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Lessons Learned at the Travel & Adventure Show

We attended the Travel & Adventure Show in Washington, D.C. and learned a lot of valuable information. This article will focus on lessons learned at the information sessions. The Travel & Adventure Show offers over 30 seminars over the course of the weekend.

Our focus was on travel-related information, but the Taste of Travel Theater also offers cooking demos from top international chefs. I must say that the food smelled absolutely amazing and the cooking shows were quite popular!

Be sure to check out our other post that provides an overview of all the reasons that this show is a fantastic way to spend your day whether you are a serious traveler or merely curious as to what the world has to offer, you won’t be disappointed!

Overview of the Travel & Adventure Show

The speakers at the Travel & Adventure Show include top television celebrities, travel book authors, travel industry professionals from resorts and travel agencies, and social media sensations. The information sessions do vary from city to city. You can learn more about the information sessions offered at each location on the Travel & Adventure Show website.

While I am sharing my personal favorite lessons learned at the Travel & Adventure Show, I strongly urge you to attend in person if you live near one of the show locations or can plan travel to the city. These travel experts are really a great inspiration to hear live!

Travel & Adventure Show Session: Samantha Brown’s Places to Love

It was really neat to listen to Samantha Brown in person! I’ve watched her for years on the Travel Channel. We were really excited to hear about her new PBS series called Places to Love debuting in January 2018 with a second season already planned that will include a show about our home city of Baltimore! You can also stream the full episodes online. Her session focused on the series. Here are some highlights:

  • When traveling someplace, Samantha always hits a supermarket to get a sense of local culture and food.
  • Samantha encouraged people to ditch the bucket list and instead, pay attention to the “comma”. This means there are always fun places to go, so keep adding on to your list…and adding…and adding.
  • Samantha’s Places to Love focuses on lesser known cities and authentic experiences…getting to know the history of the town and its local people.
  • First season started airing January 5, 2018 on PBS is also accessible ONLINE.
  • Samantha Brown lives in New York and recommends the Gawanus neighborhood in Brooklyn as one of the most underrated areas to visit.

Samantha Brown ended by saying: “Travel will change your life, so never stop digging.”

Travel & Adventure Show Session: The Key to Maximizing Your Travel Experiences Through Credit Card Points & Frequent Flyer Miles

The Points Guy founder and CEO, Brian Kelly started out blogging about points and miles and now oversees a site that helps over 5 million loyal followers how to maximize their rewards and get the most out of their travel plans. The website pumps out over 10 articles a day that include helpful information about everything under the sun related to travel from informative guides to news and reviews. In the session, The Points Guy highlighted the best credit cards to have and why along with helpful tips:

  • The best credit cards for cash back are Citi Double Cash Back and Chase Freedom card.
  • Most of the recommended credit cards for travel rewards surprisingly have a high annual fee such as the Platinum Card by American Express and Chase Saphire Preferred, but The Points Guy explained why these are worth the fee if you are a heavy traveler.
  • The Points Guy also cited Where to Credit as a research tool to figure out the best program to use to earn frequent flyer miles and EARNY for saving money on Amazon purchases. I had not heard of either of these tools before and they are both pretty cool!
  • Other best practices were to always transfer or use points before you cancel a credit card. As long as you keep your card active, points will not expire.
  • As a side note, WalletHub is also a great place to look for customer reviews of the best travel and rewards credit cards. Wallet Hub also offers free credit checks too!

Travel & Adventure Show Session: Travel Like a Pro: Tips & Savvy Travel Skills

The Travel Ambassador, Angel Castellanos, strives to teach “smart travel” wherever he goes so that everyone can have the trip of their lives! He showed us the secrets of how he packs for a two week trip with minimal luggage. Here are some of his tips:

  • Always check suitcase weight on the specific airline’s website. Every airline has different policies.
  • Do not overpack. It is more convenient to have clothes laundered on the go than pack for two weeks and have to lug around a lot of bags.
  • Buy travel bags that offer compression to save space.
  • Use a packing folder to pack shirts and then alternate pants top to bottom lengthwise and wrap over shirts before closing folder.
  • Keep it simple! Below is a list of all the items he can fit in a single carry-on for a two-week trip!

Travel expert Angel Castellanos urges travelers: “Think about mobility when packing.”

Travel & Adventure Show Packing Tips to Travel Like a Pro

Travel & Adventure Show Session: How to Make Money & Save Money to Travel the World

Social media travel star Alyssa Ramos‘ claim to fame is that she is under 30 years old and has already traveled to all seven continents and 75 countries and counting! She rakes in a loyal travel fan following with over 137k Instagram followers plus a growing presence in all other social channels. The most impressive thing about this girl aside from her travel feats at such a young age is that she hustled long and hard to pursue her travel passion. Here are a few insightful things she had to say:

Travel & Adventure Show Travel Blogger Alyssa Ramos

  • To start funding your travel, start with a small savings account. Track your spending for a week, review and eliminate the purchases you don’t NEED, and then bank that money rather than spending it going forward.
  • To illustrate the point about prioritizing spending to your goals, Alyssa showed a quote stating “I’d rather buy a plane ticket than a purse.” I know fellow nomads can relate to that!
  • Alyssa started a side hustle and educated herself at the “University of Google” meaning googling how to do things.
  • She said you’ve got to fake it till you make it and acknowledged that the road to being a travel blogger is a tedious process involving hard work and sacrifice in order to see a payoff.

Alyssa Ramos on how she self-funded travel to every continent before 30: “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

It was tough to decide which sessions to attend because they all sounded quite intriguing! Other sessions I wish I had been able to attend were 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: Global Edition and How to Capture Great Travel Photographs. I am looking forward to attending the Travel & Adventure Show again next year.

Don’t forget to check out our other post that provides an overview of the entire show!

Travel & Adventure Show Rewards Credit Cards

Travel & Adventure Show - Lessons Learned


We are a travel and adventure obsessed family of four. We love to experience everything from local festivals and events in our ever-growing suburb of Columbia, Maryland in Howard County and neighboring cities of Baltimore, Annapolis, and D.C. to international extravaganzas, Caribbean guest fitness instructor vacations, ocean voyages, dream grants, city visits, and offbeat destinations.

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