As London-based lifestyle vlogger and photographer Steve Booker traveled from pole to pole with PayPal, he made quick stops in Moscow, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, and Cape Town. Some of these lasted less than 24 hours, giving him little time to adjust as he landed. A bit of pre-planning and one key decision allowed him to make the most of his time: Booker relied on members of his social media community to guide him through the various cities. It’s a trick he employs everytime he takes off for a new place.
“To find the real gems I think you need people who are locals, who can show you around or recommend places,” he explains. “For this trip, having the influencers in the different cities who knew where to go and kind of were able to fast-track us to the best places without us doing too much research was so helpful. And they were all lovely people, you know, so it was great to meet people who were into the same stuff and see their favorite spots of their cities.”
In Moscow, it was a community member who helped him reach the top of one of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers. In Berlin, an Instagram influencer showed off the city’s renowned street art. He made the strongest community connection in Barcelona, where meeting a local influencer for coffee quickly led to meeting the man’s tattoo artist and getting inked.
“That’s the way I like to travel — if you’re going to a place, if you can connect with someone who knows the area, it always feels like you can picture yourself living there, and kind of experiencing things locally, and I think that’s the best way to travel,” he adds. “The reason you go to these places is you want an insight into the culture and the vibe of the different places.”
Following Booker’s approach will open all kinds of doors, whereever you are traveling. The Passion Passport team does this everywhere we go. Whether we’re meeting other Instagrammers by hosting Instameets, or asking friends we’ve made through social media to meet us for coffee or lunch in their home cities, we always try to meet locals, or at least follow their advice, while we’re on the road.
“It is really the people that make your experience, the people that you’re with and them telling you about certain things,” Booker concluded. “The people make the trip.”