Skyscanner sat down with Jess Parr, a travel and lifestyle blogger from The Layover Life to find out which destinations she is dreaming about visiting first after lockdown restrictions ease, plus fond travel memories and what she thinks is in store for the future of travel.
The Layover Life travel blog was born after Jess hung up her cabin crew uniform, having spent five years travelling the world for work – and play. Her job helped her tick off bucket list destinations, and inspired friends and family to reach out to her as an expert jet-setter for trip recommendations and destination insights. And thus, The Layover Life blog was created, and became the home for detailed destination recommendations, accommodation links and places to eat and drink so her friends and family could easily find the information – and inspiration – they were looking for. The more Jess travelled, the bigger the blog grew until she was finally able to give up her day job and pursue travel writing full-time. Without the constraints of her airline’s route network or work schedule, Jess is now able to take her time exploring destinations and sharing her experiences through her blog.
Dream destinations and bucket list experiences
When it comes to where Jess is dreaming of visiting next, her interests span the globe. From sustainable destinations in South America to exploring the beauty of her native UK, she’s made a list – and is ready to start checking places off of it.
Seoul, South Korea is top of my list. The culture, the food, the architecture, the modern history, the beauty products and the nightlife. It seems like such a unique place, and I am desperate to explore it from the traditional villages to the disco bowling and unusual dining experiences.
Scotland: I lived in Edinburgh for six years, and I feel ashamed I never made more of an effort to see the natural beauty of Scotland. Mountains, lakes, fresh air and beaches to rival those of French Polynesia (Google the Outer Hebrides and you’ll know what I mean). More road trips exploring the UK are high up on my travel agenda.
Costa Rica: It’s set to become carbon neutral this year, and the country is a pioneer for sustainable tourism. Beaches, jungle, wildlife and eco-friendly hotels. They play a huge part in environmentally-friendly tourism, and as the world around us changes, tourism will change too as people travel more consciously.
Memorable destinations already ticked off the list
Before coronavirus, Jess was able to visit a few dream destinations that now remain fond memories, immortalised in her blog and on her social media pages. Her holiday experiences solidified why these places made her bucket list, and has continued to fuel her desire to see and do more, and sharing those adventures with the world.
It sounds cliché, but our honeymoon to the Maldives last summer was literally the best week of my life. It was the perfect ‘switch off’ destination where we could fully relax after a hectic few months of wedding planning. I had previously visited on 24-hour layovers with work, but never got to experience the real beauty of this paradise. It really is heaven on earth.
Another travel experience that was so special to me was visiting my best friend Lisa in Mexico City at the start of this year. A destination I’ve always wanted to visit, and I got shown around the city like a local. The beauty and charm of the city is unforgettable, and the food is mouthwateringly good. Knowing someone with insider knowledge of the best tacos, tamales and tortas in this city is a bonus.
I’ve written a full Mexico City guide here on my blog: THE COMPLETE MEXICO CITY GUIDE // CDMX NEIGHBOURHOODS
What’s next for the future of travel – and The Layover Life?
As travel begins to slowly open back up, Jess is keen to get back to enjoying the different sights, sounds and smells of different places, and hopes her best friend Lisa will join her for a bucket-list Seoul adventure. Having been homebound for so long, she craves immersing herself in new cultures, trying new foods and hearing different languages around her. And in this new world of travel, how does Jess think her future trips might change?
I think cheap international flights will be a thing of the past. Airlines will have to conform to social distancing measures onboard, which the customer will ultimately pay for – although smaller passenger loads with no one occupying the middle seat does seem like a bonus! People will travel more slowly and more consciously. Fewer trips, but longer time spent in a destination. Road trips over internal flights. Staycations instead of international vacations.
Whatever the future of travel holds, you can keep track of Jess’s next adventures on The Layover Life and her Instagram account which has temporarily been re-branded @thestayoverlife to document life at home whilst not travelling.