October 10, 2009

The Adventures In Travel Expo: Day 1


The tag line for the two day Adventures in Travel Expo is "The Show For Real Travelers." What exactly makes a real traveler? Is it number of countries visited, exotic locations, travel style? The aim of the show is to bring together consumers and companies of the travel trade, ranging from trip operators to tourism bureaus. Throw in some celebrity speakers, and it becomes a go to place for anyone who is interested in travel, both domestic and abroad. Armed with a camera and press pass, I decided that it was worth checking out. The show will be at New York City's Javitz Center through October 11th, and will then be moving to Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Seattle.

The show is a mix of everything to do with the travel industry. The event space is broken down into geographic areas such as Africa, Latin America, Asia/South Pacific, and the Caribbean. There are tourism bureaus from countries such as Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, and Israel. Then there are the numerous tour operators, airlines, magazines, book publishers, and even a mini rock wall if you feel like getting a bird's eye view of the event.

You could easily spend a full day here. I spent more than six hours speaking to the numerous exhibitors that peaked my interest, and I only covered about half the show. Then again, I'm addicted to travel and everything looks fun to me. I'll be profiling some of the exhibitors in the future, but here are the highlights from day one at the Adventures in Travel Expo:



1. G.A.P Adventures has launched a partnership with the Discovery Channel, and has created Discovery Adventures which are new trips based on featured destinations from the Discovery Channel.



2. Arthur Frommer, founder of Frommer's Travel Guides, shared his tips on budget travel. He spoke about Exploritas and ElderHostel. If you're looking for mature trips that combine grandparent and children travel, this could be a good option. Untours for un-tourists, is where you can book furnished apartments in major cities around the world. Now is a good time to visit China on the cheap with Chinaspree. Ho Chi Minh City is one of the cheapest places to live as an ex-patriot. Iceland, Ireland, and Italy (dubbed the Three I's), are the latest destinations in budget travel. Take advantage of Eurofly for cheap flights to Italy. The Caribbean and Mexico are practically giving away package holidays this time of year. Vacmart is a good place to check for specials. And my favorite special, the U.S. Virgin Islands are promoting twenty five cent per night hotel rooms, in honor of a new commemorative quarter by the U.S. Mint. Go to bookit to take advantage of this. Not only did Arthur give an informative talk, he also signed a copy of his new book for me, conveniently titled Ask Arthur Frommer: And Travel Better, Cheaper, Smarter.



3. Holly Morris, writer, travel show host, and producer, spoke about her work with the Globe Trekker series, Adventure Divas, and her favorite places to visit. Funny enough, one of these locations is the Cascade Range in North America.



4. I took a trip back in time by visiting with the guys from Witch's Rock Surf Camp. Located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, this is the place where I originally learned how to surf. The camp has expanded and they are now running surf trips to other countries. If you've always wanted to learn how to surf, and have a week's vacation to spare, this is the place to go.

5. AFAR is hands down the coolest travel magazine on the market. I just read their premier issue cover to cover, and I'm hooked. It's a bi-monthly publication that has profiled travel in a new way. The one section that caught my eye is Spin the Globe, whereby they ship a writer off to a new destination unknown to them. It makes for a good story, trust me.

6. The online hostel booking site Hostels Club, is running two specials at the moment. If you are a citizen of either the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, and traveling to Europe, go to www.hostelsclub.com/strongdollar, and you'll only be charged in US dollars for the Euro equivalent. Meaning, a dorm bed that costs fifteen Euros, will only cost you fifteen USD. If you go to www.hostelsclub.com/mytrip, you'll only pay a one time registration fee for life as long as you continue to book with the same email address.

If you can't make it to the Adventures in Travel Expo in New York, or one of the other cities on their tour, you can see a list of the exhibitors online. Check back tomorrow for a report about day two at the show.

12 comments:

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