Friday, April 12, 2024
Travel

Citizen Jones Travel

Citizen Jones Travel connects unique travellers to curated experiences around the world and to each other. I got to meet the Founder Vincent Jones, and ask him about his own travel habits and some recommendations.

Richard Jones: Thanks for sitting down with us Vincent. What are your first memories of travelling?

Vincent Jones: My first time on a plane was when I was in the sixth grade.  We went to Sacramento and San Francisco. I remember taking so many pictures with my old school film camera. I loved learning about the history of Alcatraz. I was awed by the beauty of the capital building.  

Vincent Jones

RJ: When you are as well traveled as you are, what are the things about new places that excite you most?

I’m extremely curious and very social. I get excited meeting new people and seeing how they live, how they socialize, what they eat, and experiencing their city with them.

RJ: Tell me some of the most memorable destinations you have visited?

Some I remember because of crazy nights out on the town like Berlin where I drank a little too much and somehow dislocated my knee and cut my head on the subway but was determined to experience the city during the World Cup semifinal game and meets friend of a friend for a night of gay club hopping. 

Others, I remember because I met a guy and had an experience made for a gay rom-com. Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv are high on that list. 

A few places, like Capetown, Thailand, and the blue-green waterfalls against the red rocks at Havasupai Falls, in Arizona are just so beautiful and it’s hard to forget them. The islands, elephants, and temples in Thailand are so lovely. The blue-green waterfalls against the red rocks are stunning. I see why Beyoncé shot part of her last video there. 

RJ: Do you like hotels, guesthouses, BnB’s, home rentals, or all of them?

I like them all. It depends on what kind of traveling I’m doing and who I’m with. My main thing is a good bathroom though. I love to take a hot bath daily.  So give me a nice tub with a view or some other amenities and I’m good to go. Regardless of where I stay, I do some things to make them feel like home. I bring a travel diffuser with the same scent, for example. 

RJ: How long have you been running Citizen Jones Travel?

I launched Citizen Jones Travel officially in June of 2017.  I have always been heavily involved in planning experiences and travel with friends. After a trip to Cuba, more friends wanted to go so I curated two more trips. Then a friend suggested I turn my passion for travel into a business and then it started to fall into place. 

RJ: What do you offer your clients?

Citizen Jones Travel curates experiences for groups and individuals around the world. Some trips, I host and it’s like a 7-10 day cocktail party in a different city where part of the fun is getting to know other travelers in addition to exploring a new place. Other trips, I don’t host but work with clients to curate truly unique experiences that speak to who they are as a person. Increasingly, non-profit organizations who want to deepen their connections with a set of stakeholders and diverse families with young children are becoming clients as well. Diverse LGBT and single women can definitely rest assured that their specific travel needs are top of mind. 

RJ: What are your five tips for enjoying extensive travel?

1) Plan moments of relaxation into your trip. It’s easy to go go go the entire trip. But your body will appreciate an afternoon doing nothing, a spa day, a foot massage, relaxing at the beach, or something leisurely. 

2) Hydrate. Moisturize your skin because travel, especially in airplanes, can dry out your skin. Drink plenty of water, preferably with vitamin c tablets, to help you maintain your health. 

3) Be open. Don’t try to recreate your life at home when abroad. Be open to new experiences. Some of my most memorable travel moments happened while stepping out of my comfort zone. 

4) Don’t forget your values. Whether you’re a tree hugger or LGBT activist, or care for animals at home, find appropriate ways to stay true to your commitment while traveling. I’ve found that doing so has opened my eyes to conditions in the countries I’m visiting that I might have missed, gives me perspective to compare the experience at home in the US, and inspires me when I come across good people doing good things. 

5) Consider a travel advisor. People often assume using a travel advisor or agent will cost more money or take away your flexibility or end up in a cookie cutter experience. All of the above can be true if you don’t make sure your travel advisor understands your needs or if she or is more eager to earn a commission than create a memorable experience. I tell people to let me help them to “plan less, travel more’”

RJ: Vincent you get to stay all over the world in some great hotels, tell me some of your recent favorites?

Hotel Esencia in Rivera Maya, Mexico – It feels like being on a luxury compound more than a hotel. The beach is private and pristine. The food is not fussy but not typical. The aesthetic is very clean and luxe but still feels Mexican. The spa is probably my favorite part. 

Hotel Esencia

Raya Heritage in Chiang Mai, Thailand – Hotels that show they care about the community they are in always catch my attention.  Raya Heritage hires most of it staff from the neighboring community, mixes art made by local artisans into the room decor, and presents regional cuisine. Every view makes you feel like you’re in a magazine sometime because it’s so beautiful but cozy at the same time. 

Innside New York by Melia – Finding an affordable yet charming hotel in a hot neighborhood in New York City is not easy. Innside New York by Melia has become my go to for this reason.  The indoor/outdoor restaurant on the ground floor is clutch. The views are nice to wake up to or to enjoy while doing “other things.”

Innside New York

Go and follow Citizen Jones on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Visit the website here: citizenjonestravel.com

Richard Jones

Richard is the co-founder of Queer Forty. As a 40-something gay man, he is passionate about creating good, informative and entertaining content for the over 40 LGBTQ Community.

Richard Jones has 135 posts and counting. See all posts by Richard Jones

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