Adventure: 2013 Travel & Adventure Show

Kari and RJ at 2013 Travel & Adventure Show waiting to hear Arthur Frommer

Kari and RJ at 2013 Travel & Adventure Show waiting to hear Arthur Frommer

She Said:  2013 Travel & Adventure Show

I was so excited to get a chance to attend the 2013 Travel & Adventure Show in Washington D.C. and I had a wonderful time attending it. I had never been to a trade show before and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would it be fun? Would it be overwhelming? The answer to both questions was yes! I feel like I learned so much and saw so many neat things that I couldn’t take it all in! Do you know that you can swim with whale sharks in Belize? How cool is that?

The first feature of the Travel & Adventure Show that caught my attention was all the booths. There were so many people representing destinations near (Ocean City, MD and Virginia Beach) and far (China and Israel) with so many other stops in between. I saw information on hiking vacations, volunteer vacations and adventure vacations (safari, etc.)- I am interested in so many things! I want to be able to travel with RJ all the time and share about our wonderful adventures! I have several big bags of brochures and pamphlets to look at. There are so many places that I want to see and so many things that I want to do! Not to mention I got some really nice reusable shopping bags at several booths. I even won a Frisbee at one booth, too! My arms were pleasantly aching from carrying all that fun information home- I can’t wait to sit down and read over it!

There were also some wonderful special displays at the Travel & Adventure Show that I enjoyed very much.  SeaWorld Orlando brought in some penguins and they were so cute! We loved those penguins because we love seeing animal pairs. We always call out when we see two cardinals or geese or anything- so seeing this cute penguin couple was a treat. I loved being able to be that close to the darling penguins- I’ve never been that close before. They were so sweet! The Macaws at the Busch Gardens booth were awesome, too! They were so colorful and beautiful! We also loved the teeny, tiny owl- so cute!

We also enjoyed two travel seminars that we attended. The first was conducted by Sucheta Rawal, the founder of Go Eat Give and was about volunteer vacationing. I was so interested to learn about it! Go Eat Give is one of the coolest things that I’ve heard about in some time. Basically, you agree to go to a beautiful location and while you are there you spend your time divided between volunteering, the local sites and the area’s cuisine. How awesome is that? You get to spend time really immersed in another place because not only are you seeing the sites, but you are also learning about the food through eating authentic local food and even helping your host family prepare it. And you are also volunteering to help in the community. Go Eat Give is an amazing idea and their trips sound wonderful. We really enjoyed learning about it!

We also got to hear Arthur Frommer speak! For two people who dream about being travel writers and travel hosts this was an amazing treat. It was wonderful to hear about travel trends for 2013. Hearing him speak was an absolute delight! We also got a chance to get his autograph after the show and he was so kind and personable.

The convention center was enormous! I had no idea that the Washington Convention Center was so huge. It was a very nice venue although I really wish that they had their own parking. We also had a little bit of a hard time finding something to eat, but it worked out okay because then we got to discover our new favorite casual restaurant (Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers).

I really had a wonderful time. We got to do a lot of really special things and learned about some wonderful travel destinations. Now all we need to do is make a list of all the places we want to go (Maine, Lake George, Belize and Puerto Rico are tops on my list along) and win the lottery so we can travel to all of them! There are so many cool places and beautiful things to see in the world! I feel so inspired to learn and see more!

We want to say a special thank you to our friends at the Travel & Adventure Show! Thank you so much for providing us with tickets so we were able to attend and for providing us with tickets to giveaway to one of our readers!

Let’s get to planning and packing, everyone! There’s so much world out there and I don’t want to miss it!

Kari’s Rating- 9

Arthur Frommer

Arthur Frommer

Penguins!

Penguins!

He Said:  2013 Travel & Adventure Show

When we ran our last Choose our Adventure contest, I was a little shocked by the outpouring of support.  But the comment that surprised me the most was from the organizers of the DC Travel & Adventure Show offering us free tickets so that we could come to their event even if they didn’t win.  How cool is that!  I had a great time!

The exhibit floor was packed with destinations both crazy and local.  I loved getting to see all the booths and find out about all the fun things we could do around the world and in our back yard.  I especially remember the penguins on display from SeaWorld and birds that were on display at the Busch Gardens booth.  It also stood out to me that there are seven different kinds of whales off of the coast of Los Cabos, Mexico.  Wow, I guess animals really stick with me!

We got to see two of the speakers while we were there.  We saw a presentation from Go Eat Give, about how to do some good when your traveling that was really neat.  The highlight of the show for me though was seeing the living legend of travel, Arthur Frommer.  Anyone reading this has probably read through one of his many books, or at least one from his now massive eponymous brand.  But that doesn’t prepare you to hear from the man himself.  He really looks out for travelers and is disgusted when he feels like any company or government is doing them wrong.  He specifically called out excessive fees by airlines, and sequestration in DC as things that are going to negatively affect travel this year.  He also talked about some neat places to go including China and Puerto Rico.  I never realized Puerto Rico was so close.

The only downside is that I didn’t feel like they had very much in the way of foreign food to eat.  They had some cooking demonstrations, and even Andrew Zimmern, but not very much to purchase.  In an area like DC, I would think you could find some ethnic restaurants or food trucks that would love the exposure this show would offer.

Overall, it was a fantastic convention with great ideas and deals for travelers to be had.  We’ll most likely be back next year.

RJ’s Rating- 9

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