A Review Of The 2023 New York Travel And Adventure Show….And What Not To Do!
Travel is back and stronger than ever“…. that seems to be the motto for this year’s annual travel show. In early January, the former New York Times Travel show was packed with folks booking deals on what is expected to be another crowded travel year. Besides over 100 exhibitors of vacation destinations, there were plenty of celebrity speakers on all that is good and bad about traveling in 2023. For sure, there was plenty of advice on how to travel like a pro and discover one-of-a-kind destinations. Here is what I learned ….
First, A Bit About the Travel Show
The show held at the Javits Convention Center in NYC is a combination of exhibitors from every part of the world offering early discounted deals and plenty of entertainment. I spoke to a couple who booked two cruises instead of one. There are also live event shows, loud music, folks in costumes, among many other distractions. I specifically prefer attending the many back-to-back seminars from travel experts, authors and celebrities and checking out the latest travel gadgets and books. The show is reasonably priced ($16–25 for up to two days) although if you join Goldstar.com the tickets are half price.
I generally arrive early so that I have enough time to walk through most of the exhibits selecting those on my bucket list. Same with the seminars, I quickly reviewed the program and organized the day between the sessions and walking the floor. This year I was surprised to see how crowded some booths were with lines of folks waiting to talk to the exhibitors (even though Pakistan had several booths but not as many interested travelers- looks like nobody wants to go there). The more popular exhibitors were Europe, Africa, Latin America and the US.
Travel Advice and Trends to Watch When Getting on the Road
There remains a great deal of uncertainty when traveling due to the shortage of employees, coupled with the demand for travel, causing both delays and cancelations. There is plenty of rage and disappointment with the airline industry. Both airports and airlines are experiencing inadequate staffing, poor infrastructure, and weak operating systems. We saw quite a bit of this during last year’s holiday season, expected to continue into 2023. To lessen the chaos and make sure you are not left sleeping at the airport, here are some important tips to consider when planning a trip.
1. Do not use third party bookings for flights as airlines are going to give priority to those that booked directly with them (booking.com, Expedia.com)
2. Book morning flights (the earlier the better) as those seem to have a better track record of leaving on time and are usually not canceled. Also if possible, leave on a weekday.
3. Choose direct flights even if it may require driving to a different airport.
4. Download the airlines’ mobile apps and join their frequent flyer programs (all of them, including favorite hotels) to avoid lines and rebook immediately if necessary. Also, to track and locate lost luggage, a growing problem.
5. If you are traveling with more than one piece of luggage, keep essentials for at least one day in your carry-on in case your luggage is thousands of miles away.
6. Sign up for Mobile Passport which provides you with a QR code equal to Global Entry in getting through customs.
7. Have a Plan B and C by asking yourself the question…. what if there is a delay or cancellation?
8. Best advice given to everyone by most of the speakers is to prep and research, which equals more time for you to enjoy your travel (priceless).
What To Do Once You Have Reached Your Destination
1. “Revenge Travel” is certainly causing huge crowds, making it more difficult to manage your time. There are long lines to attend historical sites, museums and restaurants. More now than ever, book and pay for these activities online and do it early. The better option is to book a private tour that will get ahead of all of those suckers waiting in lines.
2. Another option is to avoid booking these activities on the weekend to reduce crowds and book the earliest time slot possible.
3. On your first day, consider hiring a tour guide or take a city tour to better understand the city and what it offers. Use google map to record restaurants and places you like to go or revisit.
4. Carefully research travel insurance, as many of them have too many exclusions. Once you are there, find out what your options are for accessing a doctor or medical facility.
5. To get to know the location, talk to the locals, car drivers, maids, and waiters to get both insights and establish common ground and don’t forget to tip them.
6. Know your surroundings by reading maps, do free walking tours and engage with others.
7. Do your part to reduce trash and recycle as much as possible. The amount of trash directly caused by tourism is choking some of these countries.
Final Note: The World of Travel will only get more complicated in the years to come. It is constantly changing, pushing the limits on unique and immersive experiences and sustainability. It is why attending travel shows and researching extensively on the internet are good options. Travel shows do a good job of marketing to diverse groups such as LGBTQ, solo travelers, sports fanatics, cruise lovers, family outings, and many more. Besides New York, the Travel and Adventure shows are held in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Atlanta. Click here to access their website. In New York alone, over 30,000 people attended the show.
Bon Voyage !!!!
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