Sights and sounds of the New York Times Travel Show

The New York Times Travel Show is still bustling today at the Javits Center until 5:00 pm, with lots of sweepstakes, giveaways, performances, travel ideas, and free cheese (thanks, Vermont!). I worked the DK booth on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, talking to people about where they were planning to travel in 2014, and pinning their locations on a map.

Here's my pin on the Florida Keys, where Matt and I are headed in July. This was early in the show -- Cuba and the Keys were starting to fill up with travelers' pins by the time I left the show yesterday.

Here’s my pin on the Florida Keys, where Matt and I are headed in July. This was early in the show — Cuba and the Keys were starting to fill up with travelers’ pins by the time I left the show yesterday.

My coworker pins our planned business trip to Vegas for the ALA summer conference.

Jules pins our planned business trip to Vegas for the ALA summer conference.

By the end of my shift on Saturday, Europe was the clear winner. Lots of people are headed to Italy and the UK.

By the end of my shift on Saturday, Europe was the clear winner. Lots of people are headed to Italy and the UK.

My favorite part about being an exhibitor at the travel show is talking to people about where they’ve traveled. One man lamented that he couldn’t place his pin in our map because he was going to the South Pole on a government expedition — he ended up putting his pin just under the map, which led to fantastic conversations with anyone who I saw looking at it, puzzled. Kids stopped by with their parents to pin where they were going on vacation (everywhere from Aruba to Australia to Cape Verde), then stopped by later in the show to make sure their pin was still there.

When I did get to wander around as a consumer, I was both surprised and thrilled at the level of engagement the booths are providing this year. There’s a silent auction for charity, lots of food and drinks, even a rock wall for the kids to climb in the adventure section. Here’s a sampling of the sights and sounds of the show:

A man carving a sand castle at the Atlantic City booth

A man carving a sandcastle at the Atlantic City booth. Just before I saw him doing this, he had stopped by the DK booth looking for chocolate, prompting the only time in my life I will ever say the sentence, “The chocolate man is carving a sandcastle in Atlantic City.”

The Mexico booth hosted a mariachi band on Friday evening.

The Mexico booth hosted a mariachi band on Friday evening which gathered a good crowd.

And speaking of music, there was a steel-drum band at the St. Kitts booth right behind DK on Saturday, which led to some unintended dancing on my part…

I love the vibrancy of this show, and all the traveling it inspires.

A brightly colored pillar at the South Africa booth caught my eye from across the pavilion.

A brightly colored pillar at the South Africa booth caught my eye from across the pavilion.

Another shot from the DK booth, this time of the jacket image on our Rough Guide to Central America.

Another shot from the DK booth, this time of the jacket image on our Rough Guide to Central America.

This guy was hanging out at China's booth...

This guy was hanging out at China’s booth…

...probably planning to grab after-show drinks with his much-photographed cohort over in the Arctic.

…probably planning to grab after-show drinks with his much-photographed cohort over in the Arctic.

This gentleman from South Korea and I danced a bit on Saturday afternoon.

My new friend from South Korea and I danced a bit on Saturday afternoon.

I hope this woman nonchalantly running from a flamingo swarm at the Bahamas booth was able to escape.

I hope this woman running from a flamingo swarm at the Bahamas booth was able to escape.

And, of course, my favorite view from the Javits at the end of a long day of work…

The outside world!

The outside world!

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