This weekend was the San Diego Travel and Adventure Show. Attending as press, I was allowed in Saturday morning for a one-hour session filled with a meet and greet, photo sessions, activities and an early look at the travel options available.
I could actually walk to a travel show from my apartment-so that was already an exciting start to a lovely Valentine’s Day. Press time here had about fifteen people ready and willing to jump straight into a weekend of travel. We were greeted by the Founder and CEO of Travel and Adventures shows, Jon Golicz. After riding in on a Segway, he hopped off and shared the theory behind these shows that dare travelers to gather and learn about their travel dreams. He told his listeners that in all of their studies, they’ve found that many of today’s travelers ‘like to plan as much as take their trip”. Hopefully, by visiting this travel and adventure show, they’ll not only be able to create that next holiday, but without a doubt, remember it!
This weekend, hundreds flocked to the Convention Center in the heart of downtown San Diego for this travel show. In its second year, this is the only show of its kind in town. Featuring well-known travel speakers such as Rick Steves and Pauline Frommer, the halls of the convention center were abuzz with all things travel. Including ‘exhibits from vacation destinations, hotels and resorts, travel gear manufacturers, as well as a rock-climbing wall, scuba-diving pool and other hands-on activities’-travel was the word of the weekend. (Media Release)
In his own words, he introduced our next speaker as the ‘first lady of travel’ and we knew we were in the presence of a travel great. Pauline Frommer, of Frommer Publishing, shared a bit of what she’s not only learned in travel, but would be sharing in her talk later that weekend. She told us that ‘one out of eleven people’ in the US works in the travel industry. As the editorial director of the family-owned travel company, and an author in her own right, Ms. Frommer told her audience, ‘the truth about travel is that it’s constantly changing’. If I thought being invited as press to a travel show was great, this was an extraordinary treat!
When asked to ‘bullet point’ her thoughts on the top five trends in travel today, she was ready with information, specific facts and an effortless ability to perfectly articulate her thoughts. Her top five trends in travel today are:
Strength of the Dollar
Ubiquity of the Cell Phone (How it will change the way we travel)
Sharing Economy (How sharing can benefit travelers; Air B & B has ‘more beds than all hotels combined’, UBER in many cities is ‘putting taxis out of business’ and how those using Globalfreeloaders.com and Couchsurfing.com benefit regardless of whether they’re the traveler or the one opening their home to others. Since all guests and hosts are reviewed, she said that everyone ‘has to be on his/her best behavior’.)
Explosion of River Cruising
Shorter Vacations (That sadly or otherwise, many Americans are ‘too scared to take time off from work or get less time’ – more are choosing a few long weekends a year in lieu of larger domestic or overseas travel.)
A wander through the wide aisles of the show found me at the San Diego Segway Tours area ready to try my hand at a two-wheeled version of fun – and fun it was! This was one of those ‘don’t tell my mother’ moments until it’s done and all of my fingers and toes were well intact! After spinning around in circles for a few minutes, my hands and feet got the hang of it and I managed to zigzag through the evenly spaced bright orange cones without falling on my face-automatic success!
Placing my feet steadily on ground again, I took some time to chat with members of tourism boards from New Zealand, safari tour guides from Namibia and the park rangers of Joshua Tree National Park. Welcoming, friendly and available were all words that sprung to mind. As I wandered, I was handed a bright red Travel Channel tote bag to carry all of my newfound books, business cards and guides including a new book Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey (written by a local San Diegan) that I’m looking forward to reading.
I’m honored to have been able to attend to the San Diego Travel and Adventure Show as press. Whether you found your favourite trip, tried your hand at the rock wall, tasted your way through culinary travels or just wandered your way through ‘the world’ for a few hours, travel certainly took center stage at the Convention Center this weekend. Here participants really could plan and dream. Regardless of where you wind up, India or Arizona, South Africa or Yosemite; travel awaits and the personal journey is priceless.