Speakers

Angel Castellanos

World Travel Expert, Writer/TV Host AngelsTravelLounge.com

Angel Castellanos, (www.AngelsTravelLounge.com) is a passionate world traveler, travel writer, influencer, multi-media personality and nationally recognized speaker dedicated to helping people travel smart, well and often. Traveling to over 85 countries on 5 continents (and counting), Angel travels 12-14 weeks internationally each year and 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. He bridges the gap between the practical, common sense advice he’s learned by traveling the world and the new savvy tips and experiences that have helped his generation revolutionize travel. Angel has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, Univision, Frommers Radio, USA Today & Travel & Adventure Show as “America’s Newest Travel Expert”.
Since you’ve last seen Angel, he has visited The Philippines, Colombia, Honduras, Singapore, Laos, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Bosnia, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
His favorite travel memories include camel trekking in the Sahara, traveling overland by train from Beijing to London, Horse trekking in Mongolia, Hot Air Ballooning in Laos and sailing down the Nile River.
When not in Italy or Paris, Angel is home in Pasadena, California where he is a proud volunteer with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.

Pauline Frommer

Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides & Publisher of Frommers.com

Pauline Frommer is co-President of Frommer Media, LLC, with her father, travel legend Arthur Frommer. Together, they publish America’s most popular series of travel guidebooks, the Frommer guides, as well as Frommers.com, a website that welcomes more than 3 million unique users per month. She is also a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and she pens an internationally syndicated newspaper column on travel for King Features. You may recognize her face as Pauline created weekly travel segments for CNN’s Headline News for 3 years. She’s also appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR’s Marketplace and Talk of the Nation, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and every local news station you can name. She was the founding editor of Frommers.com and edited MSNBC.com’s travel section for two years. Pauline is the proud mother of two well-traveled daughters and wife to Columbia University professor Mahlon Stewart.

Josh Gates

Explorer, Host of Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown

As the host of Discovery Channel’s smash-hit series Expedition Unknown, adventurer and explorer Josh Gates crisscrosses the globe to explore archaeological wonders and enduring legends. Armed with a daring passion for adventure and his signature sense of humor, Josh takes viewers on thrilling quests in search of answers to the world’s greatest mysteries.
Recently, Josh helmed an unprecedented live event in the deserts of Egypt when viewers from 95 countries around the world witnessed history in the making in Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live. This real-life Indiana Jones adventure, which was also simulcast on Travel Channel and Science Channel, gave viewers a rare opportunity to join an actual archeological excavation in real time as Josh Worked alongside world-renowned Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass and Dr. Mostafa Waziri, the Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. Together, they uncovered the 2,500-year-old mummy of a high priest for the first time ever on live television.
Gates also kicked off Discovery’s Shark Week by diving in Mexico and South Africa to unravel one of the oceans greatest mysteries – what happened to the mighty Megalodon?
In his latest season, Josh braved sub-zero temperatures to snowmobile across Siberia investigating one of the coldest cases of the Cold War: the baffling deaths of nine hikers on Russia’s infamous “Dead Mountain.” Josh also explored the Holy Land as he descended into newly discovered caves and tunnels that could hold the next Dead Sea Scrolls. In an exciting first, Josh returned to follow up on some of his most fascinating stories from seasons past, revisiting the lost Maya city of El Mirador where he previously helped discover a lost temple-complex, and he headed back to the 1980’s on a mission to unravel the maddening puzzles in a cryptic book known as “The Secret.”
An avid adventurer, scuba diver, and photographer, Gates has participated in sub-sea archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean, and his wanderlust has taken him to over 100 countries – from sweltering African deserts to the icy shores of Antarctica. In addition, he has scaled “the roof of Africa” on Mt. Kilimanjaro and climbed Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas. A mysterious “Yeti” footprint recovered by Josh in the Himalayas is now on display at the “Expedition Everest” attraction at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
In 2016, Gates won ‘Best Host’ in the CableFax Program Awards for Expedition Unknown, and the series also took home the ‘Best Educational/Instructional Show’ award. In 2018, Josh won a Cynopsis TV Award for ‘Best Reality Series – Travel.’ He holds a degree from Tufts University in Archaeology and is a member of The Explorers Club – a prestigious organization dedicated to the advancement of exploration and field research. Josh also serves as a trustee on the governing board of the Archaeological Institute of America.
Josh is also the host of Legendary Locations on Travel Channel where he shares the epic tales and secrets of the most storied places on earth, showcasing the ancient legends and folklore that made them famous. Travel Channel also airs episodes of Gates’ popular series, Josh Gates’ Destination Truth.
He has appeared on the TODAY Show, CNN and a variety of other national television and radio programs. Gates’ adventures are chronicled in his bestselling book, Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter (Simon & Schuster).
Gates currently resides with his wife and children in Los Angeles, California and on airport floors around the world.

Jared Kamrowski

Founder, Thrifty Traveler

Jared Kamrowski is the founder of Thrifty Traveler, the leading source for flight deals, cheap travel tips, and learning how to maximize travel rewards. Jared honed his travel skills by traveling over 100 nights a year as a CPA. He left his job in 2017 and now runs Thrifty Traveler full time flying over 100,000 miles per year. You can catch him flying the fanciest first-class cabins as well as budget airlines, paying only pennies on the dollar. He resides with his wife Erica in Minneapolis, MN.

Beth Santos

Founder and CEO, Wanderful

Beth Santos is founder and CEO of Wanderful, a global community that connects over 40,000 women together through events in 50 global cities, an international homesharing network, dynamic online content and forums, and inspired, focused campaigns with international travel brands. She is the creator and host of the Women in Travel Summit, a leading event for women travel influencers and industry members, happening on two continents each year, and co-founder of #AtTheTable, a national dinner series and community for female founders. She is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management and Wellesley College, and is an acclaimed thought leader in entrepreneurship and travel. She lives in Boston.

Nick Serati

Co-Founder, Thrifty Traveler

Nick Serati is the co-founder of Thrifty Traveler, the leading source for flight deals, cheap travel tips, and learning how to maximize travel rewards. In a previous life, Nick worked in software consulting which required extensive time on the road. He developed a passion for maximizing hotel and airline loyalty programs and using credit cards to travel the world for pennies on the dollar. He left his job in 2018 to run Thrifty Traveler full time with founder Jared Kamrowski, where he now travels over 75,000 miles each year. Nick resides in Minneapolis, MN with his wife Abbey and daughter Elin.

Rick Steves

Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves’ Europe and Travel with Rick Steves

Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is America’s most respected authority on European travel. He grew up in Edmonds, Washington and studied at the University of Washington where he received degrees in Business Administration and European History. But his real education was earned on the road — since 1973 he’s spent 120 days a year in Europe. Spending one third of his adult life living out of a carry-on backpack has shaped Rick’s thinking and broadened his perspectives. Today he employs nearly 100 people at the Rick Steves’ Europe headquarters where he produces dozens of best-selling guidebook titles on European travel, America’s most popular travel series on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, podcasts, travel apps, and a weekly syndicated travel column. Rick Steves lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington. His office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Cheryl Strayed

Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir “Wild”

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir WILD, the New York Times bestsellers TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS and BRAVE ENOUGH, and the novel TORCH. Her books have been translated into forty languages around the world. WILD was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of WILD stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl and Laura Dern as Cheryl’s mother, Bobbi. The film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby. Strayed’s essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post MagazineVogueSalonThe SunTin House, and elsewhere. Strayed is the co-host, along with Steve Almond, of the WBUR podcast Dear Sugar Radio, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column on The Rumpus. Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Lisa Vogele

Managing Director, Poseidon Expeditions USA

Lisa Vogele is a professional travel consultant and genealogist. She is the Chief Tree Climber at Travel Your Tree: Where Ancestry meets Adventure, a full-service family history research, travel planning & tour operator. She is passionate about traveling local and in the footsteps of your ancestors to make or re-establish connections of personal, historical significance. In 2016, Lisa authored Food & Folklore: A Year of Italian Festivals, a guidebook to assist travelers with incorporating festivals into their itineraries and experience local culture through food and historic events. Her travel tips have been featured in the Huffington Post, 1000traveltips.com, and her travel blog LisaLovesToTravel.com. She holds a Master’s degree from Clemson University, was raised in Connecticut and resides in Colorado.