Every time we see a post by @SwankyTraveler featuring her amazing outfits and her incredible travels we are fall somewhere between seriously envious and just awe-struck with wanderlust. We spoke to the social-media savvy fashionista behind the account, travel consultant Amalla Vesta, about her incredible job and got the scoop about her social-media projects!
Here in Indonesia, travel consultancy is still a pretty new concept. Can you explain a little about what a travel consultant is? What kind of services do you offer, and what are the benefits of using a travel consultant?
A travel consultant is a person who gives advices to travellers for their trip/holiday plan. I do everything from booking the transportation and accommodation to creating the itinerary based on client’s need or interest, and sometimes I even go to the destination to be a personal guide.
This kind of service is very suitable to those who are not really keen to join a “tour and travel” kind of trip, and who don’t have time, or don’t like, to arrange the trip by themselves. The benefit would be getting the trip arranged, from A to Z, according to your interest. It is very customised for each client because I believe people have different interests.
In addition to your travel consultancy, you run the twitter feed @LiburanLokal. Why did you start this second project and what is it all about?
Why? Because I was “annoyed” by two facts: first, Indonesians mostly only know Bali for a local holiday destination but this country has so much to offer. Second, Malaysia’s tourism ads were aggressively being aired everywhere but I didn’t see the same aggressiveness from the Indonesian Tourism Ministry in promoting Indonesia to the world. So I created @LiburanLokal to spread information among Indonesians about other areas within this country, which are also pretty and amazing, to inspire them to explore our own country, and to promote tourism in Indonesia to the world.
If we wait for the government to make a move, it will take us nowhere. But I must say I have seen progress from the Tourism Ministry. There are at least a few people inside the ministry who know what to do with social-media growth and have started to collaborate with bloggers to create more buzz and awareness.
Tell us a little bit about your wildly successful handle @SwankyTraveler on Instagram and Twitter.
As a traveller and a travel consultant, I travel both in Indonesia and abroad. I wanted a medium to share my international trips, as well as my other passion, which is fashion. And SwankyTraveler is more of the real me. I am someone who loves to travel in style. On the other hand, LiburanLokal was made genderless and less about me.
@SwankyTraveler is quite the fashionista, and is a huge supporter of local brands. Which are some of your all-time favourites?
I believe that Indonesia has many excellent quality local brands. We can even compete with all those big international names. I am not saying I against international branded stuffs, oh I love them so much too! But, if we, as Indonesians, are not proud of wearing local products, then who will be? Of course I am still quite picky about quality, but it applies for international brands, too. My all-time favorite local brands would be Tulisan, Cotton Ink, Batik Loetjoe, Oline Workrobe, Bin House, and Tayada Batik.
Between @SwankyTraveler and @LiburanLokal, you have some incredible travel insight. What are some of your favourite places to visit in Indonesia that people might not know about?
I go to areas where there are proper accommodations according to my need and or style. With the current growth of local travellers, there are some avid travelers who go places where I wouldn’t go – places that only have simple accommodations or may not be suitable for me. I am not comfortable with backpacking and will always try to avoid it unless it’s a job. I am somewhere between backpacker and fancy traveller. I like to be comfortable on a budget!
However, to answer the question, which are my favorite places to go in Indonesia: in West Flores: Komodo Islands and Wae Rebo Village; in Maluku: Ambon and Seram Island; Raja Ampat; and Bali (This may sounds cliché or too mainstream, but I always have the feeling of wanting to go there frequently. I never get bored of even though I’ve travelled to many places.
You have said that you’re not the lightest traveler. With airlines really limiting space for luggage, do you have any tips to maximize your luggage space?
I organised my clothes into one or two special travel packs so that my things are easy to find and inside of my luggage looks tidy. I now try only flying on a regular airline instead of low-cost airline. But flying budget airlines doesn’t stop me from bringing my big luggage, I just buy extra baggage!