TV Presenter, model, athlete - Kris Smith is a jack of all trades. Originally hailing from the UK, the former rugby league player made the move down under in 2008 and has since carved out a successful modelling and TV presenting career in his adopted home.
A long-time ambassador for Myer - a role he shares with Miss Universe winner, Jennifer Hawkins - the burly Brit has also notched up an array of small screen credits, including a host spot on Foxtel’s Football Superstar, a guest role on Australia’s Next Top Model and two years ago, co-host on Channel 7’s afternoon show, The Daily Edition.
A keen traveller, Kris has also aligned himself with Fiji Tourism, becoming one of their official ambassadors.
Ahead of a trip to his favourite tropical islands, Flight Centre caught up with the 37 year old to get a debrief on his travel habits.
What’s your favourite holiday?
The one I’m about to take to Fiji! I haven’t had many holidays with my little boy, Ethan, and now that he’s at an age when he can do more and appreciate things, it’s pretty exciting.
We’ve been looking through brochures at the activities you can do in Fiji and he’s super excited. He wants to do everything: snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding … everything!
My upcoming trip aside, I spent 10 days in New York during the summer and it blew me away. A friend of mine is soccer coach there and he showed me around the city and I remember he told me to just sit outside of a bar or cafe between 4pm and 6pm and watch the vibe change.
Sure enough, he was right - it went from work to play. The energy New York produces is like no other city. Before I visited, I had such high expectations but I didn’t come close to even imagining what it was like. Phenomenal!
What’s your carry-on essential?
Headphones. Music is a big part of my mood - if I’m feeling happy, it amplifies it, if I’m feeling down, it picks me up and if I’m stressed, it helps to take it away. I’ve always got headphones and I’ve always got music.
How do you beat jet lag?
I was up at 3am this morning, so I obviously don’t! Jet lag is one of those things - sometimes you get lucky and you don’t get it, sometimes you do.
You’ve just got to take it on the chin. I struggled with it earlier today and I’ve tried just about every way of getting around it, but nowadays I just sleep when I want to sleep.
What’s your favourite city?
Sydney. I love this place. New York is really amazing and I’ve been fortunate to see an array of the world’s cities, but there’s nothing like coming back here, back home.
The people are great, the environment is great … the only downside is that it’s just so bloody far away. I’ve been here for two years and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Where was your most favourite meal?
There’s been so many. I was in the Maldives and I had a freshly caught seafood platter right on the beach. That was mind-blowing.
Adventure or luxury?
I’m a combination of the two. I do like my creature comforts, but I can’t sit still for too long otherwise I get fidgety. A purely relaxtion and luxury-based holiday sounds great on paper, but I quickly get bored - I have a short attention span.
What’s the essential ingredient for a good trip?
Good company, good food, some sunshine and good wine. I’m a big wine fan, so that’s important.
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What’s your top travel tip?
Don’t get too drunk before you get on the plane - it makes for a horrible arrival when you get to your destination. I’ve done it many times before so I know!
You might end up with a hangover that lasts the first couple of days, which isn’t great.
Aside from that, research where you’re going and just be safe. It’s a cliche, but you hear horror stories about people when they’re on holidays being hit by cars and drunkenly falling asleep in places they shouldn’t.
What’s your biggest packing mistake?
I always take too much and I do it every time. I must have packed my bag a thousand times but I still always take too much. I always come back with half of my original clothes unworn, plus a load of new stuff I’ve bought while shopping. Packing is tough.
Where do you want to go next?
I haven’t done much of Asia, which is crazy as I live in Australia now. I really want to go and experience somewhere like Hong Kong or Singapore.
I’ve flown through but haven’t stopped over and I want to see what all the fuss is about.
Kris is an ambassador for Fiji Tourism. Follow him on Twitter (@krissmith1313) and Instagram (@krissmith13).