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A travel influencer is clapping back after she was labeled privileged and out of touch for telling people to ‘just book a flight’ to Thailand

A travel influencer was dubbed out-of-touch after she suggested viewers should simply book a flight and go on vacation.TikTok: @kathryncritt, Kat Crittenden

A travel influencer filmed herself swimming in Thailand and said others should do the same.

Viewers called her out for being out of touch and pointed out it wasn’t easily affordable for most.

In response, she said she wasn’t born rich and didn’t leave the US until she was 18.

An American travel influencer who told her viewers to book a vacation to Asia was met with backlash as TikTokers pointed out it wasn’t easily affordable for people who weren’t wealthy, but the influencer hit back and said she wasn’t born into privilege.

On August 17, Kat Crittenden posted a video that showed her swimming in turquoise waters in a tranquil setting, while she asked the viewers, “What are ya’ll still doing in America?”

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In the upload, which received 5 million views, Crittenden said she was in Thailand, and told her viewers this could be their life on a Thursday night too, “if you just book a freaking flight,” and added in a caption alongside the video that she was trying to convince people to travel.

The upload received over 12,800 comments which appeared to be largely critical of the influencer’s cavalier attitude towards the cost of traveling, and the suggestion that everyone could afford to do so.

“I’ll put living paycheck to paycheck on hold so I can do that. Thanks for the advice,” a viewer wrote and received over 7,000 likes.

Multiple popular comments called the TikToker “out of touch,” accused her of being privileged, and suggested only those with family wealth could afford such a trip.

“I don’t have rich parents,” one viewer wrote. In a follow-up video posted a day later, which received an additional 973,000 views, Crittenden responded directly to this comment, and could be seen once again filming in the ocean as she addressed the criticism.

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In the upload, Crittenden appeared to reject the idea that she used money from her parents, said her only experience of traveling growing up was “going to Wisconsin” to visit family, and said she hadn’t left the US until she was 18 years old, which was when she started traveling alone. She concluded the clip by sticking her middle finger up to the camera.

In a caption alongside the video she wrote, “I am endlessely grateful that i had the ability to go see my family and this video is not complaining about that AT ALL, its emphasizing that i travel with my money and i worked for this and saved for this for years myself.”

Over 2,000 people responded to the video, emphasizing that to travel at all, even within the same country, was a privilege, and wrote the issue with the original video was not that she was able to go to Thailand, but her suggestion that viewers should simply book a ticket too, when they may not have the means to do so.

A 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that 71% of Americans had traveled internationally at some point in their lives, although 48% of people whose income was lower than $30,000 a year had not left the country, compared with 28% of those earning between $30,000 and $79,999 a year, and 10% of those earning more.

Crittenden has over 300,000 followers on TikTok where she regularly posts travel videos.

Sofia Cano, Crittenden’s manager at Bloomie Talent Agency, told Insider in a statement that the influencer “wishes to acknowledge and deeply apologize for any insensitivity conveyed in her recent video encouraging travel. While her intention was purely positive, she recognizes the concerns raised by many, especially in light of the current economic challenges.”

She added that Crittenden’s goal with the video was to “motivate others to explore” but that Crittenden understands “the timing and delivery might have been off” and she did not intend to “appear dismissive of the genuine struggles people face daily.”

The statement went on to say that Crittenden “has worked diligently since the age of 15, holding various jobs to fund her travels” and that she “acknowledges the privileges” she experiences as a content creator.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.

Read the original article on Insider