How Travel Guides’ Fren family became fan-favourites by being ‘exactly how we are’

"And that's what we like. We’re ourselves."
Loading the player...

If there’s one thing we know about the Fren family from watching them on Travel Guides, it’s that they know how to have a good time.

WATCH BELOW: Travel Guides: The Fren family visit a farm

Often finding themselves in unpredictable situations due to their ‘have-a-go’ nature, the Frens always find the funny side of any holiday disaster.

It’s something that has proven to be quite handy during their travels on the Channel Nine reality show, where they act as travel critics on a week-long holiday.

Ever since they first graced our screens in 2017, the Frens – Mark, Cathy, Jono and Victoria – have been providing us with laughs, and the show wouldn’t be the same without them.

Get to know more about the family here.

travel guides fren family
Meet the Frens (L-R): Jonathon, Victoria, Cathy and Mark. (Credit: Nine)

With their good-natured bickering and silly antics, the Frens have found the perfect balance to make their family work.

Mark keeps things upbeat and is a forthright dad, and is the other half to his wife Cathy, who has a quirky sense of humour and distinctive laugh that’s very contagious.

The couple have been married for more than 30 years and share two kids together, Victoria and Jonathon.

While Victoria is always ready to voice an opinion, Jonathon is a little more on the reserved side out of the bunch – offering a good mix within the family.

travel guides fren family
“Something that we said straight off was that we’re portrayed exactly how we are.” (Credit: Instagram)

Although, while it seems like the show is the perfect fit for the family, Mark and Cathy were originally approached by Channel 9 to audition for something completely different – a cooking series called The Hotplate.

The show was never renewed for a second season, and the Frens family found themselves with spots on the Travel Guides cast, where they say what you see is what you get.

“Something that we said straight off was that we’re portrayed exactly how we are. And all the people in the show, how they act, and how Channel 9 portrays them is exactly how they act,” Cathy told In Touch magazine.

“And that’s what we like. We’re ourselves. Halfway through the first series, I said to a producer, ‘How are we going? Are we alright?’ And he went, ‘Oh, you’re hilarious.’ And I said, ‘Well, I didn’t even know it was supposed to be a humorous show.’ We were just ourselves, so that’s just the way it went.”

travel guide fren family
The Frens are fan-favourites on Travel Guides. (Credit: Nine)

While we’re used to seeing the Frens as just a family of four, the tight-knit clan expanded when Jono wed his partner of two years, Danielle Clark, on June 5 this year.

“They’re a great match,” his mum Cathy told Woman’s Day“They really complement each other. They’re madly in love and they’re really caring towards each other.”

His dad Mark also said that they were “so proud” of both the bride and groom, and Victoria added that Danielle has brought her older 
brother out of his shell.

“Individually they’re both quiet people, but when they’re out and about together they’re the total opposite – they’re really outgoing and keen to party,” she said.

fren family jono wedding
Jono recently wed his partner of two years, adding a new Fren family member. (Credit: Instagram)

The Fren family could also see another exciting addition now that the pair are married, with Danielle, who’s since changed her last name to Fren, and Jono having confirmed their readiness to be parents.

“Definitely!” he told the magazine. “A whole new Fren family!”

His family are certainly already keen, with Victoria having said: “I think a baby will be within the next few months. A few months… plus nine!”

Mark also added: “We’ve already worked out our grandparent names!”

Travel Guides airs Tuesday, 9pm, Nine Network.

Related stories