Abigail King has just been ranked second in the Top 10 UK Luxury Travel Blogs. Previously an intensive care doctor, Abigail is a writer, journalist and blogger. Her blog, Inside the Travel Lab, covers holiday tips, destinations and the beautiful world we live in with advice for our to make the most of it. Here, she tells us about the other side of luxury travel, how she works with PRs (and the fact she loves press releases!), and her favourite blogs to read.
How do you describe what you do to other people?
I run a luxury travel blog for those who care about the people, places and cultures they visit. I hope to bring the world alive through words and pixels, and draw attention to stories that others miss.
Although, I’m pretty sure my family just think I play around on Facebook every day.
How do social channels work with your blog? Are any more important than others?
Increasingly, social channels are where the conversation takes place and the blog is the library for in-depth information and think pieces. Facebook Live is great when I’m actually on the ground, and I broadcast regularly on the Lonely Planet channel.
Instagram stories feel more like a real conversation between readers, while Twitter tends to be more for colleagues. I love Pinterest, but it’s really a bookmarking site for future travel plans rather than a social hangout. This year, I’m really expanding into video, which is going really well.
Do you feel travel blogging is segmented (luxury/standard/local/family/budget etc)?
Yes and no. Those segments are a useful starting point but luxury travel, for example, can mean very different things. For some, it’s about labels and shopping, while for others it’s about accessing the best experiences the world has to offer, whether expensive or free. We’re more in the latter camp. We’ve introduced a family travel strand to our work since I had a baby and that helps other young families or would-be families. But the main core of the blog is the same as it’s always been.
What’s the best balance between visual and written content?
Always have both. People learn (and love) in different ways.
What’s your favourite hotel in the world?
Ah, so difficult to just choose one. I love The Chedi in Muscat. I love the clear lines of its architecture, the view to the sea, the staff. But also, perhaps, the emotional connection. I stayed there as part of my honeymoon and then returned ten years later for a ‘babymoon’ when pregnant.
Which airline is the best (and why)?
Both Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic have never let me down.
How conscious are you of political upheaval and local issues when travelling?
Very. It’s a core part of what we cover. It’s important for safety but it’s also important for respect and harmony. It sounds a little dramatic, or perhaps naïve, to describe travel as a vehicle for world peace but the more people understand each other, meet each other, share food and stories with each other, the better everyone gets on.
Do you accept press releases?
Yes! In fact, the more the merrier. We don’t publish them on the blog and we can’t respond individually to each one to give feedback but it’s good to know what’s going on and helpful to store information for future work.
What’s the best PR campaign/collaboration you’ve worked on?
Again, there are so many strong ones to choose from. I’d like to highlight a recent project with Visit Florida, travelling to less well-known destinations with baby and uncovering the art, food and national parks en route. We found so many unexpected and beautiful places right in the heart of one of the most visited states in America.
From the injured dolphin who led to advances in human prosthetics and a Hollywood film to stunning beaches, chic donuts and wild, cultural parks. The trip took two weeks and we had a lot of freedom to highlight and explore.
What other blogs do you read?
Lots! All for different reasons and I tend to binge-read.