Travel and Adventure shows offer expert help, inspiration

Travel and AdventureChicago’s Travel and Adventure Show runs this weekend and features stars from the Travel Channel, professional travel photographers, writers and 20 informative seminars over two days. A great way to preview or plan travel, these shows are held around the country, offering expert help. In person. Close to home.

The Chicago show has information on destinations from New Zealand to Costa Rica, modes of travel from cruises to African safari tours and celebrities from Patricia Schultz (1,000 Places to See Before You Die) to the Travel Channel‘s Samantha Brown.

On the West coast, the Los Angeles Times Travel Show presents two days of informative and inspiring travel talks and panels featuring many of today’s leading travel experts. Organized by topic, there are areas set aside to feature destinations, a culinary stage, a travel in style pavilion and more. In the Xtreme Adventure zone, Don Wildman, host of Travel Channel’s Off Limits and Mysteries at the Museum, Leon Logothetis, author, Amazing Adventures of a Nobody and others.
A little later, in March, comes the king daddy of shows, the New York Times Travel show, hosted by American Express, will feature nearly 500 exhibitors representing over 150 countries focusing on travel destinations, packages and special offers, as well as tour operators, cruise lines and live entertainment.

“American Express is thrilled to once again be the presenting sponsor of The New York Times Travel Show,” says Claire Bennett, senior vice president and general manager of American Express Travel. “We know that consumers love travel, and we are always happy to play a role in bringing this passion to life for them.”

This one even has an iPhone app that allows access to show information, exhibitor lists,
schedules, floor plans, and show specials. Users can also sign up for text alerts to receive
additional special offers, prizes, & more.

Photo NYtravelshow

Travel Channel’s Off Limits premiere tonight

On the new Travel Channel series, Off Limits, host Don Wildman makes it his mission to reveal some of the most amazing off-limits sites in the country.

Tonight’s premiere episode, set in Wildman’s home town of Los Angeles, shows the adventurer kayaking the LA River, risking fines and jail time, taking a film crew for a first-ever look inside the LA aqueducts, climbing one of the city’s 30.000 active oil rigs, following the lost 16 miles of canals in Venice beach and more.

Upcoming episodes take us along with Off Limits to sites off the grid, revealing a side rarely, if ever, seen before.

“Travel should be an investigation, yes. But it can also be a rediscovery of ourselves and the heights to which we aspire in life.” says Wildman, a self-proclaimed “silly romantic” about travel.

In San Francisco Wildman and his Off Limits crew explore a San Quentin dungeon, a once-great shipyard, a top secret POW interrogation center and an abandoned hospital that was the inspiration for Scientology.

“Even while I make my career diving into hideously unappealing environments to get the story, a large part of myself would often prefer to be strolling through the Marais in Paris or cozying into my seat at Carnegie Hall” says Wildman.

In Seattle, Wildman braves mountain passes where an army of men tunneled through miles of mountain to build safe passage for early settlers. He will hang from a zip line a hundred feet up to get a look at the deadly job the city’s first loggers faced. He will dive into the frigid waters to see the remains of the steamboats that once shuttled Seattleites across the Puget Sound. And he’ll take a boat across Lake Washington and step inside the longest floating bridge in the world.

Each hour-long episode follows Wildman as he investigates sites that are dangerous, hands-on, and, in many cases, extreme. Off Limits premieres tonight at 9:00 Eastern time.