Interview: Myleene Klass

Interview: Myleene Klass

Myleene Klass is a singer, pianist, television and radio presenter, and model, perhaps best known today for presenting radio shows on Smooth Radio and Classic FM, and BBQ Champ on ITV. Initially rising to fame as part of pop band Hear’Say, Klass has since built a successful business career, which she manages alongside her roles in the media. She launched her children’s clothing line Baby K through Mothercare in 2008 and the brand is now available in 32 countries. She has two daughters, Hero and Ava. Klass was guest of honour at the Association of Women Travel Executives’ ‘An audience with’ event in July.

How do you normally book your holidays?
I often book them myself, but I have got a few friendly bespoke agents who I deal with too. I like to tailor-make what I want because I’m particular about travel. On the whole, it’s nice to organise trips myself, but that process is not without its pitfalls. I once booked a villa myself and the girls tried to make perfume – they pulled up all the woman’s orchids. She stung me on the deposit and it all started getting a bit hairy. I didn’t break the washing machine like she said – I hadn’t even used it. I’m a bit more wary now of booking myself. I will generally go to an agent and tell them I want to be able to snorkel, and ask them if there will be shade and enough things for the girls to see.

How often do you go on holiday?
I try to take three holidays a year with my girls. Those are definitive ‘holiday’ holidays – I take them seriously and do nothing else. On top of those, I might travel to a different country every three weeks for work, and I will take my daughters. When I was working for CNN, I did Australia six times in two months and Los Angeles in a single day while pregnant.

What’s been your best travel experience?
When planning a holiday, I feel like Dr Dolittle when he opens a map and asks: “Right, where shall we go now?” I am a real nomad. It comes from my dad being in the navy. I always wanted to see the world. For me, the most important experiences are those that you will never be able to recreate. Going to Bob Marley’s house in Jamaica and standing on the Rock of Zion with my girls, or going to Chichén Itzá and clapping outside the pyramid as we heard the bird sounds coming out – that is my kind of travel. I will enjoy going anywhere I can dive and show the girls sharks or dolphins in their natural habitat. I want my children to have an affinity with travel, rather than a fear of it.

And the worst?
When I went to shoot in the Bahamas and lost my suitcase and the buggy on the flight. I was pregnant too. Then the baby-changing bag was stolen when I was sitting outside on the pavement crying. Any mum will tell you, that kind of thing is just awful. The best thing that came out of it, though, was that I made a new baby carrier, which ended up going into my travel range.

What is your favourite destination?
I try not to go back to a hotel because there are so many places in the world and I want to experience them all. I don’t want to get into a rut – I like to be a bit Indiana Jones about it all. A destination is never good the second time round because you have so many expectations.

Which destinations are on your bucket list?
The Galapagos Islands are on my list, and the girls want to visit the elephants in India. I also want to take them to the Ganges – we always try to build a story around our travel. I find it really frustrating when people write off an entire country, or even a continent, because they heard a particular story about it. In India, for example, you can have a vastly different experience in different areas.

What do you look for in a holiday?
It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be very simple, as long as my family and I are all together. But if you put me in the cold I will be miserable – it has to be sunny. I prefer to go to a villa than a hotel, so we can get back to nature and run around naked.

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