The Travel Interview: Jenni Falconer

The presenter and radio DJ's home from home is a hotel in Somerset, but her round the world tennis tournament with her husband continues, most recently in St Lucia

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It’s fair to say, Scottish broadcaster and This Morning travel reporter, How to Holiday, and Fantasy Homes by the Sea presenter Jenni Falconer is a bit of an expert on the subject of travel. We catch up with her for advice and holiday tips…

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What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Fave holiday destination is tough as I love travelling and have different categories.

My favourite romantic destination is the Maldives. It’s just beautiful, so idyllic. Pictures don’t do it justice.

In the USA I love Miami. It’s so fun, lively and whilst it’s a city, you have sea too and the beach is amazing; white sand and crystal clear water. A run every morning along the beach path there was the perfect start to my day.

But then I also love the Caribbean. A mix of sun, sea, sand, rum and the chilled Caribbean vibe makes for a great holiday. 

What unusual item do you never leave home without when travelling?

Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Essential for any flight, even just to help me sleep better on board as it cancels out that constant plane hum. 

Which celeb would you most like to travel with?

I’d be quite keen to go with Michael Palin. He would be able to answer any questions I may have…he’s like a travel encyclopaedia! If Michael is unavailable, then it’d be quite nice to travel with Bradley Cooper…

Best travel experience?

I used to present travel shows for TV. How to Holiday is a show where I travelled the world experiencing luxury holidays – what an amazing time that was! My co-presenter Dom Littlewood got the short straw and did everything on a budget. So I had a private ski chalet in Val d’Isére, complete with helipad, sauna, jacuzzi and staff; hired a Cobra to tour Stellenbosch and the western Cape winelands; stayed in a suite at the George V in Paris and helicoptered around Hong Kong harbour. 

Which TV shows/films have inspired you to travel?

Well after watching the chick flick The Notebook, I’ve been desperate to go to Charleston. The architecture, beaches and food are hugely appealing. Also, after watching the Julia Roberts’s film ‘Sleeping With the Enemy’, I have been keen to head to the Hamptons. Basically I need to head to the East Coast of the USA and travel between NYC and Miami…

Top travel track/book?

Time Out travel guides for me. Essential for trips abroad, just to have a bit of info on bars/cafés/tourist haunts etc. Generally, I like to make my own list and get recommendations from friends or from others who have travelled but without the travel guides, I would feel lost in a city I’ve never been to before. 

Best piece of travel advice?

Always carry a spare outfit. Whether it’s just a spare top and underwear, or a whole outfit, it’s better to be prepared. I’ve had times where luggage has gone astray and I’ve even had an experience where a child projectile vomited over me at the start of a long-haul flight. I was so grateful of that spare clothing!

Most thrilling travel adventure?

My most thrilling travel adventure is probably going to the Amazon rainforest earlier this year. I went for two days. It took two whole days to get there, in taxis, planes, buses, speedboats and vans. No trains! Then when we were there we crammed so much in: piranha fishing, tree climbing, cayman spotting, dolphin watching, dodged tarantulas and snakes, did a survival course, had a termite nest explode on my head, went on midnight kayak trips and early morning hikes. All while living in a hut with no hot water, WiFi or modern technology (other than basic electricity for lights to work). And yes, it rained the whole time! But an incredible experience. 

Best hotel you’ve stayed in?

I love Babington House. I got married there. It’s in Somerset. It’s a holiday destination for us without travelling very far and it feels like a home from home. 

Tell us about your most recent holiday:

I just got back from a family holiday to St James Club’s Morgan Bay resort in St Lucia. 

Why did you choose there?

We have a two-year-old daughter, but we still want the holiday with the travel but we need somewhere where she will feel comfortable, too. This resort had a fantastic kids’ club, which she loved, it has its own gorgeous beach and multiple pools that we all loved.

There’s several restaurants (all but one child-friendly). It was all-inclusive so no worry about money/cash the whole time. There was a lovely crowd holidaying there – we made some new friends, as did our little girl. My husband James and I are competitive so our ‘tennis tournament’ round the world continued. It’s been going on for five years now. It started in Antigua and has continued in Grenada, South Africa, Tenerife and now St Lucia. I’m still in the lead…

Favourite bit about the trip?

The sunsets were stunning. The most perfect I’ve ever seen. 

How would you describe it to a friend?

Somewhere you can go, switch off, relax, eat great food, drink delicious cocktails and have a truly wonderful time as a family. 

Where are you going next and why?

Next up is still to be confirmed. We were thinking about Cornwall for a long weekend, and my hubby and I are also considering a return to NYC, where we got engaged five years ago.

Hear Jenni on Heart FM weekdays 4-6am and Sundays 6-8am.


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