Famous flyer: Larry Emdur
"It's great to have white sand, warm water, a good cocktail bar and no phone coverage" ... Larry Emdur.
Which was your best holiday?
I can honestly say that some of our best holidays have been simple, economical and local. As long as the family's together and everyone's relaxed and having fun, then we're in holiday heaven. We've had great family holidays in Queensland and Coffs Harbour. But probably the best grown-up holiday we've ever had was when Sylvie and I (yep, no kids) went to Bora Bora. We stayed in one of those amazing overwater bungalows with a glass floor. So you could stand in the shower and watch the fish swimming below. I did feel a little sorry for the odd fish that accidentally looked up. I saw a movie a few years ago where the stars got off the boat at the resort, looked around and said: "Oh my god it's like we're in a screensaver". That's no exaggeration, it's actually that amazing. The water is an impossible fluoro blue, it's warm and inviting and you find yourself diving into it off your balcony all day and all night.
It usually takes me about three or four days to wind down properly.
And the best hotel you've stayed in?
The Four Seasons, Bora Bora, was breathtaking but we also fell in love with the Banyan Tree Resort in Phuket. I was working over there and they put us up in a pool villa. The pool started at the end of the bed. So you'd fall out of bed into the pool, there was an amazing cabana at the end of the pool where they'd serve your meals. I'm not sure we ever left that room.
What do you need for a perfect holiday?
We love our beach holidays - the kids surf, fish and sail and Sylvie loves to swim and read. And if they're all happy then so am I. It's great to have white sand, warm water, a good cocktail bar and no phone coverage. We also love our skiing holidays. As long as there's lots of snow, no lift queues and intermittent phone coverage we're happy too.
What do you always take with you?
With a 17-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter it seems technology is playing a larger role in our holidays these days. There are always iPhones, iPods, iPads, but the most important thing is a deck of cards. We have legendary holiday card tournaments (although I think there's an app for that). The kids think they beat me all the time - don't tell them but I let them win. Keeps 'em happy ... what a great dad.
What's your best travel advice?
Try to make sure there's something for everyone. My son Jye and I like surfing, Sylvie and my daughter Tia like shopping, so Bali is a great destination for us. We've been to places like Hong Kong, which has great shopping but not much fun for Jye and me. Then we've been on surfing holidays where there are no shops. That's got disaster written all over it.
Where do you want to go next?
Jye has finished school and will be travelling around Europe on his gap year. Sylvie is Polish and loves getting back to the family in Europe. So I think 2012 will be a year of many frequent-flyer points. I'll take some time later in the year to visit Jye, probably in France or Italy, then the girls will meet us and we'll head to Poland.
Which was your worst holiday?
When I was about 21 I went to Bali with some mates. We didn't have any money so we were staying in the cheapest accommodation we could find and eating the cheapest food. We all got very sick and we were all sharing one small hotel room with one saggy, single bed and two saggier fold-out beds. Three boys, all violently sick, one tiny hotel room and one tiny bathroom with a paper-thin door. I don't need to tell you any more. But once we came back I never wanted to see those guys again. Too many bad, bad memories.
What's the biggest packing mistake you've made?
I think not putting the can of shaving foam in a toiletries bag was a big mistake. It would've probably been OK if I found it soon after it exploded but it was a long flight and by the time I got to it, it had made its way through everything.
Which is the worst hotel you've stayed in?
It was a pub from hell on the NSW north coast. We were desperate; everything within 100 kilometres had very bright NO VACANCY signs. It was a simple boys' surf trip but there were massive storms so all the campsites and surf spots had been washed out. So no surf, no fun and staying in the world's cheapest, most disgusting pub accom. We got wise the second night and just drank more.
What do you hate about holidays?
I hate the way it usually takes me about three or four days to wind down properly. They say never take holidays in TV so historically I hate the way that when I'm away they bring in all those very young, very handsome and incredibly talented young guys.
What do you avoid on holiday?
Anyone who has ever seen The Price is Right. It's funny how unfunny someone yelling out "come on down" can be at the breakfast buffet.
As told to Angie Kelly
Larry Emdur is the host of The Price is Right