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“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I had dreamed of exploring the world since I was a little girl. When I moved to the Philippines at age 13 to live with my grandparents (from my father’s side), my family planned annual vacations that included hours of driving to our destination. I remember staying awake for the entire drive looking out the car window, soaking in all the feelings of excitement and gratitude for another adventure. I will always remember those moments and how it made me feel. I never wanted to not feel that way, so I made a promise to myself on the first family trip we took that I will travel the world one day.

It felt so easy making those promises for myself as a little girl. At the time, money was of no consequence. I was 13! My parents paid for everything. It didn’t occur to me that money and time was a factor when making such plans… Ignorance is bliss.

Now that I have a family of my own to provide for, a car loan, rent payments, and a full-time job with 3 weeks of vacation time, I realized that my dream to travel the world is not as easily attainable as I thought. But that does not mean I’m giving up on the idea. It just means I have to plan wisely.

I’m not a professional traveler. Not yet anyway There’s so many places I want to see abroad and for the most part, I don’t know where to begin. Traveling within my country is pretty easy. I’m used to the culture and how things are done. I know who to call or how to find the right organization to call to get more information about my trip. It’s the international trips that are a little more complicated.

There are a lot of things to consider when traveling, especially if you’re flying to a different country.

  • When is the best time to go?
  • How is the weather at the time of your stay?
  • What airport is closest to the city you want to see and how far is the drive?
  • What type of accommodations should you stay at? (Vacation rental homes, resort, hotel, etc)
  • What kind of transportation is required for the things you want to do?
  • Will you be needing a visa to enter the country?
  • What other attractions can you see while you’re there?
  • Is it kid friendly?
  • What should you avoid while you’re there?
  • What’s the exchange rate and how far will your money go?
  • What are the cultural differences you should know so you don’t offend their traditions?
  • Do people there speak English or will you have to bring a translation book with you?

As saturated as the internet is with information, sometimes you just can’t find what you’re looking for. Where do you go from there?

Attend the Travel & Adventure Show! It’s an exhibit of exotic destinations inspiring enthusiasts to plan their next vacation(s). It’s a great opportunity to ask anything and everything you’d want to know about your desired destination.

The Travel & Adventure Show is held annually in the major cities across the US. Their itinerary for the next year is as follows:

  • Denver | March 18-19 2017
  • Philadelphia | March 25-26 2017
  • Dallas | April 1-2 2017
  • San Diego | January 13-14 2018
  • Washington DC | January 20-21 2018
  • Chicago | February 10-11 2018
  • San Francisco | February 17-18 2018
  • Los Angeles | February 24-25 2018

Tickets for the 2018 shows cannot be purchased, yet. So save the date if you’re planning to attend, which I highly recommend you do.

I attended the show held in San Diego. I wanted to go to the Los Angeles show, but I was in Nevada that weekend. So I opted to drive to San Diego and I brought my sister-in-law with me since we’re the ones who plan our family trips. I bought our tickets through Groupon for $15 which included a single-day admission for two. Tickets can also be purchased directly on their website.Half of the exhibitors promoted U.S. destinations. The other half were international exhibitors. The U.S. exhibitors included tours to historical cities, national parks from different states, and safari adventures. Almost all of the exhibitors, including international, focused on exploring the sites rather than hotel accommodations. They showcased the most beautiful locations to entice travelers to visit their city. It definitely worked for me.

It took us about 3 hours to gather information from destinations we really wanted to go to. We stopped and spoke with some of the experts. They were all very pleasant and answered our inquiries with enthusiasm. None of them pressured us to register or book a consultation. We did not stop to mingle at every exhibit, but we did take as many brochures as our backs can carry. We had to make a trip back to the car to drop off the first batch of reading materials. I won’t be able to go through all the brochures in one sitting, but it’s definitely nice to have. I’ve already gained some knowledge about some of the destinations just by browsing through the brochures. I made sure to visit the Alaska and Philippines kiosk. I’m planning on going to Fairbanks this year and Palawan next year so I made sure to stop by these exhibits to gather intel.

The show also featured travel equipment for sale, live entertainment, speakers, and hands-on activities like camel rides, segway rides, and world photo booth. We arrived in the afternoon (3 hours before closing) so we didn’t have a chance to sit-in on the seminars. We did, however, made time for the photo booth!

My favorite part of the entire show was getting my book signed by a New York Times Bestselling Author, Patricia Schultz! I didn’t even know she was there. I love books, so of course, I had to stop by the bookstore kiosk to see what they had.

When I saw the pile of books, I had already made up my mind that I was going to walk away with one that day. As my eyes wandered through the small pile, it grew big at a small but very thick book — 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. This is the book! As an aspiring travel writer/blogger and determined bucket lister, this book was perfect! When I pointed the book out to the sales lady, she asked if I wanted an autograph by the author. My eyes got bigger. Heck yeah I do! After paying for my book, I scampered over to where Patricia Schultz was sitting and smiled my biggest smile while I handed her my book. It was a star-struck moment for me.

I’m really glad I had the opportunity to experience the Travel & Adventure Show. I didn’t know what to expect since it was my first time attending anything like it. With all new experiences, I knew there was something pertinent to learn.

I learned that:

  • There are so much more to see around the world than the popular places featured in magazines and online.
  • The show caters to luxury travel, ergo, expensive. It gave me insight to how much it would typically cost by booking the tours through travel agencies. I was not at all dismayed by the prices. In fact, the brochures gave enough information for me to conduct my own research and find other ways to experience the different destinations without giving up my 401k.
  • I missed out on the seminars because I arrived late. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it or learned something new, which I regret. I plan on going again next year to the Los Angeles show. This time, I will make sure to arrive early and attend at least one seminar.

Have you attended a Travel & Adventure Show? What was your favorite thing about it?


 


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