Have you ever attended a Travel and Adventure show? Up until last week and I had not either. Last year I went on at least a dozen trips, including San Diego, Monaco, Japan, San Jose and New York. But I had not been to a travel show.
So I was very excited to attend the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show last weekend. If you have never been to a travel show, join me as I share my recap.
There was a lot of energy when I first walked into the expo. Booths lined up inside the Long Beach Convention Center representing different cities, states and countries.
It was great to visit with representatives from the local travel bureaus, travel agencies and tour planners. The people I met were very knowledgable about their destinations and offered great tips on trip planning and travel itineraries.
These lovely ladies from Louisiana were so friendly and helpful. I'm hoping to get back to Louisiana sometime soon as it's been a few years since I've visited. They were sharing guidebooks, maps, recipes and some Louisiana swag!
The California section offered a nice representation of local cities that make for a great road trip. I now want to go back to Buellton after talking to the lovely lady that was representing the Buellton Visitors Bureau. I have only spent a few hours there, but now I want to go back to and spend more time there.
There are some pretty cool tour operators and travel professionals there that offer a little different experience than you might expect while traveling. There are too many to list but many offered smaller intimate tours, sports and adventure trips (e.g., traveling on a barge), and other experiences. Many of the vendors offered contests for free tours and trips and door prizes during the weekend of the show.
We had a chance to hear about some travel news from Pauline Frommer. Yes that Frommer. She is from one of the world's leading travel authorities, Frommers. She has appeared on numerous shows and is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. She shared some helpful travel tips on what destinations were hot to visit right now, how to take advantage of the stronger US dollar and what day of the week is the best time to book your travel arrangements. (by the way, it used to be Tuesday and now it's Sunday.)
There are also some other fabulous speakers at the show. I could not miss hearing from Rick Steves, one of my favorite sources for travel information.
I have several of Steve's books and have listened to his podcasts while on trips. He shared travel tips, personal photos and many inspiring travel recommendations. He has just released his new book, Europe Through The Back Door 2015.
One of his primary goals when traveling is to get to know the local people and cultural activities when visiting a location. I always try to do this on my travels. While the typical touristy things are exciting and fun, I really enjoy meeting the local people and talking to them about their families and lives.
Rick gave some good examples of how to be "part of the scene" as he calls it. He also gave great tips on where to go, how to meet people, and when to rent a car (and when not to).
Besides all the destination booths, there were many other theaters offering workshops, discussions and at the Taste of Travel Stage, there were food demonstrations of cuisines from all over the world.
There were performances of Folk, Hula, Tahitian, Flamenco and Folklorico dances (plus others) that showcased the sound and spirit of some exciting destinations.
Other entertainment at the show included a Scuba Diving experience, Segway rides, a rock climbing experience and many musicians.
If the The Travel and Adventure Show happens to come to a nearby city, you may want to check it out for some serious travel inspiration. I encountered so many helpful people and some exciting new destinations.
Have you been to a travel show before?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase thru the links, I will earn a small commission, which helps keep this site running. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Thank you, in advance for your support! I did receive a complementary ticket to this event.