Travel tips from tennis ace Rafael Nadal

(CNN) — On the court and on the road all year round, tennis champion Rafael Nadal knows how to enjoy the traveling life.

The former world number one has been jet-setting around the globe on the professional circuit since the tender age of just 15.

Along the way, the man crowned the “King of Clay” has learned a trick or two about performing at his peak whilst living out of a suitcase — not to mention winning the most sought after titles in tennis.


  • Rafael Nadal has been traveling the world on the tennis circuit since he was 15-years-old
  • The multi-grand slam winning champion has become accustomed to life on the road in that time
  • He highlights good hotels, friends and traveling light as key aspects of the successful road warrior’s armor

Here he shares his top tips for making a success of life on the road.

  • On a lifetime of travel …

I started to travel like this at the age of 15 so for me, it’s normal. Some days you get tired and you feel “I want to stay at home a little bit more,” but it’s only the moment.

Later when I am in different places, normally I feel very well and happy and excited.

  • On keeping family and friends close …

I normally have a group of good people around me and that helps a lot. Be with the people that you feel comfortable with. 

When you travel around the world and you visit the same place every year, then you (eventually) feel a little bit like home in most of the places.

  • On the perfect hotel room …

It’s important to have a good space in the room, especially for me because normally we have a lot of things in the room, a lot of racquets (and) I need the space for massage table.

I like to feel that everything is completely clean. It’s important to feel that the bed is good … for the back, for these kind of things.

  • On co-owning a luxury hotel in Mexico …
Rafael Nadal, Portrait session, February 21, 2013
Getty Images

I am from an island, from Mallorca, so I know what things I really try to find when I visit a place. The views from the hotel to the beach, to the sea are very important to me.

All my life I lived in front of the sea and always try to find the right views … to have the chance to watch the sea from every place.

(Also), when you are in a hotel in front of the sea, you need to relax. Here (at the Secrets Aura Resort on the island of Cozumel) is great in my opinion because even if the hotel is 100% full, you don’t feel it.

  • On packing light …

It depends how long will be the travel but this time … for almost two months, I travel with three bags.

Normally I travel with around five to seven racquets, that’s all. (In a) tennis bag always you put shoes, you put strings, grips, these kind of things that without we cannot play tennis.

  • On punctuality …

I am always late. I am relaxed always and at the end, the last moment, (it’s) tradition for me.

  • On conquering nerves whilst in the air …

If the plane moves, some turbulence, I am nervous flyer.

My hands start to sweat and I know to relax (I have) to listen to music, to try to watch some films.

  • On travel superstitions …

I’m only superstitious on the tennis court.

Source: Business Traveller, CNN

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