Named in Forbes’ 10 Top Travel Instagrams for July this year, when taking a browse through Travel A Little Luxe’s Instagram feed – it’s easy to see why creator Danielle caught the eye of the Forbes team. Picturesque images from the Maldives to the Mediterranean coastline – Travel A Little Luxe has all the inspo you need to start planning your next getaway.
With more than 65 countries under her belt, we thought Danielle would make the perfect candidate for our latest Fast 50. Here on Husskie, she chats to us about everything from favourite travel destinations to her top 5 Instagram tips.
Missed the last articles in the 50 Questions series? Click the links to read interviews with Annisophie_’s Anne-Sophie Schmidt, When Words Fail’s Danielle Lalor and Nicole Benton, and Renee Roaming‘s Renee Hahnel.
1. Best beauty product of all time? Davines Oi All in One Milk – it’s a banging beauty treatment in a bottle (for damaged hair)
2. Five beauty products you can’t live without? Mecca Cosmetica SPF50 Sunscreen, Le Labo Rose 31 Body Lotion, Dr Kiehl’s Gently exfoliating body scrub in Coriander with Aloe Vera & Chamomile, Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation, and Eve Lom Cleanser
3. Hair “done” or messy? Messy. I have a GHD which has never made it out of the box
4. Favourite fragrance? Anything in the Le Labo range but my 3 faves fragrances are their Rose 31, Jasmin 17 and Neroli 36. I also love the new Tom Ford fragrance Jasmin Rouge
5. Favourite item of clothing? A pretty summer dress by Zimmermann. My other two faves in my wardrobe are Rag & Bone studded leather boots and an Aje denim jacket
6. Favourite fashion brand? Zimmermann
7. Gym or exercising outdoors? Fresh air and sunshine makes exercising easier! However, my favourite classes are yoga and they happen to be indoors (except when I am in the Maldives!) but you will never see me on a treadmill when I could be running in the park
8. Healthy eating or treating yourself? Both. Treating myself is actually when I have the time to cook and prepare healthy, wholesome and nutritious food. It’s one of my favourite things
9. Can you cook? For sure! I At the moment I am really into any of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean recipes. Cooking is great as you can eat as you go and have a glass of wine before everyone else
10. Favourite food to indulge in? It’s a cliché, but hot chips with lots of salt. And none of those healthy oven-baked ones… no, I’m talking twice deep-fried and super crispy on the outside. If you are going to be bad, you may as well do it properly! My indulgence when travelling is artisan gelato every day (chocolate of course)
11. First thing you pick from the mini-bar? I make a beeline for the champagne
12. Best place to eat out? Fave at the moment when I am at home is Mr Wong in Sydney. Their crispy fried Balmain bugs are to die for
13. Happiest moment? When my boyfriend (now husband) proposed to me at Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil – I had spent my whole life wanting to take a helicopter ride around the iconic statue. My two dreams came true that day
14. Saddest moment? Nothing makes me more sad than to see my loved ones in pain, and cruelty toward animals. I’ve experienced and seen both and it breaks my heart
15. Blog or YouTube? Blogs for personal interest and You Tube for learning and tutorials
16. Iphone or camera? I am going to answer the same as the young girl in the “Old El Paso hard and soft tacos” ad on television … “porque no los dos ?!” Both! When I am travelling I use both every day. When I am at home, I only use my Iphone
17. Type of camera? Nikon D7500
18. Facetune or untouched? Facetune? Never heard of it, so I guess that means my answer is untouched!
19. Lightroom or VSCO? Lightroom for Desktop
20. Favourite filter? Don’t have one
21. Favourite way to edit pics? I try to enhance the picture I have taken and not completely change it just so my Instagram feed looks consistent and pretty. Given a lot of people follow my account to help decide on their travel destinations and hotels, I need to be careful that I don’t edit my photos too much – otherwise when people visit those same places, they expect it to be the same as my picture but can end up disappointed. So, with all that said, clarity and depth effect can help with making an image pop. I tend to post colourful, summer destinations so most of my photos are quite saturated, light and bright. Most times I reduce the saturation and highlights. If you are familiar with Lightroom, then the graduated filter is a handy tool. I reduce the luminance on my skin tone, if the lighting isn’t good
22. 9-5 job or full-time influencer? Part-time influencer
23. How did you first get your start in Instablogging? I start posting a few photos on Instagram for my family – had loads of likes on the first photo (a whole 20!!) but they were from random people. I had no idea why or how until I found out that my profile was public, not private. Then, one of my pictures was reposted on a high profile account and from that point on, my photos continued to be shared on social media and business collaborations/opportunities started to follow
24. How much time goes into a normal picture found on your Instagram account? Anything from 5 minutes to 1 hour (photo edit & caption). A lot of people take quick photos and then spend a ton of time editing. I prefer to do it the other way around. When I take photos, I try to capture it the best I can and then it only requires tweaking in an editing app such as Lightroom. Editing is a slippery slope, you can literally pour hours into editing one photo. It can be so much fun if you are a creative type (which I am!) but when I am travelling, I want to spend less time on the computer and more time enjoying where I am
25. What are your top Instagram tips?
- Forget the algorithm
- Don’t buy followers
- Find your niche and be consistent because your potential new followers need to know what they are getting before they hit “follow”
- Spend more time on other people’s accounts. Don’t spam, be authentic when you are engaging with people
- Most importantly, Instagram is a visual platform – so unless you are famous and already getting a million likes on posting your coffee cup, then you simply have to post authentic, quality photos… all the time!
26. Who takes your pics? I take all my own photos. If I am in the photo, my husband will take it. Usually I will take the photo of him in it first and then if I love it, I will get him to take the same of me!
27. Career highlight since being an influencer? Collaborating with some jaw-dropping luxury hotels in the Maldives
28. Career lowlight since being an influencer? Thankfully I don’t have any – so far it has all been very positive and uplifting
29. Best campaign you’ve ever worked on? My recent collaboration with Discover Soneva in the Maldives
30. Worst thing that’s happened to you on a photo shoot? Nothing bad has ever happened, however, I still always get very embarrassed when I am getting my photo taken – particularly when there are people around. I don’t think I will ever get comfortable with that
31. The best gift you’ve ever received as an influencer? Luxury accommodation in beautiful destinations
32. Last thing you googled? Flights to Italy
33. Favourite film? ‘Shawshank Redemption’
34. Favourite book? I don’t have one, but at the moment I am reading ‘The Game Changers’ by Samantha Brett & Steph Adams
35. Favourite song? Avicii – ‘Hey Brother’
36. Living in the city or living by the beach? I think my Instagram feed will answer that for you!
37. Favourite travel destination? Can I choose 3? Maldives, Italy and Peru
38. Most Instagram-worthy spot? The Maldives
39. Top three essentials to pack when traveling? Aside from passport, credit card and iPhone – my other “essentials” are sunscreen, bikini, and a pretty dress
40. Going out clubbing or quiet dinner with friends? Dinner with friends although it’s never quiet
41. Partner or single? Partner (married)
42. Siblings? Yes, my older sister Lisa
43. What city are you currently living in? Sydney
44. Celebrity/influencer crush? I have 3 – Tash Oakley, Belen Hostalet and Julie Sarinana for fashion and lifestyle. And of course David Beckham – just because he’s David Beckham
45. Pets? No, but I will continue to pat every dog I see until I am able to get one of my own! Unfortunately with work and travel, it is a little difficult for us at the moment to have a pet
46. What is your best asset? My husband, Chris
47. Biggest misconception about you and your job? Biggest misconception about my job – is that I get paid to stay at luxury hotels in beautiful destinations. Biggest misconception about me – is that I only travel to summer destinations (islands and the beach). I have been to more than 65 countries, but if you look at my Insta feed it’s all islands and beaches!
48. Top five Instagram accounts to follow? @beautifuldestinations, @belenhostalet, @sincerelyjules, @tashoakley, and @earthyandy
49. Favourite quote you live by? “Focus on what matters most” and “Fail fast and learn quickly from your mistakes”
50. Top career tip? Work hard, be reliable and helpful, build up your skill set, and cultivate meaningful relationships. Fail fast and learn quickly from your mistakes. Don’t take any sh*t, know your worth, don’t compromise on your integrity, and if you are not in your dream job – it’s never too late to make a change.
All images: Travel A Little Luxe