Speaker Stages

America’s Favorite Travel Shows Have America’s Most Comprehensive Educational Content That You Can’t Find Anywhere Else..

You’ll be inspired to take your dream vacation. Learn how to be your own travel expert on your next vacation, from top celebrity travel personalities and leading local experts at dozens of travel workshops on 4 theaters located on the show floor.

4 Theaters and Over 30+ Sessions

Travel Theater: Hear from the top travel celebrity personalities such as Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, and Pauline Frommer  as they inspire you to take your dream vacation.

Destination Theater: From where to go and when to go, to what to do and how to get there, destination experts will give you the in depth information you need to travel like a local.

Savvy Traveler Theater: Showcasing travel tips, tricks and actionable advice, you’ll learn how to travel like a pro straight from the experts. Topics include packing tips, technology skills, travel safety methods, budget travel hacks, etc.

Taste of Travel Theater: Get a taste of cultures from around the world as chefs prepare their local cuisines right in front of you. Like what you smell? Most cooking demonstrations end with a sampling right at your seat! Click Here to view to the Taste of Travel schedule.

Speakers and schedule are subject to change without prior notice, please check back often for updates.

10:15 am – 10:45 am
Destination Theater

Islands of the Bahamas

Dupree Smith, District Manager, Business Development / Sales & Marketing, The Bahamas Tourist Office, Houston

Come experience the Island of the Bahamas. Learn about the 16 Islands that make up the Bahamas and how all 16 offer a unique destination.

10:15 am – 11:00 am
Savvy Traveler Theater

The World of Viking Cruises

Michele Saegesser, Vice President of Sales and National Accounts, Viking River Cruises

Join Viking’s Vice President of Sales, Michele Saegesser, as she discusses the many places and experiences you can have on a Viking cruise on the river and on the ocean.

Rick Steves Celebrity Travel Speaker

Rick Steves Travel Expert - Travel Expos

10:30 am – 12 Noon
Travel Theater

European Travel Skills

Rick Steves, Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves Europe and Travel with Rick Steves

Join travel expert Rick Steves – acclaimed for his bestselling guidebooks and public television series – as he shares the latest in smart European travel. In this entertaining, information-packed slideshow lecture, Rick will explain how to travel smoothly and affordably by stretching your travel dollar, eating and sleeping well, avoiding crowds, and packing smartly. Freshly back from lots of travels, Rick will share exactly how you can enjoy maximum travel thrills for every mile, minute, and euro on your next European adventure.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following
Travel AAA - Travel Shows

11:00 am – 11:30 am
Destination Theater

Explore Top Destinations and Benefits of Traveling with AAA

Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development

Join AAA Travel to learn about the top destinations for 2018 and all the great benefits AAA Members receive when booking their vacation with AAA Travel.

11:15 am – 12 Noon
Savvy Traveler Theater

Wellness Travel Panel: Finding the Right Fit

Anne Dimon, Journalist, Founder/CEO Travel to Wellness, Program Director of the Travel & Adventure Show’s new Wellness Travel Experience, and Co-Founder of the new Wellness Tourism Association
Panelist: Robert Jeffers, Health & Wellbeing Leader, Body Holiday;
Davina Bernard, Director of Wellness, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise;
Carla Minsky, Communication Specialist, Sundara Inn & Spa 

Are you looking for the perfect wellness retreat in 2018? Join us to find out more about Wellness Travel, the world’s fastest growing travel sector. What it is. Why it’s important. Where you should go. And, how to find the perfect fit for your own wellness travel personality.

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Matchmaking with Cruise Planners

Vicky Garcia, Chief Operating Officer, Cruise Planners

Join Cruise Planners for a fun, interactive Travel Matchmaking Game Show to learn about your bucket list destinations and be matched with the vacation of your dreams! Come learn, laugh, and have a chance to win some fun travel prizes. Plus, each person at the session will receive a gift just for attending!

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
Destination Theater

Beyond the Cruise: The Inside Scoop on Alaska Adventures

Tia Froehle, Tourism Development, and Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage Alaska

Learn about the hidden gems and can’t-miss experiences from Southcentral Alaska’s destination experts. Anchorage is an urban oasis in untamed wilderness nestled between Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains with 60 glaciers within 50 miles of the city. When is the best time of the year to visit? Come and learn what Alaska adventure is waiting for you.

Samantha Brown Celebrity Travel Speaker
Places to Love - Samantha Brown

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm
Travel Theater

Places to Love

Samantha Brown, Host, Places to Love

Samantha talks about her new PBS Travel Series:  Samantha Brown’s Places To Love, and how it creates a new list of must-sees by featuring  the people who are changing, challenging and strengthening a destination.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm
Destination Theater

Celebrity’s Galapagos, A Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience

Susana Romero, Director, Galapagos Sales & Communication, Celebrity Cruises

Discover Celebrity’s Galapagos.  A cruise to the Galapagos Islands is infinitely different than other voyages. Smaller, more intimate, a gathering of people all bound by a fascination with exploration and ecology.  All with renowned Celebrity service at every turn. Our Galapagos sailings prove that you can visit the most ancient places on earth wrapped in modern luxury.

Travel AAA - Travel Shows

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm
Savvy Travel Theater

Transforming Travel Around the World

Sherwin Banda, President, African Travel
Aaron Sapra, Director, Travel Partnerships, Me to We

Come learn more at this presentation that will inspire you to travel and help change the world and learn how you can use travel to evoke positive change. AAA is proud to partner with the Travel Corporation (TTC) and Me to We and invite you to discover their exceptional portfolio of brands offering an extensive selection of award-winning worldwide travel experiences catering to all lifestyles and budgets, and includes a variety of guided travel experiences, independent holiday packages, safaris, boutique river cruising, luxury hotels and other leisure options. Together, we recognize that travel allows us to explore the world and gain a deeper understanding of each destination, its history and culture, through enriching experiences. We also recognize that it is our responsibility to help protect the places we visit and take care of the world around us and we are dedicated to positively impacting lives and livelihoods in the communities where our guests travel.

Travel AAA - Travel Shows

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Destination Theater

A River Cruise Experience Like No Other

Morgane Beltaief, Director of National Accounts, AmaWaterways River Cruises

An AmaWaterways river cruise is about more than the destination – it’s the journey. World-renowned for the unparalleled quality of its fleet, which includes 20 custom-designed ships boasting impeccable service and amenities. AmaWaterways provides all-encompassing river cruise vacations on the most breathtaking waterways of Europe, Africa, and Asia. We invite you to take one of our river cruises and see the world in luxury and comfort.

Pauline Frommer Celebrity Travel Expert

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Travel Theater

Spend Less, See More: Strategies for Creating Dream Vacations in ALL Price Ranges

Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides and Publisher of Frommers.com

Accommodations, airfares, tours, car rentals, cruises—the truth is there are no set prices for any of these items. Pauline Frommer will give you the tools you need to work the system smartly, creating value-laden holidays, whether you’re a backpacker or a luxury-seeker. Specific tips and tricks for all those categories will be shared. Plus she’ll introduce destinations that you may not have considered visiting, but should.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following
Angel Castellanos Celebrity Travel Expert - Travel Shows

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Like A Pro: Packing Tips & Savvy Travel Skills

Angel Castellanos, World Traveler, Travel Expert, Writer, AngelsTravelLounge.com

Make the next trip, the next best trip of your life! Angel Castellanos, The Travel Ambassador, delivers his popular and acclaimed seminar on packing tips & savvy travel skills drawing from his experience and frequent travels. This informative presentation prepares and inspires travelers with savvy tips to travel smarter, better and cheaper. Angel will deliver the best travel tips on packing smart, safety, new airport security rules and tricks, saving money, sightseeing hacks, traveling with technology and much more! No matter your level of experience, you are bound to come away with practical travel tips to help you travel like a pro. The packing demonstration included in this talk is one you do not want to miss. Packing in a carry on? No problem! Join us for this insightful and dynamic presentation. Travel smart, well and often! www.AngelsTravelLounge.com

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Destination Theater

Everything New Zealand

Sunnie Rossi, President, Aussie Experts (Affiliated with Travel 100 group)
Hadyn Fitzpatrick, Premium Trade Manager, Tourism New Zealand

Everything’s close in New Zealand, from dramatic natural landscapes to vibrant cities. You set the pace – from outdoor adventures, to cultural connections, or pure relaxation. And it’s safe, friendly and easy to get around.

Ralph Velasco Travel Show Speaker

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

How to Capture Great Travel Photographs

Ralph Velasco, CEO (Chief Experience Officer), PhotoEnrichment

Travel photography instructor, author and international guide Ralph Velasco has organized and led more than 70 cultural tours, with a focus on photography, around the world, teaching hundreds of people, just like you, to make great travel photographs.  In this presentation he discusses the importance of working from a Shot List in order to create a varied set of images from any destination, one that tells the complete story of the place. He’ll define exactly what a shot list is and explain how to effectively develop and use one in order to bring back a more interesting and well-rounded set of photos from your travels.

Along with many other practical and easy-to-implement tips, Ralph will reveal his Number One Photo Tip that is guaranteed to take your photography to another level, whatever type of camera you use, or your experience. To visually demonstrate these simple-to-understand concepts, he’ll be using images from his recent trips to India, Romania, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Lapland, Iceland, Morocco, Cuba, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Cambodia, and others.

Rick Steves Celebrity Travel Speaker

Rick Steves Travel Expert - Travel Expos

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Travel Theater

Rick Steves’ Europe: Cruise Ship or Tour Bus?

Rick Steves, Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves Europe and Travel with Rick Steves

Travel writer Rick Steves explores the pros and cons of exploring Europe by cruise ship, tour bus and independently. Rick wrote the best-selling cruisers’ guide to Mediterranean ports, runs a company that takes 30,000 Americans through Europe each year on his Rick Steves bus tours, and authors the classic Europe Through the Back Door guidebook for independent travelers. And with all that experience, he’ll share a candid and practical review of the options.

Royal Caribbean - Travel and Adventure Shows
Travel AAA - Travel Shows

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Destination Theater

Discover the World with Royal Caribbean!

Katy Cannizzaro, Strategic Account Manager, Royal Caribbean International

Join Katy Cannizzaro for an introduction to all that cruising with Royal Caribbean has to offer on your next vacation.  You’ll discover endless thrills for every kind of adventurer onboard any one of our ships – including our newest ships Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.  From the daredevils to the culinary crusaders, and fun-loving families to couples on a romantic getaway.  Endless options to keep you entertained; zip lining, ice skating, rock climbing, bumper cars and so much more.  The best part is our ships can take you across the globe allowing you to unpack once and enjoy the ride.

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Destination Theater

Your Own Italy – Boutique Travel Perfected

Carmen Carbonell, President of Your Own Italy

For those who want to experience the real Italy, join me as I share my love for Italy, with the heart and soul of the culture and its people. Your Own Italy focuses on living like a local from staying in small boutique hotels, apartments in historic centers and villas in Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast.  You’ll travel off-the-beaten path with guided tours that include…wine tasting and local cuisine in family owned villas, walking city food tours, hands-on cooking classes and cultural experiences like village festivals throughout Italy.

Travel AAA - Travel Shows

4:15 pm – 5:00 pm
Savvy Travel Theater

ALASKA 2018:  Explore the Great Land with Princess Cruises

James McBride, Business Development Manager, Princess Cruises

Explore the Inside Passage, charming frontier towns, Glacier Bay and Denali National Park. With 7 beautiful ships and 20 cruise tour itineraries there are a lot of choices.  We’ll help you plan your dream vacation.

Rick Steves Celebrity Travel Speaker

Rick Steves Travel Expert - Travel Expos

11:15 am – 12:45 pm
Travel Theater

European Travel Skills

Rick Steves, Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves Europe and Travel with Rick Steves

Join travel expert Rick Steves – acclaimed for his bestselling guidebooks and public television series – as he shares the latest in smart European travel. In this entertaining, information-packed slideshow lecture, Rick will explain how to travel smoothly and affordably by stretching your travel dollar, eating and sleeping well, avoiding crowds, and packing smartly. Freshly back from lots of travels, Rick will share exactly how you can enjoy maximum travel thrills for every mile, minute, and euro on your next European adventure.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following
Travel AAA - Travel Shows

11:15 am – 12 Noon
Savvy Travel Theater

Discover Rocky Mountaineer:  Carefully Crafted Journeys Through the Canadian Rockies

Dawn Elmendorf, Key Accounts Manager, Rocky Mountaineer
Carlo Myles, Onboard Host, Rocky Mountaineer

Within the unique world of rail travel, Rocky Mountaineer is so much more than just a train. It’s the key to unlocking a hidden world of unparalleled beauty as you carve through otherwise inaccessible terrain in the Canadian Rockies. And your job aboard our all-dome fleet? To indulge in the most luxurious journey you’ve ever experienced. Nibble on delectable gourmet meals while you sip on local BC wines and beers. Indulge in impeccable service from our team of professional Hosts that will dazzle you with their stories and delight you with their attentiveness. Soak up incredible scenery and native wildlife as you carve through stunning landscapes of the Canadian Rockies and beyond.

11:30 am – 12 Noon
Destination Theater

Celebrity’s Galapagos, A Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience

Susana Romero, Director, Galapagos Sales & Communication, Celebrity Cruises

Discover Celebrity’s Galapagos.  A cruise to the Galapagos Islands is infinitely different than other voyages. Smaller, more intimate, a gathering of people all bound by a fascination with exploration and ecology.  All with renowned Celebrity service at every turn. Our Galapagos sailings prove that you can visit the most ancient places on earth wrapped in modern luxury.

Travel AAA - Travel Shows

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
Destination Theater

On Stage Alaska

JoJo Molloy and Monte Davis, Alaska & the Yukon Experts, Holland America Line

Get to know Holland America Line’s Great Land with an exciting On Stage Alaska® performance — including awe-inspiring Denali National Park and the Yukon’s spectacular wilderness. Join our Alaska & the Yukon Experts as they captivate you with their knowledge and enthusiasm about this magical destination.

Travel AAA - Travel Shows

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm
Savvy Travel Theater

Authentic Journeys and Immersive Experiences Worldwide

Sal DiBenedetto, Travel Blogger, The Grubfather
Ashley Woodring, National Sales Director, Contiki
Melissa DaSilva, US Brand President, Trafalgar, CostSaver & Brendan

There are so many reasons why it’s important to travel and so many options on how to travel. AAA is proud to partner with the Travel Corporation (TTC) and invite you to discover their exceptional portfolio of brands that offer an extensive selection of award-winning worldwide travel experiences. Catering to all lifestyles, age groups and budgets, the collection includes a variety of guided travel experiences, independent holiday packages, safaris, boutique river cruising, luxury hotels and other leisure options. Learn more on how you can journey through life experiencing the world through all the preferred TTC Brands and how travel can make us better human beings.

Travel AAA - Travel Shows

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Destination Theater

2018 Travel Trends – What and Where are the Most Sought-After Destinations in the World… and Why You Won’t Want to Miss Them!

Kevin Carter, Director of Strategic Partnerships, AAA Member Choice Vacations 

Come hear about destinations that have stood the test of time and are continuously on the top of everyone’s bucket list. Plus what are the new and up-coming destinations that are just emerging and popular? Why are they so special and why you won’t want to miss them!

Angel Castellanos Celebrity Travel Expert - Travel Shows

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Like A Pro: Travel Smart with Technology

Angel Castellanos, World Traveler, Travel Expert, Writer,  AngelsTravelLounge.com

Do you want to use your smartphone or other gadgets abroad without going broke? What are the best apps for travel? Angel Castellanos, The Travel Ambassador, delivers his acclaimed “Travel Smart with Technology” seminar to answer all of these questions and so much more. Learn to unlock the potential of your device and travel easy and smarter without getting lost in your phone. This informative and popular presentation prepares travelers so they can confidently use their mobile devices as a tool to travel better and easier. Angel will cover the best travel apps to enhance your travels and allow you to communicate effectively without breaking the bank. No matter how tech savvy you are, you will definitely come away with great advice and helpful apps to travel smarter and better with your technology. Join us for this insightful and dynamic presentation. Travel smart, often and well! www.AngelsTravelLounge.com

Samantha Brown Celebrity Travel Speaker
Places to Love - Samantha Brown

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Travel Theater

Places to Love

Samantha Brown, Host, Places to Love

Samantha talks about her new PBS Travel Series:  Samantha Brown’s Places To Love, and how it creates a new list of must-sees by featuring  the people who are changing, challenging and strengthening a destination.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following
Travel AAA - Travel Shows

1:45 pm – 2:15 pm
Destination Theater

Hawaii – Our 50th State

Judy Koziel, Business Development Manager, Pleasant Holidays

Welcome to the 50th State- Beautiful Hawaii- see each island and how unique they are… beautiful beaches, lush green valleys, dormant and active volcanoes. Activities and things to see and do in this beautiful destination, or just relax and enjoy the views.

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Matchmaking with Cruise Planners

Vicky Garcia, Chief Operating Officer, Cruise Planners

Join Cruise Planners for a fun, interactive Travel Matchmaking Game Show to learn about your bucket list destinations and be matched with the vacation of your dreams! Come learn, laugh, and have a chance to win some fun travel prizes. Plus, each person at the session will receive a gift just for attending!

Kristin Carlson - Travel Expert Speaker
Tahiti - Travel Expos

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Destination Theater

The Islands of Tahiti Are Closer Than You Think

Kristin Carlson Kemper, Managing Director, Tahiti Tourisme

Tucked away in the South Pacific, just 8 hours from Los Angeles, The Islands of Tahiti are closer than you think.  Boasting high, rugged mountain peaks, coral reefs, turquoise-blue lagoons, white sand, palm-fringed beaches, and luxuriously intimate resorts; each of the 118 islands and atolls have something for everyone. Worlds away from the hectic daily grind, where a natural balanced rhythm between the land and the people exist, means connecting with what is really important in life. Discover the escape of a lifetime today!

Pauline Frommer Celebrity Travel Expert

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Travel Theater

Spend Less, See More: Strategies for Creating Dream Vacations in ALL Price Ranges

Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides and Publisher of Frommers.com

Accommodations, airfares, tours, car rentals, cruises—the truth is there are no set prices for any of these items. Pauline Frommer will give you the tools you need to work the system smartly, creating value-laden holidays, whether you’re a backpacker or a luxury-seeker. Specific tips and tricks for all those categories will be shared. Plus she’ll introduce destinations that you may not have considered visiting, but should.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following
Israel - Travel and Adventures Shows

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm
Destination Theater

Israel: History, Adventure, Faith, Wine & Food – Oh My!

Jill Daly, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Midwest Region

Though this small country is but the size of New Jersey, situated on the border between Asia, Africa and Europe, Israel is one of the most topographically and historically unique destinations in the world.  We will explore the many attractions and fun activities an adventurer can experience from visiting the lowest place on earth to enjoying the delights of an emerging culinary and wine scene to walking in the footsteps of the bible.

Travel AAA - Travel Shows

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Exploring Europe: From the Emerald Isle to Enchanting Waterways

Brian Moore, Executive Director, Brendan Vacations
John Restuccia, Director of National Accounts, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Richard Sims, Director of National Accounts, Insight Vacations

Europe has so many hidden stories that AAA and the Travel Corporations award-winning brands are experts in helping you discover. Hear about the hidden gems of the Emerald Isle with Brendan Vacations, curators of hand-crafted itineraries of their homeland, Ireland. Travel to over 40 countries on the continent in their truest sense – not just going to incredible places, but really connecting with them, in an authentic way with Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. Or discover Europe on grand journeys down the enchanting rivers, uncovering hidden treasures along the way with the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. Whatever travel style you choose, nothing is left hidden as we reveal Europe in its truest and most beautiful form.