Vijay Amritraj

The former Indian tennis player shares some smart flying tips with the readers
Vijay Amritraj
Vijay Amritraj

OT How do you make sure that your constant inter-continental flying remains a pleasant experience
Vijay Amritraj
I thought being on tour all the time would come to an end after I retired from playing tennis, only to find that the travelling has increased. Now, I end up doing 10-12 round-the-world trips every year. 

What I do is make sure I travel comfortably. I pay a lot of attention to the time of departure and time of arrival, because if you travel at a time that is inconvenient &mdash where you have already been hit with the lack of sleep, with the lack of exercise and all that, when you leave &mdash then the trip gets you and the jetlag is worse. The flights that leave at 2am, 3am, 4am, those are the flights you shouldn't take. Fortunately, the one thing I don't have to compromise on is travelling first class so that really lets me sleep. [If you actually use] the night to sleep as you travel... it's like taking the overnight Madras-Bangalore mail train, which is just as convenient.

The most important thing is some of the small details. You have to have a glass of water for every hour you are on board an aeroplane, otherwise you get dehydrated. Liquor in small quantities, like a glass of wine, is fine. Another thing that is absolutely important is that you need to get some exercise after you disembark from a long-haul flight &mdash you need to stretch your legs, walk around for a half hour or so. Even if you arrive at night, it's important to have the discipline to walk up and down the lobby at least 10 times to get your circulation going. It makes things a hell of a lot better the following morning.

OT Is there a way to live out of a suitcase and not get stressed
Vijay Amritraj
One way to cope is to plan well. I'm not one of those guys who runs in at the last minute, rushing around airports looking for gates, making it just past the door or things like that. I like getting to the airport early, check-in in the proper manner, sit down and have a cup of coffee or a Coke, read the newspapers for a little while or make my last-minute phone calls from that particular city or country so that I'm actually comfortable when I get into the aeroplane.

OT Where do you go when you want to get away from it all What do you like on a holiday
Vijay Amritraj
Because I travel as much as I do, it's always best to come back home. Still, Prakash, Vikram [sons], Shyamala [wife] and I love going to The Leela in Goa. The seafood and spa at Leela's Kovalam property is simply fantastic. They are both so good. To be honest, we haven't been there recently, because of the lack of time, but that's where I would jump and go if I could.

I have travelled to other places and found them incredibly beautiful as well we have been to Bali, to Phuket, Chiang Mai and other places in Asia, which are all wonderful. The four of us went recently to a place not far from Los Angeles Cabo San Lucas, a resort town in Mexico, which is really out of this world. Once, we went to a lovely little hotel in a cave in Padua, Italy, which was totally unique. Some time back, we went to an island between Sydney and Auckland, just out of Tahiti, which was enchanting, unlike going to London, Paris, New York and such other cities, which I do regularly.

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