On January 25th, the line grew by leaps and bounds as 10 am approached. Pouring rain outside was replaced by excited anticipation. During the next two days, over 35,000 people mingled with over 700 exhibitors from more than 176 countries at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. This is the largest trade and consumer show held in N. America and my press pass is coveted! My addiction to travel and learning about the ways of the world is totally satiated here!
Decisions, decisions…trying to choose from the 280 speakers covering major developments in travel, saving money, traveling to 52 places in a year, gear to make life easier, travel blogging and what is becoming very important for many of us – traveling beyond the selfie: sustainability, responsibility and innovation…so many choices, so little time!
I was taking notes furiously and have so much to share and will do it over several posts so as not to overwhelm you! First off, Pauline Frommer never disappoints with her “Top Lists”. She suggests the following sites for best airfares:
Timing is everything when booking. It is best to book on a Sunday, four weeks before travel for a 17% savings. If one books on a Friday, the price could go up by 12%. The best days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday (except to destinations primarily for leisure travelers). Do your research on one computer and book from another due to cookies and being tracked.
Frommer also mentioned the high fees airlines are charging for every little detail: American Airline is $1.22 billion, United is $889 million, Delta comes in at $788 million, Spirit has charged $638 million and Frontier is coming in as the lowest in fees $366 million. This information was gleaned from Consumer Reports.
Overtourism is a huge concern. In 2017, people in Europe started the outcry that their homes were being overtaken by tourists. Daily life was becoming increasing a thing of the past due to the influx of people and the instagram craze at every turn. Pauline presented alternatives to visit, giving major tourist areas a break. Basilicate, Emilis-Romagna and Puglia could be beautiful vistas similar to Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. Girona, Figures, Roses rather than Barcelona. Belize or Panama are not as overcrowded as Costa Rica. The Faroe Islands could be a spot to visit similar to Iceland. The Similan Islands are an alternative to Maya Bay. Visit Komodo and give Bali a break. Rather than Machu Picchu, a visit could be made to Ausungate Trek and finally Rovijn would be similar to a visit to Dubrovnik.
If booking a hotel, here are Frommer’s recommendations:
Hotelscombined.com Kayak.com Booking.com. She also cautioned people to understand the psychological games played on sites when they say the number of people looking at the site right then and there with only few choices left. If interested in finding rentals: Airbnb.com Homewaway.com Zonder.com Flipkey.com VRBO.com
Last but not least is making sure your hard earned money is not lost if something comes up. The best markets to buy insurance from according to Frommer are: Squaremouth.com , Insuremytrip.com, travelinsurance.com.
So much more to come but hopefully, you will find this information helpful and be able to tuck the resources away until you are ready to follow your wanderlust across the globe! Jamie Lyn Beatty said, “Adventures fill your soul.” …and the New York Times Travel Show certainly will get your heart beating and your soul ready to soar.