The 2013 Chicago Travel & Adventure Show opened on Saturday, January 26, and runs through Sunday January 27, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Rick Steves, host of Rick Steves Europe, was one of several travel celebrities conducting seminars on Saturday to overflowing crowds. In addition, the exhibit hall was packed with hundreds of vendors representing organizations offering vacation ideas from as close as Michigan and Wisconsin to exotic destinations like Africa and Malaysia.
Rick Steves spoke twice on Saturday, giving tips on making the most of your travel time and money. He is scheduled for two more sessions on Sunday. A few of his tips are:
- If you take an inexpensive tour, use the bus to travel with the group, but when they stop for lunch, leave the group and go out on your own. You may have already paid for your lunch, but they’ll take you to places where all the other tour groups go. Find a restaurant where you can join more locals.
- Spend one day in the “big city,” then head out to lesser known areas to get a real feel for the local culture.
- Find those places that “missed the modern boat.” These are places that won’t be promoted for tourism. They have an old-world feel and a lot of character.
- Tourists are usually in an area between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., so get to a location early or stay for the evening to avoid crowds and get a feeling for the true local culture.
Show vendors are sectioned into tour companies, international destinations and domestic destinations. See live penguins at Seaworld Orlando’s exhibit, where they are promoting the park’s newest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Ride a Segway, pet Alaskan sled dogs, and taste samples of international foods cooked during demonstrations on the Culinary Stage. Enjoy dance performances from around the world on the Global Beats Stage and meet local travel authors on the Authors Center Stage.
Whether you’re planning a trip close to home this summer, a vacation abroad or are just looking for entertainment on a cold January day, you’ll find plenty of ideas at the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show. Sunday’s show hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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