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Travel How I Travel: Ben Elliot Of Quintessentially

How I Travel: Ben Elliot Of Quintessentially

How I Travel: Ben Elliot Of Quintessentially
By Grace Chee
May 10, 2017
The entrepreneur and philanthropist on his travel adventures

Ben Elliot and Tom Parker Bowles in rickshaw- Bandavgarh .jpg

Photo: Courtesy of Quintessentially

Sate your wanderlust with our new column, How I Travel, where seasoned travellers tell us about their favourite destinations and top travel hacks. From the CEOs of your favourite travel companies to glamorous jetsetting influencers, we give you an inside look at the way these globetrotters travel.  

First up is Ben Elliot, co-founder of global luxury lifestyle management company Quintessentially and its charitable arm, Quintessentially Foundation. Between his two organisations and the various other foundations he chairs, c0-founder Ben Elliot keeps busy shuttling around the world. We sit down with the entrepreneur and philanthropist to chat about how he travels.

See also: How to Experience Paris Like a Local

Last trip? I was in Sri Lanka for a family trip. And before that—Miami, Jamaica, and New York.

Next trip? In two weeks, I’ll be travelling to New York for a birthday weekend with my wife and her family. It’s for her 30th.


Photo: Courtesy of Quintessentially

What do you love most about traveling? I think travelling is incredibly great for expanding your mind and broadening your horizons.

Most memorable travel experience? The rickshaw rally (a charity race organised by Quintessentially Foundation and Elephant Family) in India two years ago—where you end up like Kipling, who wrote The Jungle Book, and you go through all these very sleepy, very quiet Indian villages. You’re in the depths of the Indian Jungle, in a tiny little rickshaw—as opposed to an air-conditioned car or a busy train. I just thought it was absolutely magical. And to do it for charity, too.

And the worst? I think that flying internally in America is really uncomfortable and a very unpleasant experience. People aren’t very polite to you. It’s as if I’ve done something wrong… I don’t enjoy that.


Photo: Courtesy of Quintessentially

One place you’d visit over and over again? India. It’s such a big, big place. I find it so interesting on so many levels, and it’s so different. I try to go there once or twice a year.

Three things you always travel with? My passport, a pair of running shoes, and a new book.

What do you normally read on the plane? I tend to always have one piece of fiction and one non-fiction. Currently I’m re-reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, and I’m also reading a book called All Out War, about the referendum campaign in June of last year in the UK, by Tim Shipman.

Ben Elliot 1.jpg

Photo: Courtesy of Quintessentially

Favourite travel companion? She’d probably get annoyed if I didn’t say it—my wife.

Aisle or window seat? Window.

Favourite travel app? Quintessentially.

Any tips on overcoming jetlag? That’s hard. I think probably some melatonin… Also, either go for a steam or do some exercise [when you land]. And set your watch as soon as you get on the airplane, to where you’re going next. But I don’t believe that people can get over jetlag.

Read more: Hotel Secrets From A Mandarin Oriental Executive

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