Speaker Stages

America’s Favorite Travel Shows Have America’s Most Comprehensive Education 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, Peter Greenberg and Jack Maxwell 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 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

Italia Il Bel Paese

Audrey De Monte, Travels with Audrey

First time to Italy? when you think about a visit to Italy, there is usually a list of “must-see” sites. Many restrict themselves to the country’s star cities, but with me and my team you will discover there is more to Italy than Michelangelo’s masterpieces and Roman ruins. We carefully crafted the perfect tour for you to see and experience the best Italy has to offer with exclusive experiences, from major must-see attractions while taking you beyond the beaten path. With so much to see and discover, this vacation to Italy is going to take your breath away. This tour offers an inspiring introduction to the best of Italy, not only for its museums, cities and monuments but also for its fantastic food, wine, culture and people.

10:30 am – 11:15 am
Savvy Traveler Theater

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders

Ella Morton, Associate Editor and Co-Author, Atlas Obscura

Join Ella Morton for a tour of the most astonishing and curious travel locations across the world. When Morton set out to write Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders with co-authors Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras, their goal was to create a catalog of all the places, people, and things that inspire our sense of wonder (after all, when you can buy a plane ticket and be in Borneo in less than a day, the world can feel awfully small). The extraordinary result is an utterly unique guide that shares over 700 of the most unusual, fascinating, and mysterious bucket-list destinations across all eight continents. From the secret apartment, Gustave Eiffel built high atop the Eiffel Tower, to the spectacular New Zealand caves lit by glowworms, to the World’s Quietest Room, each entry in the book includes location information, GPS coordinates, and tips on when and how best to get there—and how much to bribe the guard to get you inside. An arresting cabinet of curiosities that inspires wonderlust as much as wanderlust, Atlas Obscura proves that the world is vast and there are marvelous treasures behind every corner—if you just know where to look.

Peter Greenberg Travel Celebrity - Travel Shows

10:45 am – 11:45 am
Travel Theater

Travel in A Time of Disruption

Peter Greenberg, Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor

How and where to travel in a year of global uncertainty, instability, economic upheaval – and great opportunity. The ultimate road warriors guide to when, where and how to go just about anywhere.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

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Angel Castellanos Celebrity Travel Expert - Travel Shows

11:00 am – 11:30 am
Destination Theater

Rediscovering Cuba

David Culver, Anchor, NBC News4 Today
Angel Castellanos, Travel Ambassador, AngelsTravelLounge.com

David’s dream of visiting Cuba dates back to his childhood. Born into a Cuban American household, he’d always heard stories of the majesty that lay just 90 miles from Florida. In April 2015, he travelled to Cuba with his mother and grandmother, their first time back since fleeing in 1961. David documented the emotional travels in a NEWS4 Special entitled, REDISCOVERING CUBA: A Journey Home, which aired June 2015. Since that first trip David has traveled five more times to the island nation as a journalist, covering everything from the flag raising at the newly reopened U.S. Embassy to the funeral of Fidel Castro. When David is not covering Cuba, his focus is on northern Virginia. He also anchors News4 Today Saturday edition. 

11:45 am – 12:30 pm
Destination Theater

Cruises – One Size Does Not Fit All!

Laura Blanco, Director of Sales, Cruise Planners

Join Cruise Planners’ panel to hear from the industry’s most recognized cruise brands and learn which one is the ideal option for your next vacation. From sailing the seven seas, to exploring European cities via river to enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime exotic cruise, there are so many options and your full-service advisor is your key for selecting the right fit.

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

How I Traveled to Every Country in the World and Tales from the Journey

Lee Abbamonte, Youngest American to Visit Every Country in the World, Entrepreneur, TV Personality & Contributing Editor for Men’s Fitness

Come hear about how and why Lee traveled to every country in the world and some cool stories and lessons he learned along the way including a slideshow. Plus, he’ll talk about what he does now and how he turned his accomplishment into a full-time job for more than a decade.

Samantha Brown Celebrity Travel Speaker

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Travel Theater

Travel Smart: Lessons Learned from A Life Lived on the Road

Samantha Brown, Travel Channel Host

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm
Destination Theater

The Best Kept Adventure Secret in North America is 90 Minutes North of Montreal: Eeyou Istchee Baie-James

Victoria Crowe, Marketing Agent, Eeyou Istchee Tourism

The boreal landscape of ancient rocks, immense rivers and pristine lakes stretches 380 miles, south to north, along the eastern seacoast of James Bay, then inland another 380 miles. About the same size in area as Germany, this easily accessible Canadian wilderness is home to three distinct cultures: 1) Ndooheenou – the Cree of Eastern James Bay; 2) Inuit and 3) Jamesians – predominantly French-speaking non-aboriginal residents. Known as Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, the region is just a 90-minute direct-flight from Montreal. The close proximity of the road accessible region enables adventure travelers from DC to escape like never before to the real North for a weekend getaway.

Angel Castellanos Celebrity Travel Expert - Travel Shows

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Smart & Pack Right

Angel Castellanos, Travel Ambassador, AngelsTravelLounge.com

Angel Castellanos, The Travel Ambassador, delivers his popular and acclaimed “Travel Smart” seminar drawing from his experience and frequent travels. This informative presentation prepares travelers for each step of the journey (including packing!). Angel will give his favorite travel tips on packing smart, safety & security, 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 smarter. Join us for this insightful and dynamic presentation. Travel smart, well and often! www.AngelsTravelLounge.com

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Destination Theater

Explore the best of the Islands of The Bahamas: Book unique experiences for every lifestyle.

Dornell Watson-Dean, Senior Manager, Business Development / USA Sales & Marketing The Bahamas Tourist Office, Washington DC
Vandia Sands, Marketing Representative, The Bahamas Tourist Office, Washington DC

With more than 700 islands and cays, sapphire blue skies, turquoise water and white and pink sand beaches, The Bahamas is a multi-island destination, providing unique experiences suited for every lifestyle. In this presentation, representatives from the Bahamas Tourist Office will share the latest promotions and unique itineraries as well as highlight the versatility of adventures, activities, and properties throughout the Islands of The Bahamas that make us an ideal destination for all types of travelers. For travel professionals, we will also share how to give you the edge to increase your bookings to The Islands of The Bahamas.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Travel Theater

The World in A Glass

Jack Maxwell, Host of Booze Traveler on Travel Channel

Celebrating cultures through the lens of a cocktail glass.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

2:15 pm – 2:45 pm
Destination Theater

How to Visit All Three USVI’s in One Vacation

Shana Lettsome Whyte, Regional Manager, Mid-Atlantic for the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

Discover how to have a perfect Caribbean vacation, seeing all three U.S. Virgin Islands in one visit. There are a total of three US Virgin Islands to explore, and all are relatively close in proximity, so you can experience each island during your vacation.

Ralph Velasco Travel Show Speaker

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

A Guide to Better Travel Photography

Ralph Velasco, Travel Photography Instructor, Author and International Guide, CEO, PhotoEnrichment Adventures

Travel photography instructor, author and international guide Ralph Velasco has organized and led more than 60 cultural tours, with a focus on photography, around the world. 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.

Ralph will also 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 and easy-to-implement tips and concepts, he’ll be using images from his recent trips to India, Romania, Vietnam, Lapland, Iceland, Spain, Tuscany, the Adriatic, the Baltics, Morocco, Cuba, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Cambodia, and more.

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Destination Theater

Discovering Uncharted Waters

Brittany Riley, Director of Marketing

Explore the affordable luxury of an all-inclusive by the cabin or private yacht charter.

Pauline Frommer Celebrity Travel Expert

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Travel Theater

See More, Spend Less: How to Travel in 2017

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

Get more out of your vacation, whether you’re a luxury lover or a backpacker. Pauline Frommer offers straight-shooting tips and tricks for getting the best deals on airfares, accommodations, cruises and attractions. She’ll count down the hottest destinations of the year, alongside those that give the best value for the dollar, and discuss the new trends that will be shaping the way you travel. 

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm
Savy Traveler Theater

LGBT Travel: Tours, Cruises, Events and Destinations for 2017

Ed Salvato, Editor in Chief, ManAboutWorld Magazine
Robert Sharp, Owner OUT Adventures
Zach Moses, Vice president and head of virtual tourism, HE Travel
Troy Petenbrink, Freelance Travel Journalist
Jeff Guaracino, Freelance writer and Author

Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel. Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. The panel has collectively been on all seven continents and over 200 countries as out gay and lesbian travelers. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

3:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Destination Theater

Relax and Retire in the Natural Beauty of North Carolina

Andre Nabors, Partner Relations Manager, Visit North Carolina

Andre will elaborate on the multitude of options for visitors to enjoy the great vacation and retirement areas that North Carolina has to showcase.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Destination Theater

Climbing Kilimanjaro for the 40th Time and Still Fantastic!

Macon Dunnagan, Tanzanian Honorary Tourism Ambassador, to the U.S., Zara Tours

Macon Dunnagan of Charlotte NC has climbed Kilimanjaro with Zara Tours 40 times. Come and listen to a presentation on the overview of the routes up Kilimanjaro and find out what it takes to climb this Fabled Tanzanian Volcano . There will be a question and answer period after.

Peter Greenberg Travel Celebrity - Travel Shows

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Travel Theater

Travel in A Time of Disruption

Peter Greenberg, Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor

How and where to travel in a year of global uncertainty, instability, economic upheaval – and great opportunity. The ultimate road warriors guide to when, where and how to go just about anywhere.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

Tour Thailand - Travel & Tourist Expo

11:30 am – 12 Noon
Destination Theater

Amazing Thailand – Discover Thainess

Steve Johnson, Marketing Manager, Tourism Authority of Thailand – New York Office

What can Thailand offer you? Join us at the Amazing Thailand – Discover Thainess session to find out! Thailand is an exotic destination that will satisfy any traveler’s full palate of senses. Essential ingredients begin with gourmet Thai cuisine; spectacular islands with beautiful, clean, clear beaches; gorgeous scenery; and sensual spas. Enhancing all of the above is a wide selection of some of the world’s best hotels, resorts and boutique hotels, offering serenity, elegance and unsurpassed service to complete your unforgettable experience. With five distinct geographical regions, there is more than one way to customize your trip. Join us at the Amazing Thailand – Discover Thainess session and learn more about Thailand!

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

Cruises – One Size Does Not Fit All!

Laura Blanco, Director of Sales, Cruise Planners

Join Cruise Planners’ panel to hear from the industry’s most recognized cruise brands and learn which one is the ideal option for your next vacation. From sailing the seven seas, to exploring European cities via river to enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime exotic cruise, there are so many options and your full-service advisor is your key for selecting the right fit.

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12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
Destination Theater

Beyond the Cruise: The Inside Scoop on Alaska Adventures

Jara Haas, CSTP Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage

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 your Alaska adventure is waiting for you.

Angel Castellanos Celebrity Travel Expert - Travel Shows

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Smarter & Better with Technology

Angel Castellanos, Travel Ambassador, AngelsTravelLounge.com

Do you want to use your iPhone 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. This informative and popular presentation prepares travelers (step-by-step) so they can confidently use their mobile devices while traveling. By attending this talk, you will be able to communicate effectively while on the road just like a temporary local and without breaking the bank. Angel will also cover the best travel apps to enhance your travels! No matter your level of experience, you are bound to come away with great advice and helpful apps to help you travel smarter with your technology. Join us for this insightful and dynamic presentation. Travel often and well! www.AngelsTravelLounge.com

Samantha Brown Celebrity Travel Speaker

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Travel Theater

Travel Smart: Lessons Learned from A Life Lived on the Road

Samantha Brown, Travel Channel Host

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Destination Theater

Debunking Myths About Group Travel

Joni Taisey, Brand & Partnerships Manager, Intrepid Travel

What does small group adventure travel actually mean? I’ll address some of the most commonly held misconceptions about small group travel and give you the facts that you need to know to make a decision that’s best for you and your next adventure.

Ralph Velasco Travel Show Speaker

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1:30 pm – 2:15 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

A Guide to Better Travel Photography

Ralph Velasco, Travel Photography Instructor, Author and International Guide, CEO, PhotoEnrichment Adventures

Travel photography instructor, author and international guide Ralph Velasco has organized and led more than 60 cultural tours, with a focus on photography, around the world. 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.

Ralph will also 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 and easy-to-implement tips and concepts, he’ll be using images from his recent trips to India, Romania, Vietnam, Lapland, Iceland, Spain, Tuscany, the Adriatic, the Baltics, Morocco, Cuba, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Cambodia, and more.

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2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Destination Theater

Israel: Land of Creation – a Timeless Adventure

Chad Martin, Director, Northeast Region, Israel Ministry of Tourism

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

Patricia Schultz Travel Author - Travel Shows
1000 Places To See Before You Die - Travel Shows

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Travel Theater

1,000 Places to See In the United States and Canada Before You Die

Patricia Schultz, Bestselling Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the USA & Canada Before You Die

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

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2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Saving Money on Family Travel Without Sacrificing the Fun

Maggie Miller, Owner, Family Finds Fun

Join Maggie for a lively discussion focusing on…Tips for travel with kids; how to save on dining out or eating in the room; what to pack; advance planning tips; how to look for the best discounts; driving versus flying and rewards programs for travelers – Do they work, what can I get and is it worth it?

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2:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Destination Theater

Choose Your Own Adventure: How to Have Fun and Stay Safe Overseas

Moderator: Andrea Sachs, Washington Post Travel Writer
Panelists: Brenda Saunders Sprague, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services Bureau of Consular Affairs
Ed Salvato, Editor in Chief, ManAboutWorld magazine

There are countless possibilities when it comes to international travel. How do you know if you are making the right choices when it comes to your overseas travel plans? The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs and travel experts will explore various scenarios that can happen to you while planning your international trip or while traveling abroad, helping you stay informed and prepare for the unexpected while adventuring overseas.  Presented by:  U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.