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Emma Stone as Billie Jean King | Photo: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

In addition to being a legendary tennis champ, pioneering feminist and LGBTQ rights activist, Billie Jean King is also a great talker. In the time we shared together in anticipation of the film “Battle of the Sexes,” starring Emma Stone and based on King’s famous 1973 tennis match against Bobby Riggs (which King handily won), the world traveler talked about formal tennis rival turned Pentecostal minister Margaret Court (“We don’t have the same belief system…but she’s gone too far”), gave bathroom advice (“Stay in the darned shower to towel off because it’s warmer. Don’t step out!”) and spoke effusively about being a longtime Orbitz fan (“To everyone at Orbitz, thank you!”). Here, she answers our most burning travel-related questions…like a true pro.

Plus, click the Instagram post below to enter our Battle of the Sexes Sweeps and win a trip for two!

You’re from Long Beach, California. Why should we want to visit there?
BJK Are you kidding?! The Pacific Ocean’s there. It’s got many cultures. I went to one of the greatest high schools ever, Long Beach Poly. But to visit, Signal Hill is where we had oil wells and it’s the only hill in Long Beach where you have a 360 view all around of the ocean and Long Beach. Also, the parks system there is phenomenal. For exercise and fun, it’s free access. Also, we have some museums we didn’t used to have. All kinds of things.

Window, middle or aisle seat, and why?
Aisle! I have to get up and down all the time. I like to walk. I have vascular stockings on so I need to keep moving. I’m supposed to get up once an hour and I hate to disturb people. I’m so shy about stepping over someone. What if they’re asleep and I have to go to the bathroom or something? I can’t wake them up so I sit there and I’m stewing. No, I have to be able to move.

You’re offered either a first class seat on an airplane or a suite at a hotel. Which do you choose?
Depends on the length of my trip on an airplane and it depends on what my needs are when I get to that town. [Long-time partner] Ilana and I don’t need much. We’re really low maintenance; we’re really used to traveling and we’re used to traveling in the old days when we didn’t have any money, you know, when you made $14 a day so you learned to be smart and efficient. Suites are nice, but they’re harder when it’s time to leave. You’ve got clothes in this bedroom or that room. It’s harder at the other side. When you have a smaller room, everything is right there so you just pack it faster.

RELATED: 7 travel questions for NBA star Jason Collins

Name a travel pet peeve.
BJK I don’t get too bothered, but I would say the time consumption now. You’ve got to get to the airport so much earlier now with the security and all that. Now that I’m a lot older, I’ll just pay the difference and go first class. I love Jet Blue with the extra leg room; I think Delta has become a much better airline; I used to use American all the time, I still use them.

What’s something you always pack when you travel?
BJK I have to take my meds with me. I take two things of meds and vitamins. That’s #1 that I have to remember. If I don’t have that, I’m in deep trouble.

What do you miss most when you’re on the road?
BJK I like being at home because New York is so easy with food delivery. We don’t cook because we’re always working. I have a Clavinova [piano] that Holly Hunter gave me. I like looking at it even though I don’t play it. I love being home for television. We have big screens and I love big screens. I know the kids can watch on their phones and all that. I can do it, but I so prefer it on the big screen, especially if I’m watching a sporting event, although I don’t watch sports very much even though everyone assumes I do! Your own bed is the big thing, I think. Also, New York can be very quiet if I don’t have anything on. We’re very fortunate to be up high enough that we don’t get that constant noise.

ALSO: When it comes to traveling smarter, you might say Orbitz Rewards is king!

Which kind of travel do you prefer more, group or solo?
BJK If we’re going on a cruise, which we do once a year with a group of six of us, then I want a [group]. I like to go on Olivia [cruises] sometimes, but our group doesn’t do Olivia. We go on Princess or whatever. We were all together at the [“Battle of the Sexes”] premiere, the six of us and we were in the car going, “Oh, this is the cruise patrol!” We love cruises and we’re always traveling so Orbitz really ties in with our lifestyle because of work and because of pleasure. We like to go to P-Town. We love being in the desert in California. We still have an apartment in Chicago so we love going to Chicago, as well.

The film based on your tournament against Bobby Riggs is called “Battle of the Sexes.” Let’s play a game of Battle of the Cities. Which do you prefer, New York or Chicago?
BJK That’s impossible because I like different things. Chicago is easier and more manageable. It’s got beautiful architecture, it’s got a lake that goes to the horizon so I feel like I’m in California. Visually it’s just beautiful. They’re very proactive, that’s Chicago. New York is reactive, but I like the mom and pop neighborhoods of New York, the restaurants are right there. Theater wise they have both. New York’s probably a little more exciting from that point of view. It’s got more energy.

How about San Francisco vs. Los Angeles?
BJK I think Northern California is more beautiful, easily. I’ve lived both places a lot. But if you want more action, LA is probably better. If you like the Hollywood stuff. In Northern California I love the tolerance, they just so embrace everybody; they don’t care. You grow up there you’re going to do well socially, I think.

Why is Billie Jean King fun to travel with?
BJK I’m maybe not very much fun. You should ask Ilana. She’ll think I’m too high strung and too anxious, but I think she’s the same. I’m telling you her perception. We love to travel. We don’t rush. We go early to the airport. We get our coffee, we get our food. We get organized. We have so much fun. I have my kindle. We love it. And Ilana can sleep. She’ll be asleep before we leave the tarmac. I’m not like that. I like to read, I like to think.

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Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason is a Lead Content Specialist for Expedia Group, and manages content initiatives across numerous Expedia-owned brands. His work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Time Out, the Huffington Post, Chicago Magazine, Passport and many others.

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