Holly Johnson is our August #FreelanceFriday star. She travels the world on her terms bringing her audience along the way. She shares her best tips for travel, money and budgeting. Holly will show you how to live it up on a luxury escape while tending closely to your wallet. Her outlets include U.S. News & World Report, Travel Pulse, MSN, Frugal Guy, Club Thrifty, The Simple Dollar, Indianapolis Star, Lending Tree and Personal Capital. She’s also published a book with her husband, Greg, Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love. Holly, thank you for showing us all how to live our best life!

Q: How many times a year do you travel?

I usually travel between 12 and 16 weeks per year, both for work purposes and for personal reasons. My kids are on a modified year-round calendar at school, so we typically do a three or four-week vacation in June and several weeks of trips the rest of the year. I sprinkle in some work travel here and there in between their school breaks.

Q: What draws you to your stories?

I love the types of travel that interest me as a person – beaches, the ocean, family travel, all-inclusive fun. I love vacations where people get to relax and enjoy themselves versus having to be busy all the time. I think of myself as a “vacation writer” because I love to cover trips that people want to do for fun – not necessarily educational or cultural travel, even though those types of travel can be rewarding as well.

Q: What is something unique you do while at a destination/resort?

I love taking pictures and snap photos of everything from hotel rooms to popular attractions. I also take lots of pictures of local animals. Many times, more than half of my pictures wind up being of random animals I encounter.

Q: What is a fun fact about you?

Before my husband and I started blogging for a living, we worked in the mortuary industry. My husband was a mortician and I worked as the director of family services. It was a great experience and we learned a lot, but we wanted more freedom in our lives.

Q: Can you share a favorite press trip experience? Why was it memorable?

I went to Bora Bora on a press trip and it was memorable in so many ways. The water is some of the clearest I have ever seen and the views are spectacular. We spent a lot of time doing nothing, but we also snorkeled with amazing sea life – including sharks! It was an experience I will never forget. What made it especially memorable was the fact they let me bring my husband.

Q: What is your ideal pitch?

I don’t mind pitches that are actually within my wheelhouse. If it’s about a topic I haven’t written about, I mostly ignore it.

Q: What is the worst pitch you have ever received?

I receive pitches for all kinds of services I would never cover in a million years. For example, I have received pitches for adult diapers.

Q: What is your pitching pet peeve?

I hate when people follow up with me over and over. If I don’t reply, I’m not interested.

Q: What is your favorite destination and why?

I love Anguilla and Italy. These two destinations are drastically different, but they both offer interesting culture, amazing views, and something special that I just can’t put my finger on. I have been to Italy four times now but I need to plan a second trip to Anguilla.

Q: What do you wish people knew about the Caribbean?

I wish people knew just how amazing the beaches were when compared to beaches in Florida or elsewhere in the United States. The Caribbean is only a few hours flight away, but you can have a better beach experience with some culture mixed in if you’re willing to leave the U.S.

Q: If you weren’t a writer, what would you do?

That’s a great question. I have no idea! I would probably be a real estate agent because I love homes. Another possibility would be becoming a financial advisor because I love helping other people understand their money and how they could improve their finances to get the life they truly want.

Holly, it’s always so fun – and so fast – to work with you. Thank you!


If there’s someone you’d like to see featured or just want to say hello, e-mail Amy Kerr at amy@mpa.digital. Stay updated by subscribing to our blog and following us on Instagram and Twitter @MPA_Digital. Happy pitching!

AUTHOR: Madigan Pratt
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