Each month the team at TLE get the lowdown from a well respected online influencer and this month it’s non other than luxury travel agent and instagram influencer Brent Wallace.
Where’s Brent Been? As a conversation opener, the question is far from a banal pleasantry, as Brent is always on the move. For over a decade, Wallace’s advice and bespoke trips have been a well-kept secret of high-flying luxurians, eager to uncover the destinations no one else will.
As a travel designer and Director of the luxe travel agency SmartFlyer Australia, Wallace arranges bespoke escapes for his clients. Think cool West Hollywood hideouts and intimate Moroccan Riads. His blog, Where’s Brent Been, documents it all in whip-smart writing and vivid imagery, confirming Wallace as a leading authority in high-end travel. With a fast-growing and affluent audience, he’s expertly positioned to share insider knowledge on everything from jet-set destinations, luxury hotels, haute cuisine to jet-set men’s style.
Brent sat on the judging panel for the 2014 Australian Traveller Awards, alongside other Australian travel and lifestyle icons, and is personally invited to attend exclusive invite-only luxury travel shows, including ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market held in Cannes each December), Limited Edition Miami and pure Morocco.
You’ve worked in the luxury travel sector for over 12 years – please tell us how your career started and how it progressed so successfully?
My career started late in life , though I always secretly wanted to be a travel agent, I never really liked the image much. It’s by chance I met a gorgeous couple about to open their very own travel agency in my home town who convinced me to try a career in travel after getting way too excited telling them about a trip I had just arrived home from. So I threw myslef in and coined the term “Travel Stylist” – so much chicer than Travel Agent! My passion for travel in the luxury space became infectious and I started to attract clients globally and with my entry into social media very early on, helping me own that space.
What is it about the luxury travel sector you love so much?
Creating luxury experiences where anything is possible. When money is no object, the magic can really happen.
If you weren’t working in this sector what would you be doing?
I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do but if I had to choose, I’d love to enter the world of interiors and design my own hotel.
The term Luxury is highly subjective and open to personal interpretation. What does it mean to you?
Freedom to do what ever you please. And time, time is luxury.
What (and why) has been your most exciting and unusual travel experience to date?
Traveling through Cambodia shooting a pilot for a luxury travel show. We filmed onboard the Aqua Mekong and experienced Angkor Wat at sunrise – it was all so magical and exquisite.
Where is top of you next travel to-do list and why?
I need to start cruising! It’s one of the largest growing travel segments and with luxury cruising upping the ante, I need to experience more – I’m booked to sail on the new, ultra-chic Scenic Eclipse from Miami to Cartagena in late 2018 , just after the ship is launched. I’ve always wanted to go to Cartagena.
What do see will be the key luxury travel trends over the next 5 years?
Life changing personal experiences are key. Anyone can book a flight, a hotel etc themselves, but that’s boring.
We as travel professionals sell and create experiences for our clients and that’s why I feel using a good travel designer will be a major travel trend. I’d also like to see hotel chains create smaller hotel properties, I prefer more intimate accommodation experiences wherever I travel, you get to experience the culture much better I feel. I think they’ll realise this sooner rather than later, especially at the top end of the market.
What’s your life motto?
Do it now.