Travelling for work - is it all perks and luxury?




Jack's Flight Club ✈️ Travel News & Inspiration

G’day, JFC-ers,

Larissa here! "Who?", you ask. Well, if you don’t know my name, you’ve definitely read one of my flight tips already! And since your usual editor is off gallivanting around the Georgian countryside this week, I thought I’d jump in and give you the low-down on the latest travel happenings :-)

This week, as every Irish pub stocks up on their stores of Guinness in preparation for St. Paddy’s day, we’ve been thinking about the festivals that might be on your hit list this year (and beyond).

I suspect many of you have already secured your tickets to biggies like Glastonbury and Primavera. And, if you’re heading to Spain or Italy in the summer, there’s a high likelihood you’ll have some sort of fruit thrown at you.

But what about the boutique festivals, the county celebrations—the ones that haven’t made it across borders and into your calendar?

For me, personally, the videos of Mona Foma Festival I’ve seen over the past week made me wish I could teleport straight to Tasmania, Australia. If you’re into the quirky, weird and cool, this is the place. Seriously, where else would you see 40 minutes of someone dressed in pink rolling around the floor, followed by an anti-racist Muslim death metal gig? All in the middle of one of Australia’s coolest cities.

Closer to home, Flight Finder Kash told me all about Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, and I have been obsessed with it ever since. The numbers vary, but every September, 20K-80K hopeful singles descend on County Clare to be professionally hooked up by an expert matchmaking elder named Willie.

Alongside IRL dating, the month-long celebration includes live music and gigs around the village. And, if you were wondering about the hit-rate, Willie actually has over 3000 weddings to his name!

So, singles, it looks like the bars and clubs on Mallorca can wait—get yourself to rural Ireland, instead. And even if you don’t find the love of your life, you can still fall for the Wild Atlantic Way.

What lesser-known festivals are you looking forward to this year? Give us a heads-up, and they may just appear in a future travel tip!

Happy festivaling,



Travels with JFC-ers

You, dear readers, are the most important part of Jack’s Flight Club. We’re forever amazed and impressed by all the trips you take and the experiences you’ve had.

Finding a job that lets you combine work and travel is the ultimate goal for many of us, so we spoke to JFC-er Gordon to hear about his experiences working as a journalist.

Hi Gordon! Tell us what you do, and how you ended up there

I’m a freelance journalist with a focus on the aviation industry—essentially this covers the three 'A's—airlines, aircraft and airports. I studied journalism at university in Scotland, before scoring my first graduate gig as a newsroom assistant at BBC headquarters in London. After climbing up the food chain, I dabbled in travel PR for a couple of years before returning to journalism and specialising in aviation.

Wow! So, is it all perks & luxury when you’re on press trips?

The industry isn’t exactly famed for its 9-5 routine or big salaries, so getting to travel on the job is a big part of why people enter and remain in the sector. But it absolutely isn’t all luxury – there’s a lot of hard work involved, particularly if you need to file your report and social media content while on the road.

I should also add that press trips are a slightly controversial topic. Most (but not all) media organisations will be transparent and flag when a journalist has been a guest or invited by a particular company. The key is not to blur an invitation with keeping your editorial independence and credibility.

Sounds like travel itself is the perk! Where are the most interesting places your work has taken you, then?

Going into this job, it’s impossible not to have a conscious (or at least subconscious) list of places you’d like to visit. But some of the most fascinating places I’ve visited were never on my initial radar.

Exploring a country beyond its capital city tends to be what piques my interest the most. I’ve been lucky to visit some really fascinating areas in Finland, Brazil and Mexico—many of which I had never heard of, let alone considered travelling to, had it not been for work.

You obviously love to travel – tell us, what has been your favourite ever trip – either for work or pleasure?

In this business, there can be a fair amount of what we call in Scotland (ahem) ‘willy waving’. It’s a rather shallow sense of one-upmanship and heading to really exotic, niche destinations on the other side of the globe, all in the pursuit of having the edge.

A far-flung adventure can be fantastic, but the destination that really surprised me was Madeira. I visited with a few friends last summer and was blown away by the nature and scenery. It soon became one of my all-time favourite trips.

Like many people, I had an impression of a temperate Portuguese island full of British retirees—and while it’s undoubtedly a lovely place for granny and grandpa, it has so, so much more to offer.

The flora and fauna is unlike anything I’ve seen in continental Europe, with a dramatic coastline flirting alongside lush semi-tropical forests separated from the blue ocean by phenomenal cliffs. The food scene is also top-notch, and that’s before you even consider the delicious wine.

As an added bonus, it’s just three hours from the UK and also has a really cool (if slightly scary) airport for any AV-geeks!

Where in the world are you now? What do your 2023 travel plans look like?

I’m currently in Taipei, waiting to board a shiny Airbus A350-900 from new local carrier Starlux. I’m in Asia for a couple of months to dodge the worst of the European winter, and to gather stories from a part of the world that has been relatively difficult to access until recently due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The next trip I have in my diary is to South Korea in a couple of weeks—I first visited in 2017 and was instantly in awe of the culture, food and people. Even looking beyond Seoul, it has a really youthful, "work-hard, play-hard" energy that I love.

I’m due to return to Europe in May and plan to base myself in either Spain or Portugal (visa-permitting!). I’m looking forward to visiting new destinations in that part of the world as I set down some Iberian roots.

And now the traditional final question—what’s one under-discovered place that you’d recommend to fellow Jack’s Flight Club members?

I’m now into my third week in Taiwan and I absolutely love it. The street food is truly world-class, the countryside is incredible (and accessible), and the people are warm and welcoming.

Given the history of the island, it still has strong Japanese influences, fused with Chinese tradition and its own unique characteristics. There’s a super-efficient bullet train running north to south, making it easy to get around and explore secondary cities such as Tainan, which is famed as a foodie haven.

While it isn’t as cheap as some parts of Southeast Asia, it’s definitely better value than some of its near neighbours. I’d previously overlooked Taiwan as a potential destination, but now I’m a firm convert and would encourage anyone looking for a more authentic East Asia experience to consider visiting.

Thanks so much for chatting to us, Gordon. We hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Taiwan!

If that’s got you thinking about different ways you can turn travel into an occupation, take a look at some of our suggestions. Becoming an influencer isn’t on the list, promise!

Or have you got a travel story you’d like to share with us? Get in touch via [email protected] to tell us about your life on the road, a job that takes you all over, a two-week holiday that lasted years. We want to hear everything!


Around The States In 50 Editions: Utah

Each week in 2023, we’ll be going on a whirlwind tour of a different randomly selected US state. This week, we’re heading to Utah.

Budding filmmakers will no doubt know Park City as the make-or-break site of all your creative hopes and dreams when the Sundance Film Festival rolls around. This same event is what drew street artist Banksy to town in 2010, leaving seven suspected pieces of street art in their wake. Two pieces can still be viewed on the streets, but you’ll have to wait a while before you can spot Dirty Rat again!

There’s one part of Utah you’re likely all familiar with, even if you don’t know it–Ben Lomond. Legend has it that this mountain overlooking the town of Ogden inspired the Paramount Pictures logo, though there’s really no way to prove that now. As the snowy mountain peak would have you believe, it’s also a great area for winter sports—even if hurtling downhill isn’t your thing.

The state is famous for its National Parks full of otherworldly "hoodoos" (no, not the spiritual beliefs—rather, the tall, thin rock formations). But if you want the best chance of seeing something truly out of this world, a night camping out in a dark sky park is what you need. They’re not exactly hard to find, with 24 certified locations in Utah alone.

Soaking it all in from the comfort of the Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe sounds like a pretty ideal situation as well. Not only are there two pools (one with a waterfall) open 24/7, but there are also six vintage bathtubs that fill up with the fresh spring water. If you’re thinking they look familiar, you’ve just outed yourself as a Real Housewives of Salt Lake City fan. As have I.

There’s no shortage of man-made beauty, either. The huge Roots of Knowledge stained-glass window installation can be found in Utah Valley University’s Fulton Library, where it details the history and growth of human knowledge over the course of time.

Entirely less colourful but still aesthetically pleasing, the failed Delta Solar Plant ruins emulate metal trees, abandoned by the side of the desert road. They also happen to be a reminder of a failed attempt at massive tax fraud.


Our Pick Of The Clicks

All the important (or silly, or strange) travel news from across the web this week.

Birders rejoice! The Dusky Tetraka, suspected extinct, has been spotted in Madagascar for the first time in 24 years. You’ll need your hiking boots and binoculars to spot one, though–only three have been sighted so far, deep in the rainforest in the northeast of the island.

An unusually dry winter is spelling trouble for Venice. The city’s canals have been drying up, with many turning into muddy pits, leaving water taxis and gondolas unable to navigate the waterways. As well as the obvious impact on travel and tourism within Venice, there are fears that this may signal another drought.

Mallorca has been experiencing unprecedented conditions as well, with Storm Juliette bringing heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures to the island. The mainland hasn’t been spared either, so plan for hot chocolate and churros if you’re heading to Barcelona any time soon!

Few of us were as lucky as passengers onboard an easyJet flight (a rare statement, we know) from Reykjavík to Manchester on Monday. When the Northern Lights put on a show, their pilot did a 360 over the North Sea to make sure everyone caught a glimpse.

That led to lots of questions online as to whether pilots can simply decide to change course, or if this kind of manoeuvre would need approval. Luckily, one pilot took to Instagram to explain it all!

And finally, another dog living the life we’ve always dreamed of. Fifi the dachshund spent her first flight ruffing it all the way from Hong Kong to Turkey in business class.

The trip gained her so much attention from the paw-parrazi, she’s now a bone-ified star!