1/9/18

What you Should Know about the 2018 AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO in Columbus


By on 1/09/2018 12:45:00 PM

Okay, Columbus, Ohio, who is ready for Spring Break?  Summer Vacation?  Yeah.  After the past week's subzero temperatures in Central Ohio--with a few snow days thrown in for the kids--we are ready to plan those warm weather trips away from our little corner of the world!  The Great Vacations Travel EXPO is an awesome event, sponsored by AAA, that visits Columbus every winter to help us plan the year's upcoming vacations and getaways.  This year, The AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO is scheduled for January 19-21, 2018--and has a ton of activities and vendors on hand to help us plan (or dream) of upcoming travels.  What should you know about the 2018 AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO in Columbus, Ohio?  

Photo Credit
Families should plan to attend on Kids Day.  While the weekend event is family friendly every day--there are always extra fun activities and surprises for the kids on the official Kids Day of The Great Vacations Travel EXPO.  This year, Kids Day is on Saturday, January 20.  While parents are meeting with over 200 travel exhibitors and experts and planning family adventures--the kids can:

Visit with animals from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Photo:  Courtesy Weirick Communications
Enjoy a special appearance by Josh Gates from the Travel Channel's Expedition Unknown--who will be on hand to share his adventures and even sign autographs during his appearance.   

Photo:  Courtesy Weirick Communications
See Darley Newman, from PBS’ Travels with Darley, who shares valuable travel tips (including seeking out local guides during travel) and will be available for autographs after her presentation.

Photo:  Courtesy Weirick Communications

Participate in the Passport for Prizes adventure game.  To participate (and maybe win the grand prize:  a Hocking Hills family weekend trip valued at more than $1500) families must collect stamps from exhibitors throughout the expo and enter their passport as directed at the EXPO. 

Explore The Great Outdoors area presented by the Columbus Metro Parks where families can explore a woodland setting and talk with a park naturalist.
 
Check the 2018 AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO schedule for Kids Day event times and details--as well as the schedule for the entire weekend.
    
Plan to Spend Some Visiting the 2018 AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO Exhibitors.  The EXPO features over 200 travel-themed exhibitors in different zones highlighting regional destinations, so visitors can quickly and easily find the ideal getaway for their interests, lifestyle, and budget. EXPO visitors will also have exclusive access to EXPO-only deals (which may need to be booked AT the EXPO.)


Photo:  Courtesy Weirick Communications

 Special attractions at this year's EXPO include:
·   Ohio Amish Experience: A brand new exhibit featuring the rich and intriguing culture and sites of the world’s largest Amish population
·   Vacation Marketplace: featuring hundreds of the world’s top travel destinations
·   Paradise Pavilion: with information and deals on warm, tropical vacations and resorts throughout the Caribbean and Mexico
·   AAA Explore Store: Packed with FREE guidebooks, maps, brochures and travel gear
· AAA Travel Stage Presented by Royal Caribbean: Appearances, live entertainment, events and workshops led by leading travel experts and well-known celebrities
· The Great Outdoors, presented by Metro Parks: A large, lush, living landscape where guests will be inspired by outdoor experiences
 
Bring a Calendar and a Form of Payment if you may be Ready to Book a Travel EXPO Deal.  As I said, many of the exhibitors offer special discounts and travel deals available only during the 2018 AAA Great Vacations Travel EXPO.  You can check out some of those offers here.  If you think you may be ready to book a trip--do some research online before heading to the EXPO--and then plan to have a calendar ready with a credit card or a form of payment to finalize your travel plans if an EXPO deal is too good to pass up!

Explore the Food & Dining Options.  When traveling with kids--even across town--you have to eat.  Often.  While visitors do have access to food options at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, visitors are also minutes from The Arena District (my favorite), German Village (also my favorite), The Short North (umm..also my favorite), and The North Market (probably...umm..my favorite)! Okay.  I love Columbus food--I can't really pick a favorite spot near the Convention Center! Have a snack or two at the EXPO--but, if you are from out of town, I would encourage EXPO visitors to visit the city of Columbus while you are here.

Plan with Directions and Parking.  Visitors should plan to pay to park to attend the expo--either on streets nearby or in nearby parking garages.  Parking within a reasonable walk is generally not a problem--but, expect to walk a little bit to pay less. You can get easy directions and parking information on the Convention Center's website

Plan Ahead for Ticket Information and Hours of the EXPO.   The 2018 Great Vacations Travel EXPO, presented by AAA, opens Friday, January 19 and runs through Sunday, January 21, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Downtown Columbus. Hours are Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets are $8 at the door or at any AAA Ohio Auto Club store. AAA members who show their AAA card receive 50 percent off admission. Children ages 16 and under are admitted at no charge.

Learn more about the Event Featured Here:
Visit the 2018 AAA Great Vacations EXPO Website
Check out the 2018 Great Vacations EXPO event schedule.
Learn about The Greater Columbus Convention Center
Explore the City of Columbus, Ohio
Visit AAA

About Angela

Angela is a freelance travel writer and lifestyle blogger, blessed with 3 beautiful daughters, 5 moody cats, 1 spoiled dog, and 1 very supportive husband.

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