As the weather starts to warm up and the school year winds down, most of us start thinking about our summer travel plans. Ahwatukee based Eliseo “El” Rangel, Luxury Travel Advisor and European Destination Specialist with Pickles Vacations, answered our questions about all things travel.
What are some of the most popular travel destinations right now?
All-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico are popular any time of the year. People love to just show up and have their whole vacation planned out for them. Hawaii is also popular. People still love Paris, Rome, and Florence. You’ll encounter crowds in those places, but their cultural and historical attractions can’t be beat. Paris especially has a lot of art and culture away from the typical tourist sites. And French cuisine is amazing!
Has travel changed much since the pandemic?
Now that things are opened up, most travel destinations are as busy as ever. The major travel industry to take a hit is the cruise industry. Although people are getting more comfortable with crowded cruise ships, that industry is still recovering.
What’s your best advice for long, overseas flights?
Bring noise cancelling headphones. These will help you hear yourself think over a noisy airplane. They also give you the ability to watch the in-flight movie, listen to music, or even help you sleep. Have a good, supportive neck pillow that fits in your carry-on. Also, bring a personal charger! You don’t want to have to deal with a dead phone when you’re out and about at your destination.
What is your most useful travel tip, whatever the destination?
Be flexible! I have had clients who were prepared and things still happened outside of their control that caused them to miss flights or connections. Roll with the punches. If you’re going overseas, travel insurance is essential. That will help offset any costs from missed tours or opportunities, which can almost always be rescheduled.
El Rangel can be reached at email@example.com or at 480.225.7651.
Tips for Packing Like a Pro
1. Avoid overpacking
When you pack, lay everything out that you think you need, then reduce it by 10-20%. You need less than you think. Some people can go weeks with just a backpack of clothes, so think about what you can re-wear and repurpose. But don’t skimp on underwear and socks!
2. Compress for success
Use packing cubes! They’re inexpensive and help contain and compress your clothing.
3. Checked luggage know-how
Consider not checking any luggage, but if you have to, anything that can be easily replaced goes in your checked luggage. You can usually buy clothes or toiletries at your destination if your luggage is lost.
4. Keep essentials with you
All hard-to-replace essentials go in your carryon, preferably one that fits under your seat. That includes your passport, visa, ID, and electronics. Those should always be on your person.