Jennifer Hawkins makes a valid point when she describes how travel is one of life’s most enriching experiences because it helps mould you as a person.
“Once you start travelling you grow as a person and become grateful and content about what you have,” says the former Miss Universe as she elegantly sums up the rich rewards of travel.
Interestingly, it was thanks to winning Miss Universe in 2004 that sparked her lifelong passion for adventuring to far flung parts of the world.
“My first overseas travel experience was Ecuador, then I lived in New York and I just got the travel bug after that. I learned more in that first year back when I was 21 years old than I had before as a person.
“I love reading about new cultures and experiencing them. It’s really important and inspiring.”
Bon Voyage already has on board luxury resorts and cruise destinations with their partners Mulia Resort Bali, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, Nikki Beach Resort Dubai, Centara Grand Bangkok,Vinpeari Gold Land Nah Trang, and Warwick Resort Fiji.
“It’s a great partnership and a vibrant company,” she says. ‘Bon Voyage has relationships with resorts and can put together exclusive packages at cheaper price points. Customers sign up and get members only exclusive deals.
“I definitely plan to travel more and will be road testing resorts and will curate luxury trips. There will be ten new resorts every week and it crosses every budget so you can find resorts at different price points.”
Effectively, Bon Voyage takes the legwork out of planning your next trip by shaping a variety of luxury experiences, removing potential pitfalls and ensuring that the destination, deal and services meet your expectations at competitive rates.
It’s this disruptive approach to travel which won Jennifer over as well as the appeal of being involved in a new diverse project. Apart from sashaying down the catwalk as the face of retailer Myer, Jennifer has thrown her business skills behind a range of interests including the successful Cozi by Jennifer Hawkins swimwear, self-tanning range JBronze (now in its third year), her Tequila brand Sésion to growing her property portfolio with her husband Jake Wall. She admits she’s looking forward to moving into their new home soon in Sydney’s northern beaches where they’ve spent the last 2-1/2 years building.
Jennifer and her husband Jake enjoyed a relaxing break last year in the romantic Amalfi Coast in Italy before heading to the turquoise waters of the Maldives. So it’s no surprise that both destinations make the cut among her favourite travel spots.
“I really love Italy,” she says. “Jake and I went to Positano – it’s so romantic and the white Grottos are spectacular and the food is the best and the people are heaven.
The Maldives is also a must for your bucket list. I love the cuisine and spicy Indian curry’s and fresh produce. Diving there is amazing and, along with diving in WA, it’s is easily one of the best things I’ve ever done. Coming face to face with the whale sharks is incredible.”
Proud of her hometown, Jennifer also recommends Newcastle as a place to visit.
“Newcastle is an unsung destination,” she adds. “Everyone should go there. People think of it as a steel city but it’s so much more. Newcastle’s Ocean Baths were recently done up and as a family destination there is so much to do. I love Hamilton Street and the beaches are some of the best in Australia. Newcastle has long stretches of sandy beaches, surf beaches and swimming beaches and naughty beaches without lifeguards. I love the sunsets. And, of course, it’s close to the beautiful Hunter Valley, too.
“I go back there regularly because my family live there. I love it.”
Keeping well hydrated is top of the list. “At the risk of sounding clichéd, drinking lots of water is really important,” she says. “Making sure your skin is well moisturised with good creams. I use Skinstitut for my face, a good hand-cream and pawpaw balm for my lips.
“Remember to pack a good book. I also take a scarf to wrap around my neck and cocoon myself so I have a good sleep.”