The A Place in the Sun host shares her travel memories.
What was your greatest holiday?
I've been lucky enough to experience so many amazing holidays on varying budgets within Europe and further afield. Each one has been special in its own way. I loved travelling to Cuba, I've been to Hong Kong, Australia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Fiji, India, Iceland and Lapland to name a few. I've never visited New Zealand — it's on the list.
One of my most memorable holidays was to South Africa at the start of the year. My dad was born there so it was great to be able to see where he grew up. I always travel with my young children. I took them in a helicopter over Table Mountain and went on a "child-friendly" safari. They probably won't remember a thing, but travelling the world is an amazing opportunity for them.
If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing?
I seldom sit still. I love experiencing different cultures and languages, and learning about different traditions. I want to make the most of every second when I'm in a place.
What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling?
I was in Egypt when I was 21, with my boyfriend at the time. We didn't have the correct visa to go to Cairo so got chatting with a cafe owner in Taba where we were staying — he could hardly speak any English! He told us he would drive us to the Israeli border to get the visas we needed, then to Cairo in five hours for a two-day excursion. Crazily, we agreed. They took our passports at the border, we got our visas and headed to Cairo. The kind man took us to lots of places off the beaten track and even to his family home where we enjoyed dinner together. It was pretty silly and irresponsible, but it was an incredible experience.
Complete this sentence: I can't travel without . . .
My Doona. It's a car seat that turns into a pram. I used it with Rocco and my daughter Tahlia still uses it. It must have been to more than 20 countries.
What's the best travel tip you've ever been given?
I pay for a premium Customs service when I land so I go straight to the front of the queue.
What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling?
I love French cuisine and I enjoyed an amazing meal and some good wine in the restaurant at Chateau de Pennautier (close to Carcasonne in France) a few months ago.
What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip?
I've got a cowbell from India and an antique curling rock from Austria. I love interior design and I think it's nice to be able to bring back something unusual to remind you of a place. The cowbell raised a few odd questions in Customs.
What's the next trip you have planned?
I'm filming in Spain, the Canaries and the Caribbean before Christmas. Maybe New Zealand will be on the cards next year.
Laura Hamilton hosts 'A Place in the Sun', on the Living Channel, Wednesdays, 8.30pm.