Travel shows. I find it very difficult to go to a travel show and just browse. It’s like walking into Starbucks, having a look at the menu and then leaving. Or going to Ikea and not buying any Swedish food at the very end to go with your shower mats and bendy lamps.
I get it when people say “I want to get inspiration” for something but I feel that better applies to kitchens or flowerbeds or something. In my experience, travel shows are dangerous as there will always be an awesome deal just waiting to be snapped up, I have booked many trips at travel shows and got some great discounts in the past – Eastern Europe, Paris, Bruges…the list goes on.
So, as I made my way to the TNT/STA Travel Show at the Business Design Centre in London, I knew there was a good chance I will end up booking something. The show is aimed at the younger crowd and generally attracts a lot of Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans. As a result, there is a bigger focus on European trips than in some of the bigger shows such as the Destinations Travel Show (which I can’t wait to “browse”). Having not seen as much of Europe as I would have liked, I am always on the lookout for a good deal.
And boy, were there some good deals! Topdeck were offering 40% off their Middle East destinations and had discounts for all of their brochures. STA Travel had special deals on flights and tours just for the show and Contiki had flash sales too.
I wandered around the show and talking to representatives from companies offering everything from skiing trips to adventure treks and mountaineering before meeting up with some friends and discussing potential trips for 2016.
A couple of hours later I was walking out of the show with 3 trips booked for next year:
- A 10 day trip to Morocco taking in the highlights of the country including Marrakech, Fez and the Sahara
- An 8 day Scandi-Baltic adventure visiting 5 countries – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden
- A 9 day Spain and Portugal highlights trip visiting Madrid, Sevilla, Granada and Lisbon among others.
I am not even sure how much time I will have to take off work for these, seeing as I like arriving to places early and having time to look around and take in the atmosphere. Luckily I have a pretty flexible job so I am sure I will still have plenty of time for other trips (yes I realise that sounds like I am rubbing it in!)
If you have never attended a travel show before, I would definitely recommend it – unless you have no money, as that will probably just make you cry.