Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Angel Castellanos
Occupation: Travel Expert, Travel Writer, Public Speaker, owner of www.AngelsTravelLounge.com
Hometown: El Monte, CA
Residence: Pasadena, CA
College: Citrus College, Cal Poly Pomona
College major: Music
Short bio: Angel Castellanos, The Travel Ambassador, is a passionate world traveler and nationally recognized keynote speaker dedicated to help people travel smart, well and often. His first international trip was at an early age with his parents on a journey that lasted three months through the American Southwest, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Moved by his passion for art, music, history, and architecture, Angel studied abroad in Europe in college. He has spent many years in the travel industry pursuing his passion for travel as a tour guide, retailer, buyer, travel consultant, and brand agent. Angel draws on his experience and frequent travels to teach “Smart Travel” and equip travelers with the skills they need to make travel easy and enjoyable. Angel has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Travel & Adventure Show, Frommer Radio Show, Fox News & Univision.
How often do you fly? Domestically 2-3 times per month. 6-8 weeks of International travel per year.
How many countries have you been to? 46. I’m not a country counter so these are countries where I’ve spent some time and have stories about my experiences.
How many continents have you been to? 4 soon to be 5!
Earliest travel memory: Playing baseball in the streets of Guatemala with kids my own age.
Favorite American city: San Francisco.
Favorite international city: Paris. I fell in love with my wife there and we have rented a flat in the Marais every year for the last six years.
Least favorite country: Slovakia seemed pretty boring.
I have no desire to go to: Nigeria. Seems pretty sketch with all the warlords and all.
Friendliest people in the world: Thai people are incredibly friendly. I see why Thailand is called the land of 1000 smiles. Also, the Cuban people were extremely kind, friendly, humble and full of life.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Ireland & UK. Just mean!
Favorite World Heritage Site: The Vatican.
Favorite airline: Singapore Airlines. They are everything and all others only try to come close.
Favorite aircraft type: Airbus 380.
Aisle or window: Aisle. I have to get up sometimes.
Favorite airport lounge: Swiss Air, Zurich or Amex Centurion Miami.
Favorite U.S. airport: Long Beach, CA. Newly remodeled but still small, uncrowded and humble. Just a few yards from curb to gate.
Favorite international airport: Heathrow. It has everything and so easy to navigate.
Favorite ho DO & CO Hotel, Vienna, Austria. Boutique, Classy, cushy, central (right next to St. Stephen’s) and the best hotel breakfast ever.
Favorite cruise line: None yet! I’m not a big ship cruiser.
Favorite travel credit card: Amex Platinum.
Favorite island: Gilli Trawangan, Indonesia.
Favorite beach: Playa Ancon, Cuba.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Locanda dell’Isola Comacina, Lake Como.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Any Yakitori spot behind the Shinjuku train station Tokyo, Japan.
Favorite bar: Lamb & Flag, London, England.
Favorite fruit: Pitaya (Red Dragon Fruit).
Favorite food: My mother’s cooking.
Least favorite food: Mexican. Just not into it.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Hendricks & tonic with a cucumber & Old Fashioned or bourbon on the rocks.
Favorite travel movie(s): Lost in Translation. It perfectly depicts Japan through a westerner’s eyes. Bill Murray is so classic.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything by Anthony Bourdain and Top Knot Travel webseries.
Favorite travel book(s): Guidebooks. They are $20 tools for an epic trip. I also love to read historical biographies depending on where I’m traveling. It has to be topical and relevant to my destination.
Right now I am reading: “Walking the Nile” by Levison Wood.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Airfarewatchdog, TimeOut, Dave’s Travel Corner.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides Hundredbacklinks.com, of course! Matador Network, Refinery 29.
5 things you bring on a plane: Antibacterial wipes, headphones, chapstick, phone charger, Airborne.
What do you always seem to forget? My scarf.
What do you like least about travel? Poor attitudes and bad luggage.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Toblerone.
Favorite travel app(s): CityMapper, Google Translate, Waze.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Getting sick on a train in Italy while backpacking with friends in Europe during college. The train had to make an emergency stop and I was carted off in an ambulance. My friends have never let me live it down.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: New Zealand.
Worst travel moment: Spending the night to save a buck in the Bergamo airport on my way to Semana Santa in Spain. As a result, my travel partner got sick and missed a lot of the festivities. That taught me to never sacrifice a good nights sleep on the road and to not be “pennywise and pound foolish.”
What’s your dream destination? Seychelles, Maldives or Fiji.
Favorite travel charity: International Justice Mission.
Best travel tip: Travel is deeply personal. Your travel dreams are unique to you so do what speaks to you. Travel with passion and leave your fears at home.
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