My life in travel: Jenny Jones

‘Don’t plan your holidays – it leads to adventures’

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The Independent Travel


First holiday memory?

Camping in France. My dad would always load the car up with everything we needed. We were active kids, but my parents tried to integrate it with some education. My mum would make us go down to the local shop to buy a baguette in French.

Favourite place in the UK?

The Woolacombe-Croyde area of North Devon. I love surfing, and it isn't super-developed there like Newquay. Putsborough is a really great place for waves.

Best holiday?

Snowboarding often feels like being on holiday! I loved catboarding in British Columbia in Canada at Rettallack, a snowboarding and skiing lodge. They send you up in a snowcat and drop you off on the mountains. We got some really great snowfall and I was with a bunch of girls. It was just such a laugh.

What I've learned

Stay open minded about people. Plan half of your trip, but don't plan the other half. The other half leads to adventures.

Ski bum, adrenalin junkie or culture vulture?

I need there to be some sort of activity to keep me occupied; I like excitement and adventure.

Travel luxury?

If I could, I'd travel with a pocket physio, who would fix me and give me massages. I'm forever getting bumps and bruises.

Holiday reading?

Catcher in the Rye – I'm trying to catch up with classics.

Where has seduced you? 

Iceland. A friend was working at a resort there. The landcape and scenery were amazing. We stayed in a small lodge that was really basic, but had a nice outdoor feel. We'd ride most days, and one or two of the days we went surfing. It was freezing – I wore the thickest wetsuit you can imagine – but we surfed some great waves. This was 10 years ago, but the most memorable sunset I've ever seen was in Iceland. It was like something out of Lord of the Rings.

Better to travel or arrive?

I really just want to get there and have a good time.

Worst travel experience?

I was travelling to Japan for a competition. I got charged huge fees for excess baggage on the way out and then when I got there my bag didn't arrive, along with all my equipment. I couldn't do any training and I had to just watch the competition! Then after it had all ended, I got back to the hotel room and my bag had finally arrived.

Best hotel?

My converted Volkswagen T4 Transporter van. It's got a bed that folds down and a portable cooker, and I can store all my surfboards in the back.

Worst hotel?

We were driving to Mammoth Lakes in California from Salt Lake City, Utah and we had to stop off. The hotel was the seediest place I've ever been. It had crunchy blankets and paper-thin walls.

Favourite ride?

Cycling from London to Paris for charity. It took about four days.

Favourite city?

San Francisco. I love it there: it has interesting nooks and crannies compared to other US cities.

Where next?

Breckenridge in Colorado. It's a great resort with great snow; it's pretty cold but it's got really good terrain and jumps built for snowboarders.

Jenny Jones is a British professional snowboarder. She’s an ambassador for the Relentless Energy Drink Freeze festival, which runs from 26-27 October at Battersea Power Station, London, and features music, snowboarding and skiing across five stages. For more information, go to