Ava Roxanne Stritt is a freelance travel writer, editor and spa lover. Ava is the creator of Spa Travel Gal, a resource that promotes the idea that spa, travel, and bath and body/skincare experiences are not a luxury, but essential to a healthy body and mind! Ava’s work has been featured in USA Today, Travelocity and CBS News, to name a few. Additionally, Ava is the travel editor for Hope for Women magazine. Check out spatravelgal.com to learn more or you can follow Ava on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, to name a few.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to start Spa Travel Gal?
Well, my background is actually in finance. I was a financial analyst for a very large corporation for many, many years and always used to write for magazines on the side because I wrote in college for the college newspaper and things like that. Just always loved the wellness arena and started thinking about this was, everyone’s saying self care now. I’ve been preaching self care for 20 years. And skincare and just everyone taking some time for themselves. So my background is a lot of different areas. I tend to be really good at a lot of things, but not an expert at any one.
And then what point did you break out into influencer marketing?
Well, that was mainly in 2009 when I got on Twitter. That was before anyone even, they would say twit instead of tweet. No one knew anything. Even at my corporate office, they were pulling me in to just explain what Twitter was or what social media was. People had really no idea. So I would get pulled into that department. And there were so few people on Twitter in Atlanta, Georgia where I was at that time that we all kind of gathered on Thursday night somewhere. We all knew each other because there was that few people on Twitter.
So that was really the start. But I think what made me so comfortable on Twitter is I was on a lot of dashboards talking about Disney as a mom. I was in a lot of chats and was just so comfortable with sharing things about taking kids to Disney way before social media started. I think that’s why for someone in the beginning to be comfortable sharing ideas and Twitter has changed a lot. But back then you could find someone there who loved exactly what you love even if it happened to be a stuffed raccoon.
What are some memorable brand collaborations that come to mind over the years?
The most memorable one that I’ve been able to be a part of for the last few years as an ambassador is Rocky Mountaineer. They are these luxury train adventures through the Canadian Rockies. You have amazing views. It’s such an exclusive way to see the wilderness and not have to hike.
You see things up there in the mountains on the train that you might have to hike for days to get to. Every trip is totally different. I’ve been three times. They work very well with ambassadors. There’s a group of us, we’ve become a tight knit group and they’ve really let us experience everything about the company. So, you are a true representative for them, once you’ve experienced the company and the brand
Do you have a favorite social media platform?
I guess Instagram right now, Instagram stories because they seem so stress-free, which is another thing I’ve always believed in. Instagram stories are stress-free. It seems like everyone’s feed is getting too stressful. What am I going to pose to? [what’s] going to be the perfect photo, [is] my caption going to be right and a story can be quick, simple. I’m just thinking about this right now and boom, it’s out there and no one’s quite as worried about is what they look like if they got the right filter on. And I appreciate that about the story so much.
How do you structure your average day as a content creator and influencer?
I brought over from my, my old career as a financial analyst along spreadsheets, spreadsheets about what drafts are due, prioritizing things. I also used to be a big day-timer person, so I kind of prioritize things and sort them by columns and try to get it all done.
It gets crazy, but you have to do that because when you’re out on location, say I’m going to Disney this weekend and then I’m going to St. Moritz, Switzerland in two weeks. I have to get a lot of things done before I go on those trips to make sure I’ve met my commitments and my deliverables for brands. So spreadsheets.
That’s a good way. I heard Switzerland and all my mind went to is chocolate…
Chocolate. That’s another thing when you said, what is my day like when I’m at home, I usually start every day going to barre3 fitness classes almost every day and walking my dogs either in the neighborhood or on a state park, on an Island nearby. If I don’t do that, I can’t eat all those luxurious meals and chocolate in places like Switzerland. So you’re playing catch up on your own fitness when you come home from those trips.
What are some of your goals as it pertains to Spa Travel Gal and influencer marketing in general?
December and January were very successful for me as an influencer and a content creator, so I want to be able to have months that good, at least once a quarter. I always say, “Oh, there’s nothing going on right now.” And then someone will reach out to me that I had no idea I didn’t even have a relationship with and that’s what I love. I think that’s one thing that’s so interesting. Every day is different. It’s definitely not a lot of the past jobs that I’ve had that either were cubicle office every day was almost exactly the same. I guess as an influence or every day is different and you get to discover great things and share them with others.
What are some of the ways you promote the idea that going to a spa is not just a luxury, but something essential?
Well, because you can do it anywhere. Believe it or not. My original blog was my skin concierge. Always loved the word concierge. Even when I was young because my mother was a concierge when she was pregnant with me at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. My dad worked in the Pentagon, and my mother used to travel the world writing grants as a school teacher. So when I started that, my skin concierge on Twitter, that was my original name. Every Sunday I had a chat called skincare Sunday. I’m the founder of the hashtag skincare Sunday and every Sunday, because I wasn’t at my desk job, we had a chat for one hour. That kind of sometime ended up all day about things people could do right then to take moments for themselves. Sunday afternoon and evening tended to be the time that moms, everyone had a few more moments than you do maybe during the week or a Friday or Saturday night to do something for themselves. Go lock that bathroom door and pull out that mask that you’ve got at the drug store or anything. But that’s how it all started.