Our Notable Mentions

What to Expect from Flying in 2022

After a whirlwind of coronavirus-induced complications in 2021, every bit of optimism travelers feel in the new year may come with an equal dose of trepidation. Omicron appears to have peaked in several countries, but what will come next? Some international travel restrictions are relaxing, but will that trend last?

Still, the enthusiasm for travel persists. Justin Smith, owner of the luxury travel-planning company the Evolved Traveler, says “there’s just a minor hesitancy at this point,” when it comes to client interest in booking trips. People are accepting that the situation may continue to ebb and flow indefinitely.

International Travel Hacks: When to Book Flights and Hotels, How to Deal with COVID Rules

If you’re thinking of taking an international trip, do it now, experts say. “For the next few months, destinations will remain far less crowded than they were before the pandemic,” says Justin Smith, president of The Evolved Traveler, a member of Ensemble Travel Group. “Travelers can have a far richer experience.”

How rich? Well, imagine being at the Pyramids with 200 other people instead of 2,000. It’ll feel like you have the place to yourself. You may not have that opportunity again for years, if ever.

How to Tread Lightly in Fragile Places

“A $5 food-and-beverage credit to not have a room cleaned is effectively greenwashing,” said Justin Smith, the owner of the Evolved Traveler, an agency based in Beverly Hills, Calif., noting the reduction in housekeepers’ hours. “You’re causing more pejorative impact on the local economy for a minimal amount of energy savings.”

Best Places to Go for Fall: A Dozen Cool Spots Around the World

“Egypt is my ‘go-to’ destination for fall,” said Justin Smith of Evolved Traveler — a member of the Ensemble Travel Group. “The weather is definitely cooling down, and the crowds have not returned to Egypt yet.” Smith, based in Beverly Hills, California, likes the potential ease of getting there, too. “Flights are fairly simple to arrange to Egypt with easy connections in Europe, or the Middle East such as Dubai, Doha or Istanbul,” he said in an email to CNN Travel. Smith’s lodging advice: Don’t pinch pennies. “It is not the ideal location for budget travel; you definitely want higher quality hotels in Egypt.”

Advisors’ Creative Solutions for Getting Their Clients Tested Before Travel

Covid testing has added another complicated layer to trip planning in 2022, especially with test shortages and difficult-to-predict turnaround times from labs. And though many believe shortages and delays are a short-term problem, testing before travel is likely here to stay for at least some time. Here is how a smattering of advisors are handling it.

Justin Smith, president of the Evolved Traveler in Los Angeles, is advising clients to get a test at the airport before departure. In Smith’s experience, it takes from one to five hours, and most airports with international service have testing available.

The Most Popular Destinations for 2o22 Travel, According to Experts

The rise of omicron may have launched the new year into chaos, but travelers are planning 2022 trips with cautious optimism. According to industry insiders, consumers are navigating the most recent variant hurdle by either booking trips far, far in advance (think 2023) or seizing last-minute opportunities.

People will continue to make travel plans at the last minute because they know that what is available today might not be there tomorrow, says Justin Smith, owner of the luxury travel-planning company the Evolved Traveler.

A Design Lover’s Guide to Traveling with Purpose

When it comes to booking your dream luxury vacation, everything should be perfect! That’s when booking experts come in. Now, when planning your next ethically conscious holiday, these will be your best friends. So, have the most wonderful time without the stresses of preparing and organizing, and do it while also elevating minorities in need, caring for mother earth, and supporting local businesses.

Evolved Traveler is listed as one of their Responsible Travel Experts.

Your Guide to an Unforgettable Bali Honeymoon

Getting after the wedding might involve an idyllic, all-inclusive resort set on the beach without too many logistics in between. Some couples, however, are naturally adventurous and gravitate more towards honeymoon destinations that double as bucket list-worthy vacations. A Bali honeymoon offers the best of both worlds.

With its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts and immersive experiences, Bali offers a bit of everything for well-traveled couples. “Bali effectively has everything you could want to make a perfect honeymoon,” says Justin Smith, the president of sustainable travel company The Evolved Traveler. “It has an exotic feel that I think a lot of honeymooners like as they begin their marriage. It gives you the sense that you’re really going somewhere. It also has the relaxation aspect and great activities.”

Travelers are Thinking Big for 2022 Vacations

The online travel agency Expedia calls it the G.O.A.T. — or Greatest of All Trips — mindset and the leading travel trend of 2022.

“Consciously or subconsciously, we’ve adopted a philosophy of how important it is to live in the moment, because we saw how quickly things can change,” says Justin Smith, the owner of Evolved Traveler, a travel agency in Beverly Hills, California. “Many freedoms we take for granted, we lost for a while. It shook a lot of us to the core [and led us] to say, ‘I’m going to make the most of my life. I’m not going to put things off. I’m going to do it now and bigger than before because I’m going to do it right.’ ”