It was the first time that we had attended the "Destinations" Travel Show at Earls Court. I had been lucky enough to win tickets from a recent competition featured on a recent Silver Traveller newsletter! We decided to visit on the opening day, Thu 31st Jan, as we thought it would be less busy than the weekend. It's very easy to get to from where we live (approx 40 mins by train/underground) and the venue is directly opposite the tube station at Earls Court. There were lots of interesting stands, some featuring people in national dress, a decorated "ambassador" car for tours in India, a yurt replica and some fantastic fruit & veg carvings on a Thailand stand (see photos). There were also talks and demonstrations at specific times. We enjoyed the belly dancing (well I did but think my husband was bored after the first 10 minutes!).
If you are into entering competitions as I am, there were plenty of "Prize Draws" to enter. The only downside is that as a result you will receive lots of emails and post but as the saying goes "You have to be in it to win it" ! Hopefully my name is on at least the holidays to Italy and Thailand! We spoke to a few of the experts manning the stalls. Though no one came close to the Silver Travel Advisor team for friendliness and expertise! The Canadian Train Travel team were particularly helpful and informative and have promised to email a quote following our enquiry. Although the majority of the stands were for info on specific places to travel to, there were others that related to travel e.g. Incognito mozzie repellant (of which I am a fan) and the Wanderlust/Independent Travel photo of the year exhibition. Since found out that we voted for the winning photo-so I could have won the camera prize! However I did feel that some were there on a very tenuous link to travel and more to do with making money from a captive audience in a happy "holiday" mood! I certainly couldn't understand the "Hot tubs" link to travel or indeed the stand demonstrating and selling “Eyebrow stencil” kits.
We ended up with about 8 brochures and 2 canvas bags but could have had many more. We decided to only take information on destinations that we really intend to visit and to be honest the Silver Travel bag is the only one to be seen with..ha ha!
There were a few freebies on offer as well as canvas bags, pens, the Cruise magazine and some food tasters for example. Discounts were also available if bookings were made on some holidays and also if you bought any products e.g. Incognito – which I took advantage of!
The venue is very spacious so it never felt crowded. There were many varieties of food on offer with plenty of seating and sufficient toilet facilities. Even if you are not considering a holiday abroad it’s a great day out and there are lots of UK holiday destinations to choose from too.
Our only regret is that we should have arrived an hour or so earlier and travelled back home avoiding the “rush hour”. Now all we need to do is win the lottery to fund our chosen holidays.