On January 14th and 15th, I visited the Washington DC Travel and Adventure Show for the first time. It was such a fun weekend and perfect for those looking for ideas/wanting to book their next vacation. The Show was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Check their schedule to see the dates for other cities including SF/Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Chicago. The dates for the DC Show next year are set for January 20-21, 2018.
Disclosure: I received free entry to the Washington DC Travel and Adventure Show in exchange for coverage. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
The keynote speakers this year were Samantha Brown, Peter Greenberg, Pauline Frommer, Jack Maxwell, and Patricia Schultz. Peter Greenberg, Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor, discussed Travel in a Time of Disruption. Samantha Brown, Travel Channel Host, talked about Travel Smart: Lessons Learned from a Life Lived on the Road. Jack Maxwell, Host of Booze Traveler on Travel Channel, discussed The World in a Glass. Pauline Frommer’s, Editorial Director of the Former Guides and Publisher of Frommers.com, topic covered See More, Spend Less: How to Travel in 2017. Patricia Schultz, Bestselling Author, gave an overview of some of the top places in her most recent book- 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die.
Following all the seminars, the speakers also had autograph signings (at no extra charge).
In addition to the keynote speakers, there were other speakers throughout the day covering a variety of topics. Talks about specific travel destinations took place in the Destination Theater and included Italy (photo above- bottom right, Audrey De Monte, Travels with Audrey), Cuba, Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Bahamas (photo above- top, Dornell Watson-Dean and Vandia Sands, The Bahamas Tourism Office), US Virgin Islands, North Carolina, Kilimanjaro, Thailand, Alaska, and Israel.
In the Savvy Traveler Theater, speakers discussed tips and tricks to help improve your travel experience from travel photography (Ralph Velasco– bottom left photo above) and LGBT travel to packing, hidden wonders, using technology, and family travel.
For those interested in some tasty treats, the Taste of Travel Theater featured chefs making favorite dishes from around the world. I watched Chef Guillermo Pernot of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar create Chicken Croquetas and got to sample a couple too.
One of the highlights of the show for me was watching the dancers and performers on the Global Beats Stage (I also loved that they had the stage right across from the lunch area for those who wanted to enjoy the performances while eating). The first dancers of the weekend were Rhythms of Kalahari featuring Dances from Botswana.
Classical Indian Dance by Srishti School of Dance
Dances from South India by Manimekalai Dance & Arts
Bellydance/Middle Eastern Dance/Egyptian by Sahara Dance
African Diaspora Dance from Mesi Walton
Dances from Bolivia by Tradiciones Bolivianas
Classical Indian Dance from Pranava Natyam School of Dance
Irish Dances by the O’Neill James School of Irish Dance
South Indian Classical Dance-Kuchipudi by Mallika Ramprasad
Music from the Islands of the Bahamas from Julien Believe– presented by Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
There were a number of hands-on activities as well including the “Turkey Photo Booth,” segways, and rock walls. Camel rides were also provided by Jo-Don Farms.
The center of the convention center was filled with over 100 tourism boards, travel agencies, and vendors showcasing locations from around the world. Many also featured travel deals that were exclusive to the show. Some are near the DC area and perfect for weekend trips like Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and North Carolina.
Others highlighted locations a bit further like Botswana, Guyana, South Africa, India, the Caribbean, Turkey, and the Himalayas. Favorites like European destinations and cruises were also present.
Overall, I had such a wonderful time learning more about different locations near and far, watching the incredible performances, and trying some delicious food. If you are in the area, I hope to see you next year!