Travel expos can be incredibly exciting places. You can meet some of the industry’s most prominent travel agencies and representatives, many of whom will have some truly incredible resorts or destinations to show off. Indeed, going to a travel expo can be so exciting that you might find it overwhelming; it’s hard to know exactly where to start or what to do when you get there. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got some top travel expo tips to help you on your way. Here are 12 things you should consider if you’re going out to a travel expo!
1. Pace yourself
The first and most important rule of a travel expo is to make sure you pace yourself. These events can be overwhelming, and there can be an incredible amount of stuff to see and do. Don’t try to take it all in at once. Take your time moving around the expo and seeing all the things it has to offer. If it’s a multi-day event, don’t think you have to see everything you need to on day one, either; why not come back for a second day?
2. Bring plenty to eat and drink
Many travel expos will allow you to bring in your own food and drink. If you’re going to one that does, just make sure you’ve got enough to last you throughout the day. Don’t just bring sugary snacks and unhealthy junk food, either. You need food that’s going to sustain you while you move between the stalls, so bring fruit or slow-release carbs to help you make it through the day.
3. Be savvy
Since many of the exhibitions at a travel expo will be looking to get your money from you – be that in pre-booking form for air tickets or as a holiday booking – you should know when to spend and when not to. This is one of the most important travel expo tips we can give you: don’t spend if you don’t feel ready to. Don’t ever let someone pressure you into spending money at a travel expo.
4. Do research beforehand
Whichever event you’re heading to, it’s a good idea to do some research before you get there. Having the lay of the land – knowing roughly what’s going to be on display there and which companies or representatives you want to talk to – will help you immeasurably. Travel expos can feel like labyrinthine places, so make sure you’re equipped before you head in!
5. Be COVID-safe
Despite many countries around the world lifting COVID restrictions, the virus hasn’t gone away. It’s still important to make sure you’re COVID-safe when you go to an expo. Check the individual expo’s restrictions and requirements; they may require you to wear a mask, so if they do, bring one. In addition, make regular use of the hand sanitiser stations (if there are any), and don’t linger too long in the same area.
6. Bring your travel bucket list
There’s nothing more frustrating than heading out to a travel expo, only to realise you forgot to enquire about a destination. Go to the expo fully equipped with your travel bucket list so you can spot a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when you see one. Look specifically for companies offering travel to these destinations; that way, you’ve got a good starting point when you get to the expo.
7. Get there early
Most travel expos are nightmares to get into once the day is underway. It’s definitely a good idea to arrive as early as you possibly can and start queueing before the majority of attendees get there. The earlier you can secure your spot in the queue, the quicker you can get to the destinations and companies you most want to talk to. Nobody wants to wait in line for hours just for all the good stuff to be gone!
8. Book leave in advance
Naturally, you won’t be able to book leave for your holiday in advance, because you won’t necessarily know where you want to go until you go to the travel expo. However, you can definitely book leave for the expo itself. Give yourself a couple of days around the expo if you can; if you’re staying in a hotel or in accommodation nearby, you might need a day or two to get acclimatised.
9. Go with a group
Whether it’s the friends you’ll be travelling with or just a quickly-assembled support group, make sure you’ve got people to go with. A travel expo is a much easier place to understand and conquer if you go with multiple others. That way, you can send your group to different areas of the expo, and get them to report back with deals they’ve found. Everyone wins!
10. If you need to, leave
Sometimes, the sheer number of people at a travel expo – as well as the fact that, if it’s indoors, the air can be stifling – will make you want to leave as quickly as you can. If that’s what you need to do, then do it. Inform your group that you need some fresh air, and head outside to take a breather. You can always go back in, and the expo itself isn’t going anywhere.
11. Don’t forget to have fun
It can be easy to forget that you’re at a travel expo to scout out locations where you can relax and chill out. All too often, these expos become stressful nightmare scenarios, so it’s important to pace yourself and remember to have fun. Chat with the expo staff, make time to go to booths you might not otherwise have visited, and treat it more like a day out than an obligation.
12. Try to go to multiple expos
All the best deals are never going to be under one roof when it comes to travel expos. If you can, try to schedule time to go to more than one; that way, you can see as many booths, representatives, and agents as you can fit into that time, and you’re not missing out on potential deals just because you only went to one expo. It’ll pay off in the long term!