What was your greatest holiday?

Mexico in 1993; I have vivid memories of travelling by myself off the beaten track and seeing amazing things. I ended up in Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca. You really know you are living because there is so much colour and little bit of danger.

And the worst? I don't have one. Travelling with young kids is often hard, you sometimes feel like you need a holiday from your holiday.

If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing? Swimming, snorkelling, surfing, diving - anything in the ocean and I will be there.
If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be? I'm definitely keen to get to Great Barrier Island next year.

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How about for a dream holiday internationally?
I'm really keen to explore the Arctic Circle, Iceland, Northern Scandinavia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling? I trusted someone with some money in Mexico and never saw it again. I then lost my credit card so had no funds for several days.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without... My credit card!

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given?
Drink lots of water for a few days before you fly. And don't have a big going away party the night before because that will defeat the purpose of all the water!

What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling? The first meal I had after losing all my money in Mexico.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip? My wife wanted me to take a photo of a donkey when I was heading to Greece. I brought her back a music box which has a man and a donkey that go around and plays the theme from Zorba the Greek. It went down a treat. Recently I went to the Shetland Islands and brought back a 400-year-old stone from a croft house my family built and gave it to my daughter. Sometimes it's the things that have sentimentality that are the best.

Favourite airport to land at?
My most memorable landings and take-offs have been at Wellington airport. You are always so grateful to get in and out of there safely, you appreciate it all the more.

What's the next trip you've got planned?
Hopefully it's to the Telo Islands off the coast of Sumatra in August.

Erik Thomson stars in season two of 800 Words, Sundays from January 22, 8.35pm on TVNZ 1.