolved into pursuing social media marketing, a role perfectly aligned with her passions.

Raised in upstate NY, Kayla craved the opportunity to explore 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 definition of home; as she returned confident that you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture anywhere in world, so long as you have an open mind.

Bitten by an unshakable wanderlust, Kayla embarked on a full year of travel as a college senior. Her adventure began with a summer internship at a Washington thinktank before returning to study in France once again (a period undoubtably interspersed with frequent jaunts to nearby European neighbors), piggybacked by a relaxing holiday season in Spain and finally culminated with a spring semester in India. 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. Always on the hunt for the next hot travel trend, you can usually find Kayla reading, writing and consuming content, an americano 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, I’ve always dreamt of doing an African safari! I’m hoping that my next big trip will be an itinerary beginning in Cape Town, transitioning to the winelands of South Africa before settling into a tented camp to see the Big Five. Of course, finishing it off with some R&R in the Seychelles would be totally fine by me.

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 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.