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As much as Jason and I love to travel, we had never attended a travel show. I assumed it would be too expensive and I was reluctant to drive to LA. But this year I decided I had to check it out. Many fellow travel bloggers had written about their experiences at this show around the country, and they inspired me to make the trip.
We had a great time! So when the Travel & Adventure show comes to your town, I hope this article will encourage you to attend too. Here’s why it was totally worth it.
About The Travel & Adventure Show
From January to March, the Travel & Adventure Show is offered in nine cities; Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, Washington DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston and Chicago. The Los Angeles show was held at the LA Convention Center and ticket prices were $15 for one day and $22 for two days. Discounts are available if you purchase your ticket in advance online. Other discounts are available through sponsors and by following the show’s Facebook page.
Get Inspired For Future Travel
Wondering where you’ll go for summer vacation? After a day at the Travel & Adventure Show you won’t be wondering anymore. Instead, you’ll have hundreds of destinations to consider. According to the shows website there were 350 destinations represented in LA. The destinations offered may vary at each show, but there will be a great selection of regional, national and international options.
At this year’s show there were several national parks represented along with nearby cities that offered accommodations. Since Jason and I recently purchased the America The Beautiful National Parks Pass, we are eager to visit more parks this year. So we checked out places near Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yellowstone. There was even a National Parks Foundation booth offering photo opportunities, a listening bar and Gold Peak iced tea.
But if you’re hoping to venture abroad there are booths from Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, China, and many more. The Brazil booth hosted musicians and dancers while the South Korea booth provided visitors an opportunity to dress up in hanbok--traditional Korean clothing. By the time Jason and I went home we had a very long list of places to visit.
Score Terrific Travel Deals (Or Win Something For Free!)
Many tour companies offer a discount for Travel Show visitors. I often saw advertisements for 20% discounts if you book while at the show, or within a few days of it. For longer, international tours, 20% off could be a substantial savings.
My advice would be to do your research prior to the show to get an idea of what you may spend for an upcoming trip. Then check out all the related vendors and their offers to determine if it’s a good deal.
I’m a sucker for drawings for free trips, and there were dozens of these at the travel show ranging from two nights at a local hotel to a full Bali vacation. I know, I know, I’ll be added to everyone’s email lists, but I just can’t resist. If you’re like me and love these types of drawings, this show is awesome!
Listen To Great Speakers
The Travel & Adventure Show is well known for its line-up of speakers, and this year did not disappoint. We were so busy exploring hundreds of booths that we only heard one speaker, Rick Steves. Since we are big fans of Rick Steves, we really enjoyed hearing and seeing him in person. And if you like his books, they were offering the chance to buy them for 10 percent off and then have Rick sign them.
Other speakers included Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer and Peter Greenberg. There were also speakers discussing photography, packing and how to book a cheap flight.
Enjoy The Entertainment
There is a stage dedicated to Global Entertainment including music from Malaysia, dancing from Indonesia and martial arts demonstrations from Japan. A new act was presented every half hour starting at 10:40 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. This stage is a great resting point if you’re tired of walking around the large hall.
Other entertainment included photo booths, a rock-climbing wall, and a learn-to-dive pool.
Schedule Your Global Entry Interview Or TSA Precheck Enrollment
Some of the travel shows offer visitors the chance to schedule their Global Entry interviews or a time to enroll in TSA Precheck--check your city’s website for more details. For those of us in the Los Angeles area, it’s much more fun to enroll here than have to navigate Los Angeles International Airport!
If you’ve never heard of Global Entry or TSA Precheck--or don’t know which to select--then read my article, Stop Standing In Line At The Airport!