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 3 theaters located on the show floor.

3 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.

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

Super Value Tours

Stop by the on-floor Bookstore to purchase books from your favorite travel authors here at the Show.

Saturday, February 17

Rick Steves Celebrity Travel Speaker

Rick Steves Travel Expert - Travel Expos

10:15 am – 11:45 am
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
Gerry van der Walk - Travel Expert Speaker

10:30 am – 11:00 am
Destination Theater

African Safari Travel – When, Where, How

Gerry van der Walt, Co-Founder of Wild Eye, Private & Specialist Guide, Public Speaker, Wildlife Photographer

Africa is without a doubt one of the best wildlife and nature travel destinations in the world and the diversity of ecosystems continues to attract photographers and nature enthusiasts from around the world. This diversity of destinations and wildlife subjects can make it quite challenging to plan a safari unless you know when and where to visit.

Where is the best place to see and photograph Africa’s famous Big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, and Buffalo?
What time of year can you see and photograph the Great Wildebeest Migration?
What lenses and cameras will I need when traveling to Africa to see wildlife?
What kind of images and experiences can I expect to get on safari?
Will you always be on a game drive vehicle or will you go on foot with wildlife as well?

These are a few of the questions Gerry will be answering during this presentation while at the same time showing some of his wildlife images from various African countries and wildlife reserves to not only show you where and when to get the experiences you’ve always dreamed of but also to showcase the incredible raw beauty that is Africa.

10:45 am – 11:30 am
Savvy Traveler Theater

Organize Your Bucket List into a Thoughtful Travel Plan. Learn the Secrets to Traveling Better

Jim Bendt, CEO, Pique Travel Design

As a travel designer, one of my biggest frustrations was losing the ability to help my clients achieve their dreams.  Many of us have great travel visions.  But unfortunately, life simply gets in the way.  Have you ever waited until the last minute and found the best options were gone?   Have you felt pressure to make a decision and ended up paying peak prices?  Have you ever experienced regret postponing a trip because “I’m too busy?”  I encountered these problems a lot.  Then one day I realized, if we want to avoid these issues, booking one trip at a time is the worst way to plan travel.  Why is something so important planned in such a haphazard way?  I asked myself, what if we could treat travel like a lifelong journey instead of a series of one-offs?   What if travel was seen as an investment?  An investment in ourselves with enriching lifelong rewards.  What if instead of an investment portfolio, ours was a portfolio of dreams?  A travel portfolio thoughtfully curated and designed around our dreams.  What if we now had the ability to plan our trips with wide open availability and favorable pricing?  And most importantly live in a constant state of anticipation.  Without regret.  Join us for an interesting discussion about how you can travel better by organizing your messy bucket list into a thoughtful travel plan.

11:15 am – 11:45 am
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.

11:45 am – 12:30 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Matchmaking with Cruise Planners

Julianne McDermott, Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, 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

12 Noon – 12:30 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!

Samantha Brown Celebrity Travel Speaker
Places to Love - Samantha Brown

12:30 pm – 1:30 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

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm
Destination Theater

Adventure Canada Expeditions – The Northwest Passage and Beyond

Martin Aldrich, General Manager, Adventure Canada

Join Adventure Canada for a talk on the exciting world of expedition travel. Learn about the world’s most exciting and remote destinations from regional experts, and discover what awaits passengers on a modern expedition. This showcase features incredible photography from voyages through the Canadian Arctic, along the west coast of Greenland, and down Canada’s east coast and maritimes. See what expedition travel means: incredible culture, majestic wildlife, and jaw-dropping landscapes—all experienced from the comfort of an ice-class expedition vessel.

12:45 pm – 1:30 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

99 Ways to Cut Your Travel Costs – Without Skimping

Russell Hannon, Ultra-Economical Travel Expert

Known for wowing TV and radio audiences with untold budget travel tips, Ultra-Economical Travel Expert Russell Hannon from breakthetravelbarrier.com offers 99 ways to quickly and easily find the best and least expensive travel options for you. No matter what your travel type is, or where you want to go, you will leave with dozens of practical tips and tricks you can put to work right away to save.

Fiji - Travel Expos

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Destination Theater

A Fijian Warrior’s Guide to Happiness

Ruth Daly, Regional Director Tourism Fiji

Discover why the Fijian people are some of the Happiest on Earth, based on the philosophies of a Fijian warrior, and learn how Happiness will find you on your next trip to Fiji!

Angel Castellanos Celebrity Travel Expert - Travel Shows

1:45 pm – 2:30 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

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

2:15 pm – 2:45 pm
Destination Theater

Beyond the Cruise: The Inside Scoop on Alaska Adventures

Marsha Barton, 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.

Ralph Velasco Travel Show Speaker

2:45 pm – 3:30 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.

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Destination Theater

Great Tips on How to Book Your Perfect Italian Vacation

Angelo Carotenuto, Founder and Co-Owner of LivItaly Tours

Meet Angelo Carotenuto, top-rated tour guide of Italy since 2005 and founder of LivItaly Tours, to learn about Italy’s most famous stereotypes… food, culture, music, art, fashion, Ferrari, nature, soccer, and wine. Find ways to experience them all on your next Italian vacation. Tips on ways to explore Italy, book with the best tour operators, quality-check, and the ability to come back with awesome memories for you and your loved ones.

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.

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm
Destination Theater

Visit East Asia: Japan, Korea, & China

Aki Kadomatsu, Marketing Coordinator, Japan National Tourism Organization
Christopher Mora, Marketing Coordinator, Korea Tourism Organization
Evan Chan, Marketing Manager, China National Tourist Office

Join the tourism offices of Japan, Korea, and China for an informational seminar on the highlights of these great travel destinations. Come learn about the exceptional food, historical & modern cultures, unique activities, beautiful natural landscapes, and the abundance of attractions that are bringing an exponential number of travelers to these East Asian countries! All three tourism offices are indispensable resources for travel trade professionals, meeting planners, and consumers. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to get tips on the ultimate must-see’s and must do’s!

Wanderlust and Lipstick - Travel Expos

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Essential Tips for Women and Men Travelers

Beth Whitman, Founder and Editor of Wanderlust and Lipstick Wander Tours

So many women (and men) are feeling more empowered than ever to live life to the fullest and take on new adventures. No matter the destination, travel can be the most rewarding experience of your life. Join seasoned travel pro, Beth Whitman, and learn her secrets to: making your travels safe; making the most of your budget; overcoming language barriers; journeying alone without being lonely; packing light and more.

This talk is sponsored by LOWA Boots.

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Destination Theater

Explore the Nine Islands of the Azores and Their Unparalleled Beauty

Zeto Carvalho, Station Manager, Azores Airlines, Grupo SATA

If you’re looking for an enriching trip which you will never forget, the Azores are your destination. Join me to learn about the customs, traditions, nature, culture, and gastronomy of the nine Azores islands… S. Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, Pico, Graciosa, Faial, S. Jorge, Corvo and Flores.

Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, its idyllic landscapes grant these islands with a unique mystique. The past isolation of the archipelago together with the different origins of its first inhabitants give the Azorean islands a rich cultural diversity, which makes each island a new world waiting to be explored. In the Azores you will find landscapes of unparalleled beauty, monuments carved in stone expelled by volcanoes, museums that will take you back in time, animals unique in the world, a gastronomy stuffed of intense flavors and people who will receive you with arms wide open. All the necessary ingredients for a dream trip.

Sunday, February 18

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

11:30 am – 12 Noon
Destination Theater

Turn Your Passion for Travel into a Successful Business

Anita Pagliasso and Richard Earls, Travel Professional Academy Co-Founders

Do you love helping friends and relatives with their travel plans?  Why not get paid for your advice?  Come hear how you can join the wonderful world of travel from Travel Industry Leaders, Anita Pagliasso and Richard Earls, Co-Founders of Travel Professional Academy.

The choices are yours!  Be your own boss, set your own hours, the freedom to work from home, or while traveling!  With decades of training thousands of successful travel agents, these experts will share their best advice on what it takes to build a successful travel business, including the “business side” of the “travel business”.

Gerry van der Walk - Travel Expert Speaker

11:30 am – 12:15 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Myths and Misconceptions of Travelling in Africa for a Wildlife Safari

Gerry van der Walt, Co-Founder of Wild Eye, Private & Specialist Guide, Public Speaker, Wildlife Photographer

Africa is without a doubt one of the world’s most diverse wildlife and nature destinations but there are still many myths and misconceptions around traveling to this beautiful continent. Is it safe to go on safari? Can you drink the water and eat the food? What about accommodation? Do animals really walk around in the streets and do they attack?

Errors and generalizations around African travel are rife, and perpetuated both by the media and by popular culture.   With so many fallacies about African travel, it’s often hard to get a true and honest insight about a safari to a place that is as complex as it is beautiful.

In this presentation Gerry van der Walt will share their African safari experiences from both a guide and guest point of view to give you a better understanding of what you can expect when you finally go on that African trip that will change the way you see the world!

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
Destination Theater

Iran, an Unexpected Destination

Sadra Azimi, Iran Travel and Tourism Consultant, Hayahoo Tours

With the dramatic increase in the number of foreign travelers in Iran, the country is quickly joining traveler’s lists of must-see destinations. Come learn what makes Iran one of the most singular, intriguing, and exciting travel destinations. Q&A will follow our presentation.

Angel Castellanos Celebrity Travel Expert - Travel Shows

12:45 pm – 1:30 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

Tour Thailand - Travel & Tourist Expo

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Destination Theater

Open to the New Shades of Thailand

Candy Krajangsri, Marketing and PR Executive, the Tourism Authority of Thailand Los Angeles Office

Our session will provide information about Thailand through a new set of lenses, uncovering the undiscovered and touching on interesting new elements in both familiar and new places.

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

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

99 Ways to Cut Your Travel Costs – Without Skimping

Russell Hannon, Ultra-Economical Travel Expert

Known for wowing TV and radio audiences with untold budget travel tips, Ultra-Economical Travel Expert Russell Hannon from breakthetravelbarrier.com offers 99 ways to quickly and easily find the best and least expensive travel options for you. No matter what your travel type is, or where you want to go, you will leave with dozens of practical tips and tricks you can put to work right away to save.

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Destination Theater

The Best American Road Trips and What to See Along the Way

Margaret Littman, Author, Moon Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip
Ian Anderson, Author, Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip
Stuart Thornton, Author, Moon California Road Trip
Carolyn B. Heller, Author, Moon Vancouver & Canadian Rockies Road Trip

The Great American Road Trip is one of the country’s most vibrant traditions—the open road, the diverse beauty of the American landscape, and the discovery of the country’s regional culture and cuisines. Also included is a West Coast Canadian road trip, whose beauty matches that of its American counterparts. Join our panel of road trippers to learn where to experience the historic, quirky, and unique soul of North America. Attendees will be entertained and informed by our experts’ firsthand stories, while they learn the best American road trip routes and what to see along the way.

Fuel up for your next road trip on us! We’re giving away Peet’s Coffee & Tea gift cards to the first 40 attendees, and will be raffling off a special road trip prize pack after our author panel.
Pauline Frommer Celebrity Travel Expert

2:45 pm – 3:45 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

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Matchmaking with Cruise Planners

Julianne McDermott, Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, 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!

Israel - Travel and Adventures Shows

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Destination Theater

Israel: Land of Creation

Richard Liverance, ThM, DMin, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Marketing Director, Western Region USA

As the Land of Creation, Israel connects us to the origin of all things and inspires us with creative hope for the future. Strategically located in the center of the world, Israel is a land-bridge, connecting Europe, Africa, and Asia. As such, it is a land steeped in a history that has defined human civilization the world over. Israel is also a land of wonder. It is the place where heaven reached down to touch the earth and faith and redemption were born. The stories forged in Israel that the entire world has come to know have changed people and nations and inspired countless works of art, music, literature, speech, science, and valor for thousands of years; and today, Israel’s technological innovation, diverse culture, and ongoing adventure captivate millions of visitors every year. We invite you to come join the adventure.