Awaiting the 14th annual Travel & Adventure Show, which comes to the Santa Clara Convention Center this weekend, I spoke to the show’s founder, travel expert John Golicz. His company, Connecticut-based Unicomm, has influenced over $2.6 billion in travel decisions since his first show launched in January 2003 in New York City with attendance topping 26,000. After 60 shows and over a million attendees, Golicz is the go-to person for insight into industry trends, culled from meetings with Ministers of Tourism, officers and travel directors and research based on surveys of over 400,000 American travelers to date.
He identifies the top travel trends for 2016 here:
With the value of the U.S. dollar skyrocketing, travelers will hit the road in droves to find unprecedented value. Australia, which makes the Top Three on the bucket list of many travelers, will see an influx this year now that the exchange rate has gone from $.80 to $1.35 for one U.S. dollar. That means where you once lost 20 cents from the U.S. to the Australian dollar, you’ll now enjoy an extra 35 cents – a huge bonus for trip planning.
With more long-haul flight options — offering more comfort — now is the time to plan a trip to the South Pacific – New Zealand as well as Australia. And on such a long haul flight – from 15 hours SFO to Sydney, those that can afford it might consider an upgrade to business class, using the money saved on the exchange to fly in comfort. Of course, using airline mileage or a combination of money and miles can make a business class ticket more affordable.
Closer to home, Canada is a fantastic deal as well, as the exchange has gone from a parity between the Canadian and U.S. dollar to the same $1.35 to $1, meaning the U.S. dollar buys 35% more than it used to. Beyond the value, Canada offers tremendous geographical and cultural diversity, from the Pacific Coast beauty of Vancouver and Victoria to the drama of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, to the rugged charm of Atlantic Canada’s Maritime provinces including Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Of course, Montreal and Quebec offer the rich experience of French language and culture right in our own backyard.
As 2016 is the 100th anniversary of our magnificent National Parks, this year is the time to visit such iconic parks and monuments as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite.
For inspiration and insight into California’s National Parks, Monuments, Trails, Seashores and Historic Sites, Bay Area Travel Writers (BATW) has published a beautiful book of stories and vignettes, both literary and practical, along with images from some of the group’s award-winning photographers. You can download a free PDF of the book Travel Features & Photos: California’s National Parks, Monuments, Trails, Seashores and Historic Sites or order a print copy at the break-even production cost of $27.
A disclaimer: BATW is a group of which I’ve been a proud member for some 30 years!
As it was last year, Europe is a great bargain due to the soaring value of the dollar vis a vis the euro, and while Paris bookings are down at the moment, the expectation is that this will be short-lived. In fact Golicz says, “There’s no better time to go to Paris. The positive interaction with the people you’ll meet on the road goes a long way to foster world peace and understanding. In fact, to continue traveling is the strongest statement we can make in the face of terrorist incidents.”
For those skittish about traveling after a frightening incident, Golicz advises people to not let their fear of terrorism overshadow the risk of your actually being involved in an incident — for the odds are 1 in 220 million.
In planning a multigenerational trip for his extended family, which includes a couple of octogenarians, Golicz learned that a wildlife safari in Africa might just be a perfect choice. For once the long-haul flight is over, the opportunity for morning wildlife viewing while comfortably ensconced in a vehicle can be easily managed.
As for the long haul flight, he says to keep in mind that premium economy can be a great investment, and to look at uncommon carriers – i.e. Middle Eastern carriers offer lots of capacity. The key is to plan well ahead on long-haul trips.
This year’s Travel and Adventure Show in the Bay Area will be huge, taking up the entire hall at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Along with tips from the Savvy Travel Stage, and seminars on a range of destinations, Golicz says the best thing about the show is the deals you can get right then and there. You learn all about a destination or tour from an expert, book it on the spot and save considerable $$.
For event information, click here
Santa Clara Convention Center (Halls BCD)
5001 Great America Pkwy.
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Public Show Hours:
Saturday, March 5: 10:00am-5:00pm (9:30am Open for Travel Trade Only)
Sunday, March 6: 11:00am-4:00pm
Public Admission Fee:
One Day Adult Ticket $12 for a limited time only!
Adults 17 and over
Two Day Adult Ticket: $18 for a limited time only!
Adults 17 and over
One Day Adult Ticket: $16.00
Adults 17 and over
Two Day Adult Ticket: $25.00
Adults 17 and over
Children 16* and Under are free with an adult:
* All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. To attend the public conference sessions you must be registered for the expo. No exceptions.
Re-entry: Wristbands must be worn at all times for SAME DAY ONLY re-entry.
Note: Cash Only is accepted at the Box Office. ATMs are readily available at the Convention Center.
For more information on directions and parking, click here