Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Joy A. Kennelly
Occupation: Founder/Producer/Host—Joie de Vivre Travel aka Joy’s Travel Adventures Travel Writer on Pure, Unadulterated Joy blog & Part-time Public Relations Program Professional at El Camino College (say that fast three times.:)
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
Residence: Hawthorne, home of the new SpaceX headquarters and only 10 minutes away from LAX.
College major: Bible, Fashion Merchandising, Consumer Relations/Journalism, Public Relations
Website: This is our MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to show people where we’re heading with our travel show and company: jdvtravel.com We are working on a new functioning version as you read this. Stay tuned! More to be revealed…
Facebook: Joie de Vivre Travel
Google+: Joy Kennelly
Short bio: As a travel writer/video producer who has lived and/or traveled in 27 countries and most of the United States, Joy has produced publicity materials, tour guides, blogs, scripts, travel articles, website copy, and travel videos. Her love of travel was cultivated by her adventure-loving parents from a young age traveling as a family with her two younger sisters by plane, boat, train and bus all over South America, Europe and Africa.
Joy has covered red carpet events, four-star hotels, travel, beauty, celebrities, and food & wine festivals nationwide in her page-one Google blog: Pure, Unadulterated Joy, and her coverage on Big Sur and Hearst Castle inspired a TV travel episode. As an industry professional for both Alaska and Delta Airlines and Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel & Resorts brands, she wrote the script and appeared in a “Beating the High Cost of Travel” infomercial featuring Travel Expert Tom Parsons, and Radio Personality Casey Kasem. Her interesting experiences abroad earned her the “Spirit of Adventure” honor from the Youth Hostels of America Organization. Raised in sunny California, Joy has lived in Kenya, Africa; Augusta, Montana; Seattle, Washington; New York, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; and most recently, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Joy is building Joie de Vivre Travel into an online global travel community for female travelers with Joy’s Travel Adventures Travel Show guiding the way.
How often do you fly? Not often enough but plan to change that very soon.
How many countries have you been to? 27 countries.
How many continents have you been to? Africa, Europe, South America & North America.
Earliest travel memory: We traveled around South America in a converted Pepsi-Cola Truck when I was around eight-years old with my two younger sisters and parents during my dad’s sabbatical from teaching. I distinctly remember walking behind my dad watching for pickpockets while armed guards walked in the streets. Recently asked my dad where that might have been and he said it was in Columbia right after a very bloody takeover attempt in a previous election which is why there was such a military presence on the streets.
On a lighter note, years later on another sabbatical, I also remember my youngest sister walking out into the halls of a British hotel to walk down the hall to the restroom in the nude and getting locked out of our room as we slept on, unknowing. She had to run downstairs to the next level where my parents were sleeping to be let into their room. Needless to say, we teased her unmercifully about that incident; didn’t stop her nudity though. LOL
Favorite American city: New York—never felt so alive as when I lived there. There is so much intellectual stimulation, energy and cultural offerings I felt like I was finally in my element with my people.
Favorite international city: I really enjoyed Munich. Again, cultural offerings make it a favorite—lots of art, music and interesting architecture with great history, and friendly people.
Least favorite country: Haven’t found one yet.
I have no desire to go to: Any country that mistreats women either through Sharia Law, human trafficking or other atrocities like gang-rape as India is known for, unless I am well-protected and with a reputable travel group. I’m not brave (or foolish) like that. I was almost raped in college coming home from work late at night and as a result, understand the threat women face traveling alone perhaps a little more than someone who has never been attacked. Changes your perspective on life when things like that happen and is the main reason I’ve been building my travel company to help women find other female travelers to travel with. Safety in numbers, less expensive and more fun too! “Share your life with others. You will have a joyful life.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
Friendliest people in the world: Africans!
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Haven’t run into any lately.
Favorite World Heritage Site(s): Iguazu National Park, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, Yosemite National Park (I like parks can you tell? :)
Favorite airline: Well, I really enjoyed the parties Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand held recently which makes me want to say them even though I’ve not flown on them yet. :) I used to work for Delta and Alaska Airlines which is why I would have to say either of them out of loyalty.
Favorite aircraft type: Anything that gets me to where I’m going safely and efficiently is fine by me.
Aisle or window: Aisle for short flights and window for longer ones.
Favorite airport lounge: I don’t normally arrive early enough to need one, or have long layovers, but peeking at the LoungeBuddy app, I’m dying to experience Qantas International First Lounge in Sydney, Australia. Full-service day spa with food & wine options? Count me in!
Favorite U.S. airport: Any I’m flying into to have an adventure in. Not picky one iota at this point in time.
Favorite international airport: London, Heathrow.
Favorite hotel: I love visiting the finest hotels in the world, but don’t have a specific brand I’m loyal to because I enjoy new hospitality experiences. Worked for the Marriott and Wyndham brands and love hotels in general. No Airbnb for this traveler unless it was one of those really special locations.
Favorite cruise line: Never been on one. Only visited a docked one once which was fun.
Favorite travel credit card: Don’t use credit cards.
Favorite island: Any of the Virgin Islands.
Favorite beach: Malibu, but I’m partial having grown up in SoCal.
Favorite National Park: See my Heritage listings.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I love all fancy restaurants since I’m a foodie.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Any El Tarasco Mexican joint in SoCal.
Favorite bar: Don’t really drink, but if I had to choose one, maybe Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica.
Favorite fruit: Watermelon.
Favorite food: I like everything I’m afraid. LOL
Least favorite food: Items with no taste and no redeeming qualities. :)
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Water while traveling; a Greyhound or Frangelico on the rocks while on the ground.
Favorite travel movie(s): Any James Bond flick, Motorcycle Diaries, Under the Tuscan Sun, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Way, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Little Miss Sunshine, Craigslist Joe, Nacho Libre, Catch Me If You Can, and my absolute favorite, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Favorite travel show(s): I don’t really watch TV, but when I do, I’ve enjoyed Anthony Bourdain’s show. I’d rather be traveling than watching someone else travel. No offense Rick Steves, but his shows bore me to tears. :)
Favorite travel book(s): Confession to make. When I was a teenager, there was a copy of the famous “Coffee, Tea or Me” paperbacks at one of the hotels we visited in Africa and I read that avidly (and secretly) from cover-to-cover. And I quote, “This huge bestseller offers a gold mine of outrageous anecdotes from the high-flying and passionate lives of two adventurous young flight attendants of the swinging ‘60s. This book takes you back in time when flying was glamorous and sexy.” And that’s what made me want to be a flight attendant when I grew up. LOL Needless to say, I outgrew that dream after working in the airline industry for many years, and now just thank them for doing a great job when I fly.
Right now I am reading: “Clay, Water, Brick Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least“ by Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva. Excellent book on the beginnings of what is now one of the “world’s first and largest P2P micro-lending site.” Had the opportunity to hear her speak recently and she’s an inspirational woman in more ways than one. Really recommend picking up her book if you want to see the world through her eyes as an award-winning social entrepreneur. Very inspiring on many, many levels…
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I am not tied to any particular mag, blog, or newsletter because I focus more on topics that interest me. I also like hearing different perspectives and advice from a variety of people because you always pick up something new to apply to your next adventure.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! I don’t know, Johnny’s is kinda hard to beat. :) But if I had to choose, I really like Booking.com for hotels, Hotwire for flights, Travelzoo for packages, Pinterest for inspiration, and Skift for travel business news. Twitter and Instagram are my two other favorite travel inspiration sites I go to, too.
5 things you bring on a plane: A hardcover book because I get tired of staring at electronics and like the feel of a book in my hands. Hand lotion, OPI Avoplex cuticle oil to go, Eraclea lip balm, and business cards because you never know who you’ll meet. :)
What do you always seem to forget? My nightie.
What do you like least about travel? Can’t think of anything.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A good book, a tasty drink and anything chocolate.
Favorite travel app(s): Yelp, LoungeBuddy, TripIt, Instagram, Around Me, and Skiplagged. ScoutMob was my favorite while living in Atlanta—great CEO and threw the best parties too. Plus, really unique recommendations which I like. Happy to see they’ve expanded to Nashville, NYC, and DC. Flipagram is fun to use with a collage of pix because they have current music you can apply to your finished video. I’m interested in Turo, but haven’t tried it yet. Renting cars from private owners seems a little dicey, but if you try it and like it, let me know.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Caught coming and going this last trip. For some reason I was so intent on getting to my destination, I forgot that the gifts I’d packed weren’t allowed to be carried on the plane. Lost a beautiful, unopened bottle of wine going to Denver recently and then on my return, almost lost the beautiful engraved Swiss Army knife I bought for my son. Fortunately, they had a mail service for people who forget and pack knives. This must happen a lot in Denver because they have a special mail drop kiosk set up right inside the TSA check area. LOL
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: No place. If I want to see it, I generally go.
Worst travel moment: Getting really sick while traveling in Burkina Faso with a Kenyan friend after college. Nobody really spoke English, I didn’t speak French and the woman I was with decided that I should experience all the racism she had endured living in NYC and was rather mean while I was sick. Could not WAIT to get back to the states because of her. The irony is, she was living with a famous black performer, Micki Grant, whom I got along great with when we returned to NYC which confounded my friend. I’ve never been racist and it was a real eye-opening experience to walk onto the plane going home as the only white person it seemed. Helped me understand what African-Americans face on a daily basis and helped sensitize me to race from an early age.
What’s your dream destination? Tahiti, Bora Bora or Fiji.
Favorite travel charity: Samaritan’s Purse—a Christian international relief organization. Here’s their mission statement: Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Best travel tip: Don’t pack gifts like wine or knives and forget about them! I would say, begin planning your trip early, join all the travel discount sites and airline sites you’re interested in because then they will send you updates on sales, specials and unique offerings. Also, read Johnny Jet’s Travel Style interviews because I gained a lot of great app ideas through previous interviewees. :) Lastly, travel with an open mind and prepare to have a different experience than you may have planned. It’s part of what makes travel fun and interesting. You never know who you will meet, what you will eat, where you will visit and what you will experience.