Each month we like to chat to a different luxury travel expert. This month it’s the turn of Carmen Caballero, owner and founder of ExotikTraveler. Read on to find out more about Carmen, her business and beautiful Instagram profile.
I am Carmen Caballero, owner and founder of ExotikTraveler and luxury travel consultant. After studying BS Economics and International Business, I decided to follow my dreams and create a travel company where I design luxury travel journeys all around the world, this was 7 years ago and until today I can say I am proud of what I have achieved and it always makes me happy that I have quite a lot of returning clients and clients come back very happy from the trips I organise and the individual attention they get. Since travel has always been my passion, I decided to turn it into my profession. I have spent my life traveling a lot and organising trips for family and friends since I was young, even my relatives always asked me please to help them plan their trips or tell them the best way to do it.
Tell us more about Exotik Traveler – how it came about and the services it offers.
Basically, ExotikTraveler is a luxury travel blog were I share some of the trips I organise or collaborations I have with hotels or other travel services around the world. With this blog, my aim is that interested clients can get to know more about my connections and how I work. Also, it is an inspiration for those looking for luxury and exotic holidays. You can contact me directly thought the blog, I or email, I will always be the one to answer 🙂
My job is to get to know the customers well enough to be able to plan their journeys according to their tastes, budget and preferences.
How does Exotik Traveler differentiate itself from other luxury travel brands.
Each client gets individual and direct attention from me, and will have my personal number and also other important contacts in destination throughout their journeys abroad. Also during trip planning. Each hotel we recommend and experiences are constantly reviewed by my connections in each destination. Also, I attend seminars were some services offer me new knowledge of the destination or even new experiences that I can offer my clients. So overall, my job is to design for my clients trips that exceed their expectations.
Currently, where is most popular holiday destination and holiday type – why is this the case?
I have to say this varies from year to year, definitely this years top destinations for me has been Australia. Got quite a lot of honeymoons planned from Europe to Australia, since there are quite a lot of direct flights from the capitals of Europe to Dubai, this is a much better connection than we had before. Australia has a lot of amazing places to visit and great hotels, and of course, it is very close to paradise: Fiji, which is a very long way from Europe.
Most clients that contact me from all over the world, are looking for unique experiences that they cannot build by themselves or they just prefer me to do the work for them. It is always better to have a travel agent/consultant on your back to guarantee a good journey. Some unique experiences include for example: Navigate the Indian’s turquoise waters aboard the romantic ‘dhows’, relax in an exclusive spa with therapeutic treatments of the Dead Sea in Jordan, stroll in balloon dusk over the immense plains of Cappadocia, privately navigate the bay of Sydney, sleeping under the starry sky in the Erg Chebbi desert are unique experiences in corners of the world.
You have a beautiful Instagram profile and a fantastic following (over 55k!) how have you achieved this?
Yes…. I have to admit this has turned into another job for me! It actually take s a lot of work and mostly a lot of daily INTERACTION and daily follow new accounts that you like. It is very important to create good and interesting content and, post often. When you start, you can see what kind of post your followers like more and which are not so attractive. At the beginning it was hard for me to share my photos and part of my life in Instagram publicly, but I also think this is important since I give personal attention and I understand that my followers want to know some parts of my life and even share this with my clients, that are mostly online. Now I share my own travels in my Instagram page, share my site inspections to hotels I visit and I do interact a lot with my audience and people who comment on my posts and new followers everyday.
Where do you think is the most ‘Instagrammable’ destination and why is this the case?
This is a very easy answer for me. Definitely MALDIVES are the most “instagrammeable” destination recently. Maldives are the idyllic image of paradise, hotels are lovely and there is a very wide range to choose from. It is a very faraway destination for most, and it is in many people’s bucketlist. We all like to see pictures of clean sand, the clear ocean, the over water bungalows, luxury hotels and the sunsets. Oh the sunsets… This is a place that’s definitely worth saving for!
And what are your top tips for guests wanting to make the most of exploring the local area of the destination they visit?
Depends on where you visit I personally think that you should always have some unscheduled time for yourself to walk and explore your own way. I usually prefer to have organized visits to specific places by a guide that knows the place you visit very well, this is very useful, and it is very important, specially if you change of continent and if it is the first time you visit a country. You will always learn new things and more importantly, you in every journey we all learn something new about ourselves.
What defines luxury for you? And for your guests?
For me personally, luxury is a service that anticipates guests needs and an authentic experience. I think the concept of luxury today, has changed quite a lot over the past 10 years. Today, luxury emphasised more in service and a positive experience that in gold chandeliers and silk wrapped walls. Regarding hotels for example, some clients I have love classic luxury and they do love a personalised attention at hotels, they like a closed bathroom, turning in the key at reception before they leave, a classic and “royal” luxury experience. But this are usually older clients. Most of my clients now like a simple luxury experience, 5 star service, a butler they can contact via Whatsapp, nice and clean open bathrooms and white/clean interior design, and of course, a unique location and setting.
A luxury experience should be authentic and unique, and it should always exceed the clients expectations.
What are the key changes you have observed in the last five years in the hospitality sector and what are your predictions for the next five years?
I think it is becoming more and more popular to travel in groups, large families or groups of friend always celebrating something or reuniting. I get this each year more often. Regarding the future, I think that clients demand more and more non-touristic and unique experiences, local experiences and unusual travel to get away from the ordinary… so I can predict that with time, I will be able to deliver more new and enriching experiences for guests.
What would be the key piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Now I have been quite a lot of time in this business, I would totally recommend not be afraid, trust your instincts and trust yourself and follow your heart and keep your head in the business, always stay connected and make this a part of your life. Dreams are only dreams until you make them true.