July 20, 2024

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Former NFL Star Eli Manning on Traveling With Family in Retirement

3 min read

Travel for former NFL star Eli Manning looks a bit different these days. Known best as the beloved quarterback for the New York Giants who traversed the country via football stadiums, he’s traded his cleats for sandals and ski boots — with his family in tow.

A native of New Orleans who now resides in Summit, New Jersey with his wife and four kids, he’s getting into some for-fun travel these days versus the for-work hauls once related to a demanding NFL schedule.

“I’m excited about the opportunities and to have more time to travel, but I also have four kids at home that very much keep me on my toes,” he told Travel + Leisure recently. “I’m looking forward to exploring the world a bit more…I haven’t had the opportunity to get too far away and now is the time.”

Courtesy of Eli Manning

Growing up, Manning reflected on trips around the southeast — primarily hitting small towns in Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi for sports tournaments — and mentioned his family would travel to Destin, Florida for the beach but shared, “besides that, we didn’t do a whole lot of exotic travel.”

Building on those beach-y memories, he’s making some of his own with his family these days since his 2020 retirement.

“When you’re in the northeast, you look forward to finding some warmth over the winter and spring breaks…and getting the kids outside,” he said. “A lot of it has been in the Caribbean and different islands, with Anguilla and Antigua being some places that stand out.”

With Eli Manning

Go-to plane snack? 
Almonds and peanuts.
Item that’s always in your carry-on?

Apple headphones.
Tip to beat jet lag?
I’m big on hydration. It’s about drinking tons of water, whether before the flight or grabbing a couple of big bottles of water before getting on the plane, if it’s a longer flight. If I have a window seat, the people in my row usually aren’t very happy with my hydration decision, but it’s what I’ve found helps best.
Favorite stadium to play in during your career? 

The home of the Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field.
Dream trip? 
I’d love to do a safari in Africa…Serengeti or Tanzania.

On the opposite end of the temperature spectrum, a good chunk of his family vacations are now centered on the slopes.

On his first skiing endeavors — at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colorado and the Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah — he recalls, “when I was researching what to do, I had no idea what I was getting into at first…the boots, the skis and all of that. But these couple of places I found really helped to make it turnkey and easy. That’s exactly what I needed, especially the first time I went. My wife didn’t go, and it was just me and the kids. We were all learning it together and it was awesome.”

When it comes to his skiing skills though, Manning said, “I’m new to it all… but I do see my 13-year-old daughter has surpassed my talent and I’m okay with that.” 

Courtesy of Eli Manning

Looking ahead to summer travel plans, his daughter may be affecting those as well.

“As of now, I don’t have any massive trips on the radar. But my daughter is a big Taylor Swift fan and there are grand ideas in the mix of seeing her in Paris or London,” he said. “It seems she has convinced my wife, so we will see. I’d also love to get over to different parts of Italy if schedules align.”

In between travels, Manning very much cherishes his time at home, hosting gatherings and refining his back yard barbecue skills in the process. He’s also now a partner in the private equity company that owns BBQGuys, a barbecue grill retailer headquartered in Baton Rouge, getting his fix for crawfish boils and brisket he grew up with.

“It’s been a great company to work with and they customized our back yard space,” he said. “The idea of spending time at home with my family and having friends over… just seeing the kids running around and playing sports, that’s where it’s at. Those are some of the great memories I had growing up and I’m really in to recreating now.”


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