What was your greatest holiday?

Cruising down the Nile River in Egypt. It's a place I had dreamed about as a kid. The river has such a vast history, and the ancient temples just filled me with awe.

And the worst?

The time I trafficked cocaine from Vancouver to Sydney. (By accident, of course.) Customs staff found high traces of fresh cocaine in my suitcase, which had been broken into by baggage handlers who were part of a drug ring. Fortunately, the cocaine was gone, otherwise I could have found myself in a sticky situation. But it was a pretty freaky experience. I bought a new suitcase with more locks.


If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing?

Trying to stop myself from Instagramming everything.

If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be?

Wellington is home, and when I'm not working, it's where I go. My friends and family are there. Plus, I could never get sick of crawling around Cuba Street looking for new cafes, or exploring the city's beautiful south coast.

How about for a dream holiday internationally?

I'd love to do a road trip through heartland America, stopping off in hick towns and states that don't get a lot of visitors. I'm fascinated by the United States and that trip would be so much more interesting now that Trump is in power.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling?

I decided to go to Rarotonga by myself, thinking it would be good to have some downtime. I ended up lonely and bored. It rained the whole time, and I sat inside a resort watching back-to-back Harry Potter movies.

Aisle seat or window seat?

Window seats are good for the soul. Why would you stare at your cellphone when you can check out the view of Mount Taranaki or the Marlborough Sounds?

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without...

A maps app. I'm hopeless at navigation and I can barely find my way around Auckland without using my phone, so I definitely need a GPS app when I'm away.

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given?

Don't cram a bunch of destinations into one trip. Instead, base yourself in one place, and soak up the vibe for as long as you can. Become a regular at a cafe. Enjoy people-watching. Be willing to waste time. You'll have a much richer experience.

What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling?

The baguette I ate in Paris over summer. It gave me food poisoning and left me violently ill for the rest of the trip. Memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Favourite airport to land at?

I'll always remember the first time I landed at Queenstown Airport. As the plane sinks into that valley, the view is jaw-dropping. I was hoping for a missed approach so that we could do it again.

What's the best thing you've ever brought back from a trip?

A story. I'm fortunate enough to travel for work most weeks, and I always come home with interesting interviews and footage to share with our viewers.

What was your most recent trip?

I've just got back from Sri Lanka, where I was filming a story with New Zealand's own Mother Teresa - a Kiwi nun who has spent three decades working among the poor. It was an incredible, eye-opening experience.

Jehan Casinader is a TVNZ current affairs journalist. He'll report from Sri Lanka on TVNZ 1's Sunday, this Sunday at 7.30pm.