I’ve known about the Travel & Adventure Shows for awhile now but only started attending them two years ago. I also initially thought that the show was only held in the San Francisco Bay Area, but learned that in fact, they hold them in 8 different locations throughout the U.S. In addition to their Bay Area show, adventure travel lovers can get new ideas and inspiration at their travel events in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Diego.
At the Travel & Adventure Show, you also never know who you are going to meet. If you follow travel personalities, you’ll love the fact that you can hear from voices like Rick Steves, Phil Keoghan and Peter Greenberg in addition to talking to local destination experts who have the inside knowledge of where to go and what to do. Be sure to see our video recap of the show which will give you more texture, color and sound.
Their Destination Theater is set up to help you on the old age question of Where do I go next? For foodies, you can get a taste of far away cultures at their Taste of Travel Theater.
Since Argentina has been on my must visit list for awhile now, I had to visit their booth because even though I just sipped wine at their New York Times Travel Show booth two weeks prior, I had never met their West Coast Reps. Equally engaging and fun to hang out with, I learned about two new regions I now want to explore. Argentina isn’t just about wine, steaks and mountains after all.
Truth be told, I love Guatemala. The people are so friendly and their land so beautiful, it’s hard not to find new places to explore and things to do. While I have visited this magical country, it’s been awhile, so a return trip to Guatemala is definitely in order. I also loved the food of the region as well.
In Asia, Taiwan had a big presence and had a few fun experiential things set up at their booth. Taiwan is also on my must visit list over the next few years.
While still in Asia, I learned a bit more about what India has in store for wellness lovers, beyond the serious yogi. Most yogis know about the abundance of retreat centers and opportunities in India, but what if you are more into wellness and consciousness, but don’t want to roll out a mat? I discovered that there are many more options that I had thought.
It’s been years since I’ve been back to India and have always wanted to return to Rajasthan, the land of fairy tale palaces, heroism, chivalry, colorful bazaars and vibrant fairs. I’d also love to see the Golden Temple in Punjab, eat my way through Delhi and head south to Kerala for some much needed R&R. On the adventure side, I want to fly through tall grass on an elephant (which I’ve done once btw) in the north.
China had a booth in our row, so I visited them several times throughout the weekend. I discovered a bit more about Henan, a province in Central China’s Yellow River Valley, which I knew so little about until recently. In addition to being a main region for martial arts enthusiasts, it is known as the place where Chinese civilization originated with four fascinating ancient capitals within its borders. Baima Si (White Horse Temple), which was founded in the 1st century, is there as well as Longmen Grottoes, which have Buddhist rock carvings dating back to the 5th century.
Malaysia was there and was sure to emphasize that they have so much more to offer than amazing food. I had to laugh because on my first and only visit to Malaysia, we extended our trip, hanging our hats in Penang for two additional weeks just to EAT. While there’s plenty of things that will take your breathe away, I am in love with their cuisine and would return for a tasting trip alone even if there was nothing else on the agenda. My next trip however will be sure to include some adventure and nature excursions.
Go on a stroll with me through the show floor starting with the rhythm and vibes of distant lands on the Global Beats Stage, which I mentioned above.
Because the show is so visual and covers so many regions, it’s colorful and fun for kids as well.
For those who have never been to a travel show, the best way to be productive during the day is to identify 3 regions you’ve wanted to discover and start there. From the tourism destinations, they can also guide you to tour operators and excursions you may want to try out (and book) based on your interests and passions. And, what’s great is that many of them are also exhibiting on the show floor.
There’s no shortage of experts to talk to about destinations, adventure tours, safaris, cruises, romantic getaways, spa escapes and cultural activities. Many states and regions had a presence (USA has so many drivable options for family travelers) and given that we’re based in the Bay Area, California has no shortage of adventure getaways as well – must get back to the glorious Sequoias. We’ve done quite a bit of coverage of northern California, from Tahoe, Yosemite and El Dorado Hills to the northern coast, Sonoma and Napa Valley.
Also on my must visit list this year (okay, 2018 at the latest), is Tahiti. Whenever I talk to travelers, very few know much about this pristine set of islands. Because I’m a water baby, I can imagine nothing more magical than snorkeling every afternoon and eating fish with white wine every evening. Given that Tahiti is a little more remote, it means to me: less people, less noise. Can you say bliss?
Whether you want to visit every single booth at the show or simply sit and listen to experts, panels and discussions, it’s all there for the taking. Luckily for us given our booth location, I got to do two of my favorite things: watch cultural dance performances and talk to dreamers and visionaries about fabulous destinations, sharing our journeys, one at a time.
Below is our video photo compilation of the event. We’ll be sure to be back again next year. For adventure seekers, this is a show not to be missed.