5 Minutes With Jessica Festa

For McCool Travel’s 80th travel profile, I am pleased to present Jessica Festa. Jessica runs a gorgeous website called Jessie on a Journey, where she provides inspiration, encouragement, and resources for solo travelers, especially women. I was initially impressed with her passion and enthusiasm in various Twitter chats and was thrilled when she shared her travel thoughts and tips with me.
Jessica’s bio:
“Jessica Festa enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia, and living with a family in Ghana. Jessica is the editor of the online responsible tourism and culture magazine, Epicure & Culture, and the solo travel and adventure blog, Jessie on a Journey.”

Jessica Festa - Jessie on a Journey
Jessica Festa – Jessie on a Journey


Jessica Festa

Farmingville on Long Island (New York)
Always in my luggage…
My GoPro! It takes amazing shots and takes up almost no space.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…

  1. One is Slovenia. I love how Ljubljana’s city center is car-free, the al fresco cafés along the river, and how easy it is to take active day trips to go hiking, kayaking, and cycling.
  2. I also loved Patagonia. Seriously, the landscapes are unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and there’s so much adventure to be had: glacier hiking, trekking through national parks, off-roading, boating to islands.
  3. Lastly I’d choose Sydney. I studied abroad there so it will always have a special place in my heart. Although expensive, it’s clean, beautiful and full of culture, nightlife, and active things to do.


Jessica Festa - Jessie on a Journey
Jessica Festa – Jessie on a Journey

A favorite travel memory is…

A favorite travel memory of mine is doing a homestay with a family of herb pickers in Slovenia. Foraging for food, making our own herbal body products, learning about curative herbs, having conversations over homemade meals—it was such an immersive cultural experience. I highly recommend looking into homestays anywhere you go.

3 favorite travel brands…

  1. Capital One (I use their Capital One Venture Card when traveling)
  2. Clever Travel Companion (great pickpocket-proof clothing, especially for solo travelers needing to watch their own back)
  3. JetBlue (I always have a great experience on their flights)

3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  1. Couchsurfing and hostels for cheap accommodation
  2. always checking for free walking tours/local greeters in the destination (many cities have them)
  3. signing up for the free points programs with airlines and hotels and being loyal to specific brands to rack up points

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…

  1. finding the best local hiking trails
  2. attending and planning meetups on Couchsurfing
  3. finding immersive experiences like cooking in a local home or learning a local tradition

8 word (or less) travel mantra…
Don’t let fear inhibit growth.

Jessica Festa - Jessie on a Journey
Jessica Festa – Jessie on a Journey

favorite non-travel website…
I rarely look at non-travel websites—if I am not working on my blog or other travel-related projects I am not on my computer. However, aside for social media I’d say PicMonkey for editing photos, Netflix because I do not own a TV, and The Bold Italic because their stories always make me laugh.
most memorable souvenir…
My most memorable souvenir was a table runner I wove in the old fashioned tradition on Taketomi Island in Okinawa. The weaving tradition using wooden foot pedal-operated machines and natural materials and dyes is important there. I gave it to my mother.

Jessica Festa - Jessie on a Journey
Jessica Festa – Jessie on a Journey


Thank you very much, Jessica.
Follow Jessica Festa on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Pinterest, Google+, and her website.

Check out McCool Travel’s previous profilesMcCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons. Previous 5 Minutes post: Leon Logothetis.

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