Welcome to ‘A bit on the side’, where we profile the secret lives and stories of people in the travel industry. Outside of travel, just what do they get up to in their spare time?

We’re bringing to light some of the quirky, awesome, unexpected things that your industry colleagues get up to when they’re not in uniform, so to speak.

If you get up to curious things (keep it clean!) outside your regular 9-to-5, we’d love to hear about it.

Email: [email protected], and tell us briefly what your bit on the side looks like.



NAME: Jason Dutton-Smith

FROM: welltravelled.com.au

LIVES IN: Brisbane, QLD

REGULAR GIG: Content guru & chief tea maker



Bit on the Side - Jason Dutton Smith

After being a professional nomad for several years (tick) and a first-class wannabe (fail), I decided it was time to head home and set my roots in Brisbane.

With my travel experience and acceptance of time to play grown-up, I knew the travel industry was where I needed to be. So, in 2002, I joined a fledgling airline who had recently taken to the skies – Virgin Blue.

Landing in E-commerce, my role saw me looking after a multi-million-dollar ancillary revenue portfolio for the next ten years (now that is grown up!) as the ‘little airline that could’ grew from its humble beginnings of Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue, V-Australia and Polynesian Blue, into the product known today as Virgin Australia.

And I will never admit to being part the checked bag fee revolution in the Australian aviation market, for fear of incrimination.

A tap on the shoulder landed me with Flight Centre to start a new content marketing department. The role and team grew rapidly, picking up the SEO team along the way, where we grew page views by over 2,000% in less than a year.

Next stop was Editor-in-Chief for seven Flight Centre brands, sitting on the management team and responsible for content, social media and PR teams, and the architect and owner of my beloved, multi-award winning, Travel Ideas magazine.

Now, I have my own travel company (super grown up!) and working on new ways for writers to earn ongoing commissions for their work through a new syndication platform about to be launched (keep an eye out for the launch soon!).

You can also find me in Sunday’s Escape lift out periodically and I’m the travel editor for Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

Jason’s bits on the side include…



Jason Dutton-Smith Aviation Tragic

I’m a self-confessed, unabashed, commercial aviation nerd and plane spotter. Phew, there, I said it.

After ten years working for an airline, I still have jet fuel running through my veins.

Seat design, cabin interiors, amenities, galleys, airports, aircraft types and all things airline simply enamour me.

Long live #avgeek !!



Jason Dutton-Smith - Bali Cooking School

I’m a cooker boy – I love the art of cooking and sourcing super fresh ingredients.

I enjoy searching for foods in local markets and understanding their origins and discovering unique flavour combinations.

Cheese and olive oils are my food du jour. My favourite cheese, is cheese. Creamy, stinky, mature; I have no discrimination.

Olive oils I find fascinating as they are so versatile. Especially the naturally flavoured kind. Chili infused olive oil can go on top of almost anything and a drizzle of orange or lemon infused olive oil over fresh grilled fish is a treat!

My sheer weakness though is anything that falls into the dessert category….and I mean anything!

I still reminisce of that wonderful day I discovered baklava for the first time, piled high on a silver cake stand in the window of a bakery – ironically in Paris!



Jason Dutton-Smith - Photography

I love photography and creating still memories – I enjoy those moments where you look back through an album and are reminded of a snapshot in time that you simply forgot all about.



Jason Dutton-Smith - Cruise Exploring

There is something fascinating about cruising. Starting with the question, how the heck do they float!?

Looking at a cruise ship, it doesn’t seem possible that 5,000+ people can be filed onto a floating resort and pushed out to sea.

With many cruises completed, I still have one elusive cruise on my travel list though; Antarctica!



Resource connects businesses with a flexible workforce of creative freelancers ready to fill resource gaps in your business. They can be quick bits on the side, or something more permanent.

Workplaces are changing. Talented people are finding their skills are valued across a range of areas and are ditching the traditional conventions of 9-to-5 employment. Businesses are changing the way they view it, too. The so-called ‘gig-economy’ is thriving, enabling people to adapt work to their lives, not the other way around.

It’s the perfect set-up for a few bits on the side.

Do you have any quirky side-gigs? Tell us all about them!