JUNKETS & JAUNTS founder/editor Ron Donoho isn’t a fan of travelogues. He believes the best travel stories come from regional insights gleaned from bartenders, car-share drivers and casino dealers.
“They’re on the ground floor of the hospitality industry, and know where to find the best meals and deals, sure,” Donoho says. “And if you show genuine interest they’ll open up to you about their lives. And often, their lives will reveal the true nature of a city or region.”
Travelogues do have a level of value: Go here. See this. Eat that. Fine. But travelers encounter people. And have experiential interactions with the locals. That’s where the award-winning Junkets & Jaunts aims to fit into the travel landscape.
Serving as executive editor at San Diego Magazine, Donoho ran the magazine’s travel section for a decade. Before that, he was a New York City-based news editor for the travel-trade publication Successful Meetings. In the travel sector, Donoho’s byline has appeared in PopSugar.com, Westways, Hemispheres, FarAndWide.com and Wandermelon.com.
Donoho is a full-time freelance writer/ content creator and has also written for a cornucopia of media outlets. Those include: Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Maxim, Glamour, Los Angeles Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, and The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Junkets & Jaunts
A year after compiling pieces for the J&J website, Donoho published an anthology of travel stories. The book is Junkets & Jaunts: Avocado Margaritas, Surf City Soul and the Center of the World Pyramid. It’s available on Amazon.com.
According to San Diego Uptown News: “Donoho’s stories are often lighthearted and spattered with clever callbacks to previous adventures… Donoho details the characters of each place he visits yet does not get bogged down in being overly descriptive. Traveling, like writing, should be fun after all.”
Junkets & Jaunts’ reach is spreading. In May 2019, J&J content began appearing in the 38 (and growing) San Diego community newspapers within the Local Media Umbrella group. These newspapers are collectively mailed to 125,000-plus homeowners each month.
In its inaugural year, Donoho’s travel stories, and this site, have picked up five awards from the Society of Professsional Journalists and the San Diego Press Club. Both organizations placed Junkets & Jaunts in the top three for local topic-based blogs.
The SPJ awarded first place to “A Huntington Beach Bartender Pours His Heart Out” (nondaily reporting and writing, feature story). The Press Club gave second-place nods to “A Californian in the Wisconsin Dells,” (online and daily newspapers, domestic travel); and “Marking Time During March Madness in Las Vegas,” (online and daily newspapers, light feature).
Travel is fun
Not every story in Junkets & Jaunts is a psychographic study in attitudes and emotions. You’ll also find a roundup of the Best Buffets in Las Vegas, “5 Travel Shows You Have to Watch,” and a piece on “How to Survive the San Diego Comic-Con.” All these roundups are injected with fun and color.
Yes, travelers want to know where to stay, where to eat and what the latest attractions are. Along the way, though, human beings cross your path–and that’s the narrative focus you’ll find here.
Please enjoy the trip,