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Junkets & Jaunts editor/founder Ron Donoho.

JUNKETS & JAUNTS came to life in 2018 as a travel site. The extended 2020 pandemic, however, is cause for a pivot. Due to travel restrictions, I’m adding general news stories and essays to the pages. Life gave us lemons. In response, let’s make a lemon meringue pie.

From the beginning, I was not a fan of traditional travelogues. The best travel stories don’t come from guidebooks. They come from regional insights gleaned from bartenders, car-share drivers and casino dealers. From folks on the ground floor of the hospitality industry. They know where to find the best meals and deals. If you show genuine interest they’ll open up about their lives to you. And often, their lives will reveal the true nature of a city or region.

Travelogues do have value: Go here. See this. Eat that. Fine. Travelers encounter people, though. Showcasing experiential interactions with locals is where the award-winning Junkets & Jaunts first fit into the travel landscape.

Then came COVID-19

Quarantine caused by pandemic is a staggering blow to a travel site. 2020 was an excruciating year for writing about visiting desinanations. So, 2021 brings a new opportunity. Along with insights that touch the travel industry, J&J is adding general news pieces and personal essays.

The site design has been slightly revamped. Look for news stories and essays to start occupying more space. 

Ron Donoho

While executive editor at San Diego Magazine, I ran the magazine’s travel section for a decade. Before that, I was a New York City-based news editor for travel-trade publication Successful Meetings. In the travel sector, my byline has appeared in PopSugar.com, Westways, Hemispheres, FarAndWide.com and Wandermelon.com.

Over a three-decade career, I’ve been a full-time freelance writer/content creator. I’ve written for a cornucopia of media outlets on a wide variety of topics. Politics. Sports. Nightlife. And much more. My work has appeared in: Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Maxim, Glamour, HuffPost.com, Los Angeles Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and dozens of websites, mangazines and newspapers.

For more career details, take a look at my portfolio. (Note: I’ve got a full lineup of freelance gigs, but am alway open to new opportunities. I can be reached at rondonoho@gmail.com.)

Junkets & Jaunts

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Junkets & Jaunts: the book.

After a year of compiling pieces for J&J, I 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.”

In May 2019, J&J content began appearing in the 30-plus San Diego community newspapers in the Local Media Umbrella group. These newspapers are collectively mailed to 100,000-plus homeowners each month.

Awards

In its inaugural year, J&J stories, and thes site itself, 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).

In 2020, J&J stories picked up four awards from the San Diego Press Club.

Travel is Fun, News is Now

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Taking notes in Huntington Beach.

The world will be a brighter and fuller place when we can all go back to traveling to our favorite destinations. That’s limited for now, so J&J will keep producing stories focusing on current events, timely activities and essays inteneded to make readers think.

J&J was founded on the notion of being a unique, boutique travel site. That’s unfeasible for at least the beginning of 2021. So please look forward to our expanded coverage. 

Enjoy the rerouted trip!  J&J