In Conversation with Destinations by John

As part of our ‘Support Local, Love Your Community’ ethos at R A Jackson & Son, we are pleased to launch a series of conversations with some of the local businesses that we work with,  shining a light on their individuality and contribution to the community in North Tyneside. 

For our inaugural conversation, we speak to John, the Founder of Destinations by John, an Independent Travel agency, recently opened on Whitley Road in the heart of Whitley Bay. A family business run by John alongside his two daughters, they relocated from Monkseaton to Whitley Bay when they outgrew previous premises.  

People’s mindsets have changed since Covid, realising that dealing with small or family businesses delivers a high-quality level of service.” John

As an independent business, they offer open and honest advice, matched by exceptional deals. With worldwide travel experience, in-depth cruise knowledge and direct connections to all leading tour operators, they offer tailor-made experiences to holiday-makers.  

Tell us more about John

I’m passionate about the world of travel and my career has always involved travel planning. Fifteen years ago I opened my travel agency, becoming part of the award-winning Barrhead travel about six years ago.

I am married with two daughters and my family are involved in the business. My hobbies include attending the Theatre, something I missed over the past 18 months. I am actually a published author, having written a memoir of the iconic Theatre Royal, when they celebrated their 175th anniversary in 2012. We have two Newfoundland dogs, who are members of a local swimming club and they can often be seen around Whitley Bay pulling a Destination by John branded cart!

Whitley Bay has become an oasis for independent businesses. What do you think is driving this change?

People’s mindsets have changed since Covid, realising that dealing with small or family businesses delivers a high-quality level of service.  People seem to be happier spending money that they know will be invested in their community and improve the surroundings.

The travel and tourism industry has been hit harder than most during the pandemic. Staycations have exploded in popularity but which international destinations would you recommend considering as restrictions are eased?

Staycations have become very popular. At Destinations by John, we have seen an increase in demand for coach trips all over the UK but particularly to Scotland and The Cotswolds, with the added bonus of collection points from the centre of Whitley Bay.

With regards to international destinations, I would recommend looking at countries such as Malta, Madeira or the Caribbean which have been on the Green List* for international travel. As of 4th October, the traffic light system moved to a single red list, with simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world, depending on your vaccination status. As a result, enquiries have been increasing for the popular resorts in the Canaries and Balearics, although customers should be aware that this is being constantly reviewed and any country or region could be moved to the Red List with little warning.

Contacting Destinations By John

Destinations By John are available to discuss holiday dreams either over the phone or face to face so if you’re dreaming of your next getaway, do get in touch through Destinations by John website or via their Facebook page.  

Contacting R A Jackson & Son

If you are the owner of a local business and looking to rent a commercial space, get in touch on 0191 257 1253 or

*Green List countries correct at time of publishing and are subject to change based on UK Government advice.