What to expect at a travel show

Chicago Travel & Adventure Show Experience

Last week I took a quick one-day trip to Chicago specifically to attend the Travel & Adventure Show.

If you get my newsletter, yesterday I shared a few reasons why this is the time of the year to search out “shows” and some of my favorites – if you don’t get it, why not sign up right now so you don’t miss a thing?

This was my first time attending this show and it didn’t disappoint! If you love to travel or just want ideas for new places to go, this is an event worth checking out. The Chicago show is over, but there are still a number of these events happening all over the country.

If you plan on attending any shows this winter, why not make a whole day of it? That’s what we do! For this one, I arrived in the area around lunchtime, so opened my favorite travel app Yelp and looked for a place to get a bite to eat. Near the convention center were tons of chain restaurants, but I always prefer something local. ShortFuse Brewing seemed to fit the bill. Just a half mile from the convention center, this local brewery has been open for about a year and a half. With about a dozen beers on tap and a nice guest cider, it was pretty easy to find a drink I enjoyed. The menu was fantastic. It covered everything from interesting takes on typical bar appetizers and sandwiches to a wide variety of pizzas. Since it was the weekend, they also had a special brunch menu. After I had fueled up, I headed over to the convention center.A delicious stop at Short Fuse Brewing Company in Rosemont, Illinois

As soon as I entered the convention room, I knew I was in for a treat. Imagine hundreds of cities, countries, touring companies, cruise lines, and other travel-related services all in one area ready to share why their location is the best. Very fun. In addition to all the travel booths, this show had camel and segway rides, scuba diving (yes, in a portable pool set up inside the convention center) and talks from top travel celebrities such as Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer, and Rick Steves.

Although I appreciate swag as much as the next girl, I was most interested in meeting some of the representatives from several locations either near me or the places I planned to visit in the next year. That’s what I spent my time doing – learning about the locations that interested me the most.

Travel and Adventure Show

It was fun talking to people who love travel and love their destinations, and it was wonderful dreaming about all the exciting trips I can plan for the next year. For me, one afternoon was plenty and I headed home once I had met with every place that interested me. As I can’t resist a fun roadside stop, I took a quick break at Fair Oaks Farms to pick up some delicious Gouda for my son – he’s a big fan! I also saw signs for several interesting wineries that I’m going to have to create a little trip to cover in the future!

All in all, a show like this is a fantastic way to spend a cold and dreary winter afternoon.

Do you like going to this type of event? Which one is your favorite? Why?

Don’t want to forget to look for a Travel & Adventure show in your area? Or a delicious brewery? Pin for later: Visiting the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show and ShortFuse Brewery