Which was your best holiday?
There's no such thing as a bad holiday! Any time you can get away it's going to be great. Our holidays have changed over the years. BK ... before kids ... my husband, Tony, and I had a magical six weeks through Europe. It was winter and we worked our way through the Luxury Boutique Hotels of the World book. We travelled through France and Italy. We rugged up and spent as much time in front of open fireplaces as we did touring castles and cobblestone streets. That would never have worked with kids. Now, with two boys aged eight and 10, I'm just as happy at a theme park. Well, almost! Seeing mum come down a water slide with a wedgie is apparently hilarious to your children.
And the best hotel you've stayed in?
It was during that six weeks in Europe with Tony. It was in 2000, so I don't remember names ... in Avignon in the south of France. The hotel was a converted monastery where a pope had once stayed centuries before. The rooms were tiny but it had such a sense of history. We had a 10-course dinner in the old library. Divine. The place was filled with tiger lilies. When I smell those flowers to this day, I still think of that place.
What do you need for a perfect holiday?
No cooking! As a full-time working mum, dinner time, or rather preparing for it, is a dead-set drag. "What's for dinner, muuuuuum?" So at holiday time, the Gillies kitchen is closed for business.
What do you always take with you?
My family. I'm not really a "get-away-with-the girls" kinda chick! I'd feel too guilty. I travel for work, so that's my getaway, I guess. Sunnies, a hat, a book and sunscreen are musts. I always pack a small bottle of liquid laundry detergent. I refuse to pay $57.85 for clean bras and knickers.
What's your best piece of travel advice?
Leave the electronic stuff at home. Hard, I know. Rome managed to look pretty fabulous before Instagram, you know.
Where do you want to go next?
It's a toss-up between sand and snow. In August we took the boys to Thredbo Resort for their first taste of skiing. They loved it. They're so busting to get back there. So that's next winter taken care of. Over the Christmas holiday break we'll try to head somewhere warm. Fiji maybe? Tony and I had our honeymoon there and the boys love snorkelling. Bali perhaps? A South African safari is top of our family bucket list. So is camping on the trampoline in the backyard.
Which was your worst holiday?
You know many people might say staying in a caravan (no annex) in January school holidays in 35-degree heat may not be a lot of fun. But we did that as kids and we loved it. My sister and I, on our bikes, hanging out with our cousins and all the other children in the park.
We grew up in Tamworth, and Port Macquarie was about the closest beach, a three-hour drive away. The road was so windy that you would have to stop halfway to stop the car sickness. They are some of my best memories of childhood.
And your worst experience on holiday?
Touch wood, we've been lucky. No lost baggage, no thefts, no lost passport. Sometimes a room may not look exactly like the brochure but seriously, there's no such thing as a bad holiday.
What's the biggest packing mistake you've made?
Well, there may be some times ... when ... completely by accident ... I haven't packed enough clothes. I've had no choice but to go out and buy some new ones. I think it's culturally important to support the economy of the country you're visiting.
Which is the worst hotel you've stayed in?
It was in country Victoria. I was away for work. The man I was sleeping with snored. Did I mention the man was actually in the room next door? I've never met him, but the walls of the room were so thin, that it felt like he was on the pillow right next to me.
The room also had a shower curtain. I'm not a fan of a wet curtain. It has a way of wrapping around your legs. And I hate to think of how many other hairy legs it's found its way around.
What do you avoid on holiday?
My co-host, Larry Emdur.
What do you hate about holidays?
Planning. I love being on holidays. Not the planning of said holiday. I hate the endless internet surfing. Trying to find flights to match the accommodation dates. And when are school holidays again? Oh ... next week? Is it peak season, shoulder season, low season, price high-jack season or Easter? Jeez ... never go away for Easter ... unless you win Lotto. And a pet gripe? Those websites where you have to put the dates in to get the tariffs. I need to know at a glance if I should have married a Vanderbilt ... not a journalist ... to afford the room!
As told to Angie Kelly
Kylie Gillies is the Morning Show co-host on Channel Seven.