Clarins ambassador and travel queen Catriona Rowntree shares her tips for packing, beauty, and where to visit next. Picture: Instagram
Clarins ambassador and travel queen Catriona Rowntree shares her tips for packing, beauty, and where to visit next. Picture: Instagram

Travel queen’s ‘embarrassing’ confession

She is Australia's queen of travel, having zigzagged across the world for more than two decades as the face of Getaway.

But despite her travel guru status, TV presenter Catriona Rowntree has a packing confession to make.

"I totally overpack, it's embarrassing," Rowntree told news.com.au.

"My husband has to sit on my suitcase before a trip and I don't think that's right."

But Rowntree, who was recently announced as the new ambassador of cosmetics brand Clarins, has finetuned some tried and tested methods of preparing for trips, especially when it comes to what to wear.

Catriona Rowntree is the new ambassador for beauty giant Clarins.
Catriona Rowntree is the new ambassador for beauty giant Clarins.

"When I find out where I'm going I pick up my phone and go to the weather app. What's it like where I'm travelling to?" the presenter said.

"Then I go on Instagram and find out who is wearing what and where. For example, following Queen Rania before my Egypt/Jordan trip was not only inspiring but allowed me to dress respectfully, then I order the clothes I need online. All this without leaving the house!"

The seemingly ageless 47-year-old also has her in-flight beauty routine down pat.

"I always ask the flight attendants for tips and they got me hooked on Clarins Double Serum," she said.

 

"I'm already addicted to Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, but a serum is great - trust me on that. "I don't think I'm a fan of those funny sheet masks, I keep forgetting I have them on and then wander the cabin talking to people. But I love the Clarins SOS Hydra Face Mask and can say I had a 'glacial facial' using this (while filming recently) in Alaska. The cold really gives you a glow."

And on the topic of flights, how does Australia's most famous jetsetter survive those gruelling long-hauls?

 

For starters, she always has following in her carry-on bag: her Kindle, Restivit sleeping tablets, vitamins, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, gum, a nail file and hand cream.

"The first thing I do before I board is check the time zone of my final destination, as this predicts when I'll sleep," Rowntree said.

"Then I pretend I'm going to work - but never do - and watch every foreign film going, as I'm sure this will subconsciously teach me another language.

 

"But I do honour thy circadian rhythms and because I normally film the moment I land, I try to sleep for at least six hours. This seems to have worked for the last 20 odd years so I'm sticking to it."

While she's not normally one to sit around and do nothing, it's been a particularly busy few months for Rowntree.

Arctic Circle here we come! Everybody be serious now...

A post shared by Catriona Rowntree (@catrionarowntree) on

She recently filmed a three-part Getaway special on the Alaska's glaciers, hosted the Australian Ballet's Pas de Deux in Paradise event at Hamilton Island, and is preparing for next year's launch of her new book, The Best in World Cruising.

The book assembles Rowntree's best tips, advice, ideas and personal anecdotes for seasoned cruisers and first-timers alike.

"Aussies are per capita the biggest cruise nation on the planet," Rowntree said.

"There is a cruise out there with your name on it and I'm the girl to help you find it. Life is so short - spend the kids' inheritance, embrace solo travel! Travel is good for your health.

"I'm 94 and have convinced everyone I'm half my age," she joked. "'Book it and go' is my mantra."

For travellers who prefer the solid ground, Rowntree raved about her visit to the Kimberley, a longstanding bucket list item she finally ticked off this year.

"I had a moment flying over the tops of this extraordinary land, from one Aboriginal art sight to a hidden waterfall, when hot tears started to run down my face," she said.

"When I got home, I bought a ticket in that $100 million Lotto and vowed, 'If I win, I'm sending as many Aussies as possible to WA.' I didn't win, but I still would love you all to go."

And Rowntree recommended plenty of Aussie destinations that didn't get as much attention as they should.

"Quirindi rocks!" she said. "Bendigo had the most sublime art gallery, Hay has the nicest locals, New Norfolk has awesome shopping, Broome has the best night markets, Port Fairy has the world's best ice cream and did you know the You Yangs in Little River has koalas and kangaroos just 15 minutes from the airport?

"We are blessed with the most bloody brilliant regional towns on the planet. Jump in the car and go, go, go."

Incredibly, for someone as well travelled as Rowntree, she admitted there was one fairly popular bucket list experience that's eluded her so far.

"Don't even think of saying the words 'blossom time in Japan to me'. Cannot cope, I've been robbed," she said.

"Not for want of trying, I've never been to this glorious country. I'll just have to rack up another year on Getaway until my boss allows me to go there, to share with you of course."



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