About Astrid Solo Travel Advisor
Astrid Solo Travel Advisor is for solo travelers worldwide looking for affordable luxury ideas to help them move through the world feeling confident, safe, inspired and engaged. Unlike budget travel or less accessible luxe sites, Astrid Solo Travel Advisor provides “Travel for One”, real-life advice for the solo traveler on where to go, how to get there, what to do when you arrive and much more. Astrid Solo Travel Advisor’s travel resources provide recommendations on everything from solo-friendly accommodations to best practices when exploring a new culture.
Our Solo Travel Advisor Team
Astrid R. Clements
CEO and Founder of Astrid Solo Travel Advisor, L.L.C.
Astrid Clements is a well-traveled, accomplished businesswoman passionate about helping people travel solo well, while never feeling like a tourist. Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Astrid started traveling at age nine and hasn’t stopped since. A transformative trip to Germany at eighteen did more than cement her love for exploring - Astrid saw first-hand how a solo trip can reveal the best parts of a person and challenge you to find the magic, one of a kind moments happening all around you.
Always up for a cultural adventure, Astrid has broken bread, shopped and laughed in over 35 countries, on five continents, around the world from St. Petersburg to Tokyo - and she’s not done yet! She taken her decades of learning and channeled it into this website, Astrid Solo Travel Advisor in order to educate, equip and inspire others to travel solo. Astrid’s tales and tips on affordable luxury travel have roots in her studies in political science, international relations, foreign language and music.
Her latest endeavor has been the creation and development of the AstridTravel Club - a club designed specifically for people who share Astrid’s love of luxury travel that comes at an affordable price. The AstridTravel club offers solo travelers a chance to meet, learn from and collaborate with like-minded travelers. Most importantly, it offers travelers who don’t wish to travel entirely alone a chance to travel “solo” in a small groups. You can learn more about the AstridTravel Club here!
Julia Ballard Marketing and Operations Consultant
Julia Ballard began her career in a business development role at a global e-commerce company and transitioned into technology reporting at Silicon Bayou News, where she’s currently the Editor in Chief. Combining her knowledge of tech and her love of travel, Julia was the first members of the Astrid Solo Travel Advisor team and has helped to shape this unique approach to travel writing. Passionate about solo travel, Julia’s writing offers a fresh perspective with eyes wide open and a flexible agenda. She works to bring affordable luxury resources to Astrid Solo Travel Advisor’s eager readers wherever they may be -- from New Orleans to Naples, on Instagram or Facebook.
Originally from Cambridge, MA, Julia received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Redlands. She moved to New Orleans in 2011 and has been active in its technology and startup scene ever since. Julia took her first solo trip six years ago on a long weekend trip to Dublin then London, where she unexpectedly found both to be solo-friendly cities. The ‘Travel for One’ trip lit the flame for solo travel and she’s been a fan ever since, most recently visiting Florence this summer. She found the city, though touristy by some standards, to be beautiful and one you could lose yourself in. Julia allowed herself to visit museums, sites and restaurants, making sure to try all off the beaten path.
As Editor in Chief of Silicon Bayou News, Julia reports on companies and trends within the New Orleans startup scene. Seeing the opportunities for the city to me more than a tourist destination, she believes it to be a true hub for innovation and growth.
Madeline Freret Content and Digital Marketing Manager
As a lover of travel and adventure, Madeline was eager to join the Astrid Solo Travel Advisor team as a Content and Digital Marketing Manager in 2018. Madeline is working with the team to create new content for astridtravel.com, coordinate a digital marketing strategy and assist with the running of the AstridTravel Club. She offers Astrid Solo Travel Advisor’s audience a unique perspective on solo travel through regular contributions to the Astrid Solo Travel Advisor blog.
Madeline first traveled abroad in the summer following her junior year of high school, and from that point forward, her life was changed. She had never felt more alive than she did then and knew that traveling was a necessity in life. Her insatiable desire to uncover all that this world has to offer is what led Madeline to spend a semester of college abroad in Sydney, Australia. Her time in Australia was her first experience with true solo traveling, and, through this endeavor, she learned more about herself and the world than she ever could have anticipated.
She is a believer that part of the beauty of solo travel is that it allows you to see yourself, other people, places and things in a new light. Madeline believes in trying new things, having a curious mind and seeking joy everywhere in everything. Her goal as an Astrid Solo Travel Advisor is to inspire and empower others to find the good and be the good in this world.
Catherine O’Brien Podcast Producer
Catherine O’Brien is a podcast producer and owner of Branch Out Programs, an end-to-end podcast production company. She has personally made and published over 300 podcast episodes for her clients.
An award-winning speaker, Catherine regularly speaks on the topic of podcasting, including her signature talk, Podcasting for Business.
Active in the Baton Rouge community, Catherine volunteers for a local dog rescue group where her podcast, The Pawcast was nominated for Best Podcast in 225 Magazine.
In 2017, Catherine approached Astrid with the idea of creating a podcast all about solo travel, and shortly thereafter Solo Travel Talk with Astrid was born. To date, Catherine and Astrid have aired over 100 podcast episodes together. They discuss any and all topics related to solo travel from practical tips such as how to feel comfortable while dining alone and important cultural do’s and don’ts while traveling, to entertaining stories and advice pertaining to destinations all over the world.
Whether you’re wondering how to budget for an upcoming trip or how to choose the perfect hotel, Solo Travel Talk has you covered. Click here to start listening!