Each year I look forward to the weekend New York Times Travel Show. For two days, actually three (since I also attend the trade/press day on the Friday prior) for me, I think about nothing but travel.... and food.... and entertainment. It doesn't matter how cold it is outside, whether it's slushy or frigidly icy, or whether I'm struggling to fight off the flu (without wearing one of those masks that I saw all over Thailand and Hong Kong), once I'm inside the Jacob Javits Center, I become one with whichever destination's booth I'm visiting.
The show is packed on Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 in the morning, with a line-up of demonstrations, food samplings, seminars, and giveaways, all designed to put you in the mood to go somewhere. I shouldn't be greedy, I know, as I've just returned from a monster trip, but nonetheless I can be easily swayed. At the show, plan to walk and walk and walk the corridors filled with exhibitions with enticing photos, brochures, and special deals. You'll get a swag bag to fill with whatever you collect and you may just be one of the lucky few to win a trip on-the-spot or score a real-time discount to the destination of your dreams.
In between eating, walking, drinking, watching, and eating, walking, and drinking, you'll also want to attend some of the informative seminars all having to do with travel. My favorites from years past include Arthur and Pauline Frommers' highlights of where to go in 2013; Julia Dimon's adventure junkie exploits; seminars on women's, adventure and solo travel with noted travel writers Marybeth Bond (The Gutsy Traveler, www.gutsytraveler.com), Lea Lane (Solo Traveler, www.sololady.com), and Patricia Schultz (1000 Places to See Before You Die, www.1000beforeyoudie.com) among others; and learning about the newest and greatest ways to maximize your frequent flyer miles and credit card points.
Tickets are $17; 18 and under are free. Buy them online or at the show.