My Life In Travel: Jason Donovan, singer and actor

'Melbourne is one of the world's best food cities'
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

I was brought up by my dad and one of the first and most impressionable journeys we went on was to Los Angeles and Disneyland. We stayed in a neighbourhood called Westwood and I remember being very starry-eyed about it. For me, the US was a country that was played out in film and it had a larger than life feel to it.

Best holiday?

I have two – I love skiing and I love Indonesia, particularly Bali. When skiing, I love lunch with a bottle of rosé, keeping fit and being with my kids. I love Bali for the food and the spirituality and also the smell of it. My wife and I had a wedding blessing there. The beaches aren't particularly great, but for an Australian it's the equivalent of going to Spain. It's somewhere I've been back to a lot.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Oxfordshire, where we have a country house. I like the contrast with London but also the ability to have both a city life and country life within an hour-and-a-half of each other.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Always to have a copy of your passport information page somewhere, and to make sure you have more than one credit card on you. Also, I would rather spend one week in a beautiful hotel than two weeks in an average hotel. It's worth the extra money.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife and family. I travel with them most of the time.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I'm a beach bum. My perfect holiday is a great pool, a great beach and somewhere to have a great lunch with some nice wine. It helps to have a bit of sunshine too.

Where has seduced you?

I love Courchevel. There's something cosy about it and I love that combination of the sound of your footsteps in the snow with the fire and the wine. That's where we always go to ski, because I think nowhere can better it.

Better to travel or arrive?

To arrive. If I could snap my fingers and be there, I would. We travel a lot, but we have kids so it's not as easy or economical as it once was.

Worst travel experience?

Anything involving delays and aircraft. I was on an A380 going to Australia and the hydraulics went down. What was supposed to be an hour's stopover turned into seven-and-a-half hours trying to find us a new aircraft to continue the journey. Also, in Mallorca this summer, fog descended on Palma airport and I had to be back in the UK for a gig. We lost our take-off slot so I had to sit on the plane for three hours waiting to take off. What I hate about delays more than anything is the lack of communication.

Greatest travel luxury?

Flying business class; I don't do economy well. For Europe, I'm happy to jump on a train and treat it like a bus but I need to have some comfort if I'm going further.

Holiday reading?

I prefer newspapers to books but, if I'm on a plane, I'd rather watch a movie.

Worst hotel?

I've done a couple of gigs in places like Tenerife and the Balearics where I've stayed in places I wouldn't have personally chosen.

Best hotel?

You can rarely go wrong with a Four Seasons, a One&Only or a Mandarin Oriental. I love anything with five stars and anything luxurious. However, you pay for it!

Favourite walk?

I recently did Who Do You Think You Are? for the BBC and spent some time in Tasmania and the Blue Mountains, tracing my family tree. I stayed in some eco-lodges and went on some stunning walks; it was a really great experience.

Best meal abroad?

I have never had a bad meal in Australia. You can get a great coffee in the suburbs in Australia which wouldn't happen in the UK. I think Australia has a great food culture, partly because food doesn't travel. New Zealand is about the furthest place meat comes from. Melbourne has the best restaurants. It's one of the best food cities in the world.

Dream trip?

I'd love to do a safari one day and to visit India to taste the culture there. I'd like to take my family to Hawaii, too.

Favourite city?

I love London. The Serpentine is not a good substitute for Bondi Beach, but I love the theatre and the culture. If you can't get it in London, then you probably can't get it anywhere else. It's also a great springboard for getting to other places, whether it's New York or Europe.

Where next?

We've recently had a holiday in Spain so the next one will probably be skiing.

Jason Donovan's new album Soundtrack Of The 80s is a collection of cover versions of his favourite Eighties songs