The Destinations Show 2020
*I was invited to attend The Destinations Show
One of the highlights in a traveller’s calendar is The Destinations Show. Perfectly timed for the start of the year, when most of the flight sales are still operating and that first pay day of the year is on the horizon, The Destinations Show will provide that travel inspiration and will fuel some wanderlust.
In London for its 27th year, the show is on 30 January – 2 February 2020, however, there is also a show in Manchester preceding such dates. The dates will vary each year and so up to date details can always be obtained from The Destinations Travel Show website.
Where to start? At Olympia, there are some useful maps located within the main brochure, but it may be preferable to organise your day in advance as there is a lot to see! The website, from which the tickets can be purchased, helpfully contains a list of the daily schedules which are richly filled with presentations, masterclasses and demonstrations. Therefore, in between perusing the various travel stands, it might be an ideal opportunity to listen to one of the presentations to break up the day.
The photography masterclasses, with sessions ranging from an introduction to photography to capturing photographs of wildlife, attract an additional fee, which is £30 for this year’s exhibition. There is still the possibility to pay for such masterclasses on entry.
It would be quite easy to spend an entire day at The Destinations Show on the basis of its programme as there are over 75 travel agencies in attendance as well as tour companies, tourist boards and experts such as The Sunday Times Wine Club and MASTA Ltd. As such, it is recommended to arrive with a good pair of walking shoes although the various stages for the presentations do provide that opportunity for a rest with seating areas.
On the day that I attended, there was a wine tasting session hosted by Will Lyons from The Sunday Times Wine Club and so I certainly gravitated towards the Taste the World stage for that presentation.
There were three wine samples provided from different regions including a grenache and even some port! The session had a good ambience and was an ideal opportunity to sample different wines as well as learning about the various grape varieties involved in the production.
Another enjoyable presentation was from travel writer Kash Bhattacharya about hostels around the world. It seems that there are now some luxurious hostels available for travels which differ to the shared dormitories that may be commonly known.
Dom Joly was also in attendance that day discussing Lebanon on the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival.
The show also provides the opportunity to discover some of the up and coming destinations and so there were stands with resorts in Romania and also those for some of the smaller Caribbean islands such as Anguilla. It is the ideal moment to book a holiday as discounts can be obtained on the day.
The wine tasting theme continued with a visit to the Shawbury Wine stand. Starting with champagne by Shaman 16 and progressing through Prosecco, Malbec, Sancerre and Black Doktor, which was a sweet red wine, the knowledgeable Paul Barter provided a journey through wine.
The wines are sold by the case as an ideal present for those forthcoming special occasions.
One of the additions for this year was that of the Travel Smarter stage where there were experts and travel influencers advising of ways to combat jetlag as well as how to live the life of a digital nomad.
The Destinations Show is always an enjoyable day out and very useful as a source of travel inspiration.
Have you ever visited The Destinations Show? Have you booked a holiday whilst at The Destinations Show? Let me know in the comments below.