On January 20th and 21th, I visited the Washington DC Travel & Adventure Show for my second year (here is my post on last year’s show). Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, this show is perfect for those looking for travel ideas or wanting to book their next vacation. 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 March 16-17, 2019.
Disclosure: I received free entry to the Washington DC Travel & Adventure Show in exchange for coverage. All comments and opinions are my own.
It was quite the busy weekend with so much to see between celebrity speakers, dancing, entertainment, vendors, travel guides, giveaways, and food! The layout included four different theaters spread around the sides of the convention floor (Travel Theater, Destination Theater, Savvy Traveler Theater, and Taste of Travel Theater) along with a Global Beats Stage and the center area filled with exhibitors.
Samantha Brown, host of PBS’ Places to Love, kicked off the Travel Theater on both Saturday and Sunday. She was introduced by Eun Yang, morning news anchor for WRC-TV, with a sneak peek into the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. Other Travel Theater speakers of the weekend included Rudy Maxa (award-winning travel journalist, travel expert, radio & TV host) discussing The Transformative Power of Travel, Peter Greenberg (Emmy award-winning investigative reporter, producer, and CBS News travel editor) covering What Smart Travelers Need to Know to Navigate the World and Why the World has Suddenly Become a Global Buyers’ Market, and Patricia Schultz (bestselling author) featuring her book- 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: Global Edition.
The Destination Theater featured talks on some memorable travel destinations. Highlights included The Wonders of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James by Victoria Crowe; Explore the Nine Islands of the Azores and Their Unparalleled Beauty by Zeto Carvalho; LGBTQ Travel by Ed Salvato (Editor in Chief of ManAboutWorld) with Troy Petenbrink, Brynn Tannehill, and Allister Chang; and Israel: History, Adventure, Faith, Wine & Food Oh My by Chad Martin (director of the northeast region for the Israel Ministry of Tourism).
The Savvy Travel Theater featured tips and tricks to make the most of your travel including How to Capture Great Travel Photographs by Ralph Velasco (PhotoEnrichment), The Key to Maximizing Your Travel Experiences Through Credit Card Points and Frequent Flyer Miles by Brian Kelly (ThePointsGuy.com), Expert Tips on Multi-Generational Travel from Maggie Miller (Family Finds Fun), Tips and Hacks for the Solo Traveler by Nadine Sykora, and Travel Like a Pro: Packing Tips & Savvy Travel Skills by Angel Castellanos (AngelsTravelLounge.com).
Following all the seminars, the Travel Theater speakers also held autograph signings.
For those interested in some tasty treats, the Taste of Travel Theater featured chefs making favorite dishes from around the world including Ford Barsi of Carmine’s Restaurant (Italian Cheesecake); Henry Alexie Bloem of Bloem’s Waroeng in Jimbaran, Bali, Chef Sisca Soewitomo, and Chef Yono Purnomo of Yono’s Restaurant in Albany, NY (Tempe); John Bennett of Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque (Beef Brisket); Matteo Venini of Lupo Verde (Butternut Squash Cappellacci); Culinary Fight Club; Javier Cuesta Munoz of Taberna del Alabardero (Caldoso of Bomba Rice, Maine Lobster, and Mussels and Clams); and Matt McMillin of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants (Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad).
My favorite part of the Travel & Adventure Show over the past two years has been watching the incredibly talented dancers and performers on the Global Beats Stage. The first dancers of the weekend were Rhythms of Kalahari featuring Dances from Botswana.
Traditional Dances from Bolivia from Bolivian Teams at VA Area
There were a number of hands-on activities as well including the Rock Wall Climbing Experience provided by River & Trail Outfitters, Travel & Adventure Show “TURKEY Photo Booth,” Motion Thrill Ride by VR, and Ride on a Segway by City Segway Tours.
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. There were plenty of domestic as well as international options including Philadelphia, the British Virgin Islands, Los Cabos, St. Martin, Mango Creek Lodge, Guatemala, Visit Natural North Florida, and so much more.
Photographed above: Bahamas Tourist Office, Belize Hotel Association, Embassy of Indonesia, Dorina’s Kitchen, Zambia, and Turkish Culture & Tourism Office.
Tourism Malaysia, Philippine Department of Tourism, LV Travel, Sultanate of Oman, and Peru.
Overall, I had such a wonderful time learning more about different locations near and far, watching the incredible performances, and trying some delicious food at the Washington DC Travel & Adventure Show. I won’t be able to make it to the DC one next year, but hope to catch it in Los Angeles!