Radio host Toni Street knows the importance of holidays, writes Bridget Jones.
Toni Street knows the power of a holiday. In fact, she's just given Sam Wallace, her co-host on The Hits Breakfast, a bit of a lecture - in the past 10 years, he's been on only one.
"I said, what are you thinking? You work these long hours, why are you not taking a break? He's just come back from Fiji and said, 'Holidays are great, aren't they?' I think he's finally realised, at the age of 38, how beneficial they can be for connecting as a family, for relaxation."
Toni Street - TV personality and co-host of The Hits Breakfast - is the guest on the new episode of Trip Notes. Subscribe to the Trip Notes podcast to make sure you never miss an episode or listen now using the iHeartRadio player below.
And after a well-documented battle with a life-threatening auto-immune disease, she knows better than most the importance of recharging the batteries.
"I feel like every year I am alive, holidays are more and more important," she says. "There was a period of a couple of years where I couldn't travel anywhere because I was too sick and I had to be on various treatments, and I remember feeling withdrawals from not having a break and not being anywhere. I said to my husband, 'we are going to go everywhere after these past couple of years. We're just going to be everywhere'."
Just weeks after the birth of her second child, Street was diagnosed with Churg-Strauss syndrome, underwent chemotherapy and was on heavy doses of intravenous steroids for two years.
Now in remission, and a new mum to baby Lachie, these days she's juggling three young kids with 4am wakeups for work. That's meant chilled-out beach holidays have quickly become the sensible choice for her family, with Fiji and the Sunshine Coast firm favourites.
"I'd like to go further afield, but when your kids are little, you've got to weigh it up. You've got a week or two weeks of leave, and if for your health you need to relax, you've got to think, is a 13-hour plane ride going to make me relaxed with three tiny children? And if the answer is no, then I'll just wait a few years and we'll do that when they're a bit older."
Raised on a dairy farm in Taranaki, Street has fond memories of travelling the country in her grandparents' caravan as a kid, before her first overseas trip to the Gold Coast when she was 12.
Since then, she's been lucky to travel for work, including a memorable trip to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics with TVNZ. But she dreams of getting back to her favourite spot - and our Destination of the week - Hawaii.
"I just love everything about it. It's super, super, relaxing - it reminds me of the relaxing feeling I get from Fiji, but it's got the shopping and the food vibe," she says.
A bit of an active-relaxer, Street describes Hawaii as the perfect place for balancing rest and exploring what the world has to offer. From the shopping to the watersports and even the iconic Cheesecake Factory, she says the island getaway has it all.
"Clearly I'm someone who can't just go and be on the beach for the entire time. Don't get me wrong, I love that, with a cocktail in hand," she says.
"I just don't think you can beat Hawaii for the relaxing nature of the holiday and still be kept entertained.
"I even went for a few runs while I was there - and almost died, it was so hot. But there's nothing like going for a run and then jumping straight into the ocean."
Download Trip Notes to hear more about Street's favourite travel memories, including the exciting adventure she's embarking on this Christmas.
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Here are some of the best things to see and do in Hawaii:
Next time she's in Honolulu, Street would love to stay at The Modern, which overlooks Waikiki Beach and has doubles from $484. SurfJack, with doubles from $235, is another option, also in Honolulu, offering onsite "experiences" like night markets and silent discos. (surfjack.com)
If you're after a true American shopping experience, visit Ala Moana Center, an open-air shopping mall, currently the ninth biggest in the US. Street's pick is the "particularly good" Disney Store for the perfect present for the little people in your life.
Pearl Harbor, made up of a number of memorial sites and museums, is a must-see for anyone visiting Hawaii.
Street suggests paying a visit to the "iconic" The Cheesecake Factory, in Honolulu and Kapolei, where more than 30 different cheesecakes (and other treats) are made fresh every day.
Whether it's windsurfing or bodysurfing, get out and try one of the many watersports easily available around the Hawaiian beaches.
Street has fond memories of an amazing seafood dinner (and a server named Brandon) at Ruth's Chriss Steakhouse.
For more travel inspiration, go to houseoftravel.co.nz