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Los Angeles Travel Show February 27, 2016

Los Angeles
Travel & Adventure Show at the Long Beach Convention Center.

How to Meet with Several Train Companies in One Day.

February 27, 2016

Photos and text by Carl Morrison,

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View of the convention floor from the Press Credentials room on 2nd floor.

Each year I go to the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show as a freelance writer/photographer and Field Reporter for 

One thing I look for are Tourist Trains who have booths at the show so I can plan trips to their venues for future reports for 

Another reason I go to the Travel Show is to hear updated travel information from well-known travel personalities such as Rick Steves, Samantha Brown, and Pauline Frommer.  The following are some notes and photos that I made during the Saturday which I attended.

Finally, in four months, my son, Matthew, and I are going on an "Amtrak USA Tour" circling the USA.  I wanted to look for things that related to that future trip and I found some!


Rick Steves (

Rick Steves kicked off the show with his 10:15 - 11:45 "Europe Through the Back Door" on the large Travel Theatre.

Because I watch Rick on PBS often, I chose to skip this year's presentation, with the same title as last year, and take the time to see the vendors that I had nighlighted on the exhibitor list that I had printed the previous evening.  After visiting Rick's website, I think this is the most valuable article for me:  "Rick's Packing List."

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The show always hires World Photo Booth to take free photos of attendees then e-mails the result to you as well as gives you a print.  I chose a Mexico background because it looked the most like Hawaii of the backgrounds available.  The towel is a prop they added.  This is a cleaver way of getting e-mail addresses of attendees.


Amtrak is always present with National Timetables, Amtrak Vacations brochures, and schedules of their long distance trains.

I need to find a way to put some of my eBook ads in some of their literature:

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You can link directly to to purchase my eBook on the Southwest Chief at:


Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel had a booth.  AAA was there as well (left).  Deni Kemper (center) is Regional Sales Manager - Southern California.

I have ridden the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, AZ, to the south rim of the Grand Canyon several times, but Deni suggested that I should do it again showing what's new.  AAA will help you set up a trip on the Amtrak Southwest Chief to get right to The Grand Canyon Railway and hotel.  My favorite package with GCRW is their 3-night package.  First night in their Williams, Arizona hotel, ride the train to the Grand Canyon the next day and stay overnight on the rim, and return the afternoon of the third day and stay that night back in Williams.  Either drive or take Amtrak to this great tourist train.


There was one of these GOSLEEP sleep mask/pillows in my Press Kit, thanks


The Travel Show has 4 stages.  This stage had belly dancers when I passed by.

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At the SAVVY Travel Theatre at noon was Angel Castelianos with his presentation:  "Travel Smart & Pack Right."  As you can see above, each presenter has many ways to see their information:  website, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.


Back to the Travel Theatre, I enjoyed Samantha Brown's talk:  "Travel Smart:  Lessons Learned From A Life Lived o the Road."


When she was announced, she came running out saying she had just put in a throat lozenge when she heard her name.  She was fighting a cold, but put on a fine show with slides.
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She is an animated speaker.  She talked about her 3-year-old twins.


She is on the Travel Channel, but I have not found her shows.

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Request a 52-page passport since pages cannot be added any more.

Other Notes from Samantha Brown's talk (typed during the talk on my iPad with ZAGG keyboard):

Two pillars of travel advice for a more personal travel experience - to make travel count

I.  Belong to the destination

    Emotional value of travel strengthens the bonds with friends and family

    Travel strengthens family bonds and a survey said, to children travel is more memorable than birthdays.  Travel allows your kids to see you as a kid.

    Travel is good for brain health (new experiences) and good for family and marriage.

    429 million vacation days go unused each year.  Project:Time Off

    Don't spend all your time in the past (museums)

    Go for a walk with no maps and no apps (Yeah right, at my age I do not think that is a good idea.)

    Take a walk on the side streets, off the main thoroughfares where you are only a purchaser

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II. Create a Ritual
    Go to the same coffee shop each day and turn your brain off
    Don't be burdened by time
    Talk to locals about where to eat and what to see
    Travel marks a fresh start.

Three things she always travels with:

    Earplugs (her noise cancelling headphones were stolen, she now used the Home Depot orange plugs)
    Pinky balls (at toy store) roll them on floor under your back
    Peanut butter (outside the US they don't know about peanut butter.)



You might find this site interesting for travel tips:

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Some exhibitors will try anything to get you into their booth.

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John Golicz: CEO, introduced Pauline Frommer

I enjoy Pauline's talks, different and updated each year.  She always starts with, "Most speakers tell you to turn off your phones, but I want you to turn them on and take photos of my slides so you do not have to write down all the sites I am referring to." 

Since I had my DSLR with me, I was able to capture a much better photo, then crop and straighten it.  I also sat directly in front of one of the two screens, rather than in front of the spakers, to get good shots of the slides.



2016 is a good year to travel everywhere abroad and gas prices are down for US travel.


Some current good flights.


When to book flights for the most savings.




If you are going to a country that has a local community here, use their agent (Hawaii or China or Japanese)




She believes River Cruising is oversaturated with companies.  Sometimes you have to climb across other boats to get to the dock.  They all use the same land guides, so select a cheaper river cruise line. Former bus tour clients are now river cruising so bus cruises are cheaper.


Road Scholar used to be Elder Hostel.  Elder Trek had a booth this year.


Where you volunteer, such as in a semi-orphanage in India teaching English.

This year is our National Parks' 100th anniversary so look for special activities within the parks.

2017 Canada Parks are free for their National Parks' 100th Anniversary


All her studies are on their family website

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I've asked for a couple of comped jackets for Matthew and me for our July "USA by Rail Tour".  One jacket has a consealed compartment for a hand gun called the "Enforcer."


Time for me to head home with my bag of freebies.  A photo of the outside of the convention center, behind me in the photo above, follows.  Do you like my "training pants"?  (Pants I wear on trains with pockets in front, not under my bum.)



An ad for 2017 Travel & Adventure Show, which will be in Los Angeles. I will take the Surfliner and subway to that one.


My eBook, "Photographing TRAINS  Vol. 1  Amtrak's Southwest Chief"

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