The Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show is an annual event which takes place early in the year. Three of the seven shows are held in California. Started in 2004, the Travel and Adventure Shows have a mix of exhibitors from around the world and celebrity speakers with some culture-focused entertainment thrown in for good measure. The 2016 Los Angeles show featured seminarsÂ followed by meet and greets with Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg and Rick Steves. Most celebrity speakers appear on both days. On Sunday, February 28, Rick Steves went on first, followed by Pauline Frommer, then Peter Greenberg and finally Samantha Brown.
Rick Steves had an exhibitor booth, where you could buy his book(s) and have them signed after his speech. Like the other time I met him, he took selfies with whoever wanted in addition to signing their merchandise. The whole experience is pretty intense and you should not expect much one on one time. I did manage to recommend a documentary film to him, but had to wait until most of the crowd cleared out.
Pauline Frommer went on next. Thereâ€™s a 30 minute gap between speakers, which allows time for meet and greets. Rick Steves was still shooting and signing when Pauline Frommer was introduced. Unlike Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer answered questions after her speech, which was filled with practical travel advice. There were different Frommers guidebooks for sale (next to the Rick Steves books). I bought the Israel one at the New York Times Travel Show earlier in theÂ year and had it signed by her father (Arthur Frommer, who was absent from this show) and this time I purchased the Iceland book. Remembering me from the New York show, Pauline singed itÂ to me personally. She continued to answer questions in betweenÂ signing books, but what stood out the most from her speech was her answer when someone asked her how she gets to do what she does for a living. Her simple answer: â€œhave a father named Arthur Frommer.â€ Enough said! People like her, Rick Steves and Samantha Brown are the lucky ones. Most of the people attending these shows areÂ not full-time travelers. Events like the Travel and Adventure shows allow those of us who love travel, but can only do it once or twice a year to live vicariously through the lucky ones!
One of my favorite parts of the show was meeting actress, food blogger and podcaster Lynn Chen. What made her speech so interesting was how it focused on the food from one destination only. Taiwanese fast food is tasty, but difficult to find. Although they speak Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan, their food is different from the â€œChinese Foodâ€ that can be found in just about any town of any size. You have to go looking for Taiwanese food. Pittsburgh has an excellent place (I Tea Cafe) that gets it perfect and of course Flushing, Queens has places, but in general, itâ€™s not easy to find like â€œChinese,â€ hibachi or (more recently) Thai food. The slide show allowed her audience to follow along with her recent journeys. Afterwards, she answered some questions. I was curious as to whether or not there was one thing she refused to try in Taiwan and there was in fact a certain fermented tofu which she would not eat. Her speech got me interested in returning to Taiwan. Besides airport layovers, I only spent two days there (one in Taichung, one in Taipei) as part of a side trip from Hong Kong.
The standard price for admission is $16 (1 day)/$25 (2 days). There are discounts available and I got in for free from Lynn Chenâ€™s Facebook offer. Even if you pay the full price, you are likely to leave with more in handouts than you paid for admission. From the Taiwan booth alone, I walked away with China Airlines pens, Taiwan erasers, a Taiwan pen & notebook as well as a portable USB charger (with “Taiwan” on it of course). Although no other booth handed out that much, there are usually pens, maps, DVDs and even some local snacks there for the taking from most countries represented at the show.
The â€œLos Angelesâ€ Travel and Adventure show is actually held at the Long Beach Convention Center. If you are (like me) coming from the east coast, itâ€™s difficult to find a direct flight into Long Beach. After my search on Orbitz resulted in fares over $500 with at least one layover, I decided to take advantage of the nearly hourly flights (during the day) from EWR to LAX. Since itâ€™s easier for most people to fly into LAX, itâ€™s also better to stay in Los Angeles. Although California has a long established car culture (as opposed to major cities on the east coast), it is possible to get around greater Los Angeles without a car. I havenâ€™t rented a car in California since 2011. Downtown Los Angeles has plenty of great hotels as well as cultural attractions. Staying near 7th Street/Metro Center will give you access to four metro lines. Taking the blue line from 7th Street/Metro Center to the other end (Downtown Long Beach) is about an hour ride, but costs only $1.75 with a bus connection included within two hours. The convention center is less than a five minute walk. Most of the ride is above ground, so you get to see a lot of the places referenced in early west coast hip hop songs. Anyone who has watched Straight Outta Compton (or even remembers when the album was released) will be familiar with the stops along the way. In addition to the obvious ones like Compton and Long Beach, the blue line stops at Vernon, Slauson and Florence. The Watts Towers have their own stop at 103rd Street and you can see them off in the distance.
This seems like a great show, very affordable and you got to meet a lot of interesting travel personalities. Thanks for the review!
I have to bookmark this show for next year. Like you I live in the east coast, and I try to attend shows that aren’t too far from me. I would of enjoyed meeting Rick Steve and Samantha Brown too.
Carmen, Samantha Brown appears on the east coast ones sometimes. Click here for my post about the New York Times Travel Show.
Cool! What is your motivation for attending these travel shows? Do you make many good business connections?
Brianna, you can make some connections there and I’ve always enjoyed talking to the people from all the different booths. Although you get to meet some celebrities, they won’t have time to talk to you like the people in the booths will.
Interesting post. I haven’t been to any of these travel shows, but I really should check one out.
Click here for my post about the NY Times Travel show.
The travel shows are quite the Fora for meeting like minded people and getting inspired by their experiences and networking. I am sure this is a great show, one needs to bookmark.
Click here to read about the NY Times Travel Show.
These shows are great opportunities to network and get inspired by the experiences of others, this show looks amazing, need to calendarize this.
There are several other similar shows in the Northeast & California.
Your travel shows sound far more elaborate than we have down here in Australia. Normally ours are just an exhibition hall filled with travel agents and destination guides handing out brochures and trying to get your contact details. There are good deals on bookings though so it’s very easy to be tempted. We don’t have all the entertainment and guest speakers which makes it sound much more fun to visit.
Went to the show in Santa Clara, was pretty awesome. Real informative, packed a lot of brochures and just extended our travel plans by another dozen countries I guess…
I’ve never been to a travel show before – something always came up when I lived in Washington, DC and tried to make the Travel and Adventure Show there. I’m interested to try Taiwanese food and might have to send Shaine out to Flushing to scope out the restaurants.
I’ve never been to a travel show before, but it looks really interesting!
Never been to a travel show before, but this looks fun! I’m pretty sure they have them here in New Zealand, but I’ve never made it along to one! We have The Food Expo coming up next week though, so I’m hoping they have a few different foods to sample from around the world!
I’d love to visit your country some day!
This sounds like such a great time. It’s nice that celebrities show up to speak. This sounds like a great place to meet people and learn a lot.
Like KRS-One said, “you must learn”!!
Not everyone has the opportunity to travel and that’s why I admire travel bloggers and travelers who are able to do so. I think this is an awesome event, perfect for learning more about traveling and what you can do to be able to travel more often.
Such an interesting selection of speakers and topics. It sounds like a fabulous experience.
“Have a father named Arthur Frommer. At least she recognizes her good fortune!
I love that they focussed on Taiwan for a part! That’s a country I’ve always wanted to visit and I’ve heard great things about the food 🙂
I was there in 2009, but only for a couple days. Not enough to stop really explore the food scene.
This seems like a super cool event to go to. Lynn is right about Taiwanese food though- never thought about it but Chinese and Thai are common where Taiwanese isn’t.
I’ve never been to a Travel Show myself but I would love to! I’m Taiwanese myself so this was definitely an interesting read. Thanks for sharing!
This show looks great! Too bad I’m nowhere near California so I could attend it 🙁
Oh love travel shows! This one looked fantastic too.
what a great show, looks like an interesting event… I really would like to go to LA some day : )
Looks like a fun event to visit. Must be nice to see beautifully dressed up booths.
Wow! That’s super cool! Can’t wait to read your next adventure!
Thanks Luana. Here is my latest https://imayroam.com/2016/06/14/7-cultural-gems-along-7-train-queens/
Looks like a very interesting show! I always go to the travel shows in London as you learn a lot from them.
Rosie | http://www.rosieromance.com
This looks like an interesting travel show! I always visit the ones in London as I learn so much from them.
Rosie | http://www.rosieromance.com
I would love to attend this show, it sounds great. Also I have never tried nor Chinese nor Taiwanese food, I would love to try both.
Interesting post! I have never even knew travel shows existed let alone thought of attending one. Will for sure have to look into it.
Great and interesting show. Thanks for posting about it. I haven’t attended such a travel show yet but I would love to do so in the future. Maybe one day even TBEX.
I just got back from my first TBEX is Stockholm. Good place to get yourself in front of other bloggers and brands.
What a lovely show its a great way to network and meet like minded people. I went to something similar a few days ago!
The Los Angelos Travel and Adventure show looked great. Loved those super colourful photo of the Taiwanese women in there traditional costume.
What an adventure. Some lovely photos here too.
I would love to attend something like this wow what a show.
I would absolutely love to go to this conference. It is a dream of mine to someday “Road School” my children so this would be a great starting point!!
Very nice post! It’s a great way to meet a lot of new interesting people.
It looks like so much fun! I’ve never been to that kind of shows but i’d like to experience something like that someday 🙂
Sounds like a great show! This is something my family and I will enjoy. Thanks for sharing dear. 🙂
We try and go each year to the one in LA or NY
Tiana, I didn’t know there was one in NY? You mean NY Times Travel Show?