This past weekend, we took an #AAAdventure to Los Angeles to the Travel and Adventure Show.  There were lots of fun things that we loved, new travel stuffed we discovered and a couple things we wished we had seen more of.

The Travel and Adventure Show is the nation’s largest travel show.  They have upcoming shows in Denver, Philadelphia, Washington D.C.,  San Francisco and Dallas.  You can check them all out HERE.

We had never been to a travel show so we were excited to discover new places and new things.  Right off the bat, we were surprised to learn that U.S. Customs & Border Protection had a huge booth where you could complete your Global Entry application and interview.  Super convenient, especially if appointments in your area are booked out for months.

There were a LOT of tourism boards represented and each country had their own booth. Depending on the booth, there were cute photo ops, travel resources and tour information for each country. Switzerland was our favorite for obvious reasons!

There were a surprising amount of tour companies represented as well.  Each tour company had in depth information about what their tour offered as well as deep discounts if you booked the day of the show.  We’ve also received several offers via email with discounts and special pricing just for attending the show.  We don’t normally travel this way, mostly because of Little A being so small, butif this is something you do, it definitely pays to attend.

We did discover something new and amazing when it comes to Family Travel. Cistrip of Peru is a travel agency for families specializing in family adventures in Peru.  This is such an amazing idea.  Peru is one of those places that I would not feel comfortable planning myself.  Literally the 2 things I know about Peru are the Incas and Machu Pichu.  You can create customized family itineraries for 6 different Peru destinations, including Machu Pichu.  I love the idea of getting help with a destination that you are unfamiliar with.  I think family travel presents some unique challenges and Cistrip would be a great resource.  Check them out HERE.

There were a few airlines represented, but definitely not as many as we had hoped to see.  Aer Lingus had adorable airplane keychains that Little A was super happy about haha.  They also had a huge route map which was really helpful. I had no idea they flew to so many places.  Put those Avios to work and save on fees!  We also learned that Fiji Airways offers free stopovers!  So basically you can spend a week in Fiji, then jet off to New Zealand for free! Amazing!

The thing I wished we had seen more of was travel gear and I think the show is really missing a huge opportunity here.  We were expecting to see awesome new gadgets, camera gear, suitcases and of course, family travel innovations.  I was actually disappointed that there were so few booths in this area.  We did find a fun wine suitcase by Vin Garde ValiseIf (when) we eventually go to France, I plan on bringing lots of wine home and this would be perfect! There was also Stuffa, literally a jacket that you can use as a carry-on haha

A couple of other fun things at the show were the Global Beats Stage which showcased music and dance from around the world all day, the indoor zipline which Little A was totally upset about being too short for and the Scuba pool where you could try your hand at scuba diving. Bring your suit and towel if you want to check it out!

The highlight of our day was seeing Josh Gates of Expedition Unknown fame speak.  He was just as funny and engaging as he is on TV.  Loved it!  His travel advice for 2019 was just get out there and explore! Doesn’t matter where….just go!  There were 3 different seminar stages, each with a full line up of speakers, including talks by Rick Steves, Samantha Brown, Lonely Planet and many more.

All in all, I think it was a fun experience for anyone who loves to travel.  We got inspired to look at destinations we may not have considered before.  But I really do wish there had been more gear and gadgets represented.  I like to test things before I buy them so to be able to see a particular suitcase or the latest camera lens would have been really helpful.

Here’s some more pictures from our adventure!  Have a magical day!