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What you missed at The New York Times Travel Show

It took me a little longer than anticipated to get caught up after coming back from The New York Times Travel Show. But things have settled down, and I want to tell you all about the premier travel show in the U.S.

Let’s get to the most exciting news first — the winners of our Kenya Safari Express tour, Taj Mahal Express tour, and Nikon S8100 digital camera.

When the show came to a close on Sunday, I randomly selected three names from the Friendly Planet Travel globe, where attendees dropped in their names. I pulled three names out, and I’m thrilled to announce that Katy C. Li was the winner of the Kenya Safari Express! Congrats Katy!

You’re going to love Africa’s sweeping vistas, teeming cities, and magnificent wildlife. To see more details about the trip Katy won, flip back to my previous post. We’re still trying to reach the other winners to claim their prize. So, check your e-mail and voice mail, as you might be one of our winners! When the winners do claim their prizes, we’ll announce them on the blog.

Thank you to all the travelers who stopped by our booth last weekend and to those who saw my presentation on the “Five Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend.” I’ll be posting the video of my presentation in the coming weeks in case you missed it.

I also want to say thank you to Stephanie Abrams, host of “Travel with Stephanie Abrams!” for having me on her radio show live from the Travel Show on Saturday. If you missed Stephanie’s broadcast, you can download episodes on her website.

The Friendly Planet Travel blogging team was on the ground at the Travel Show talking to travelers all weekend too. They even got a handful of attendees to take Friendly Planet Travel’s trivia quiz. Melissa, one of our bloggers, quizzed travelers all weekend. I’ll post the video soon so you can see how much these travelers know about the globe they love to trek.

We also got the opportunity to talk with Kate Appleton, Senior Editor of Budget Travel. Melissa talked to Kate about the state of airport security, her favorite destination (hint: it has a canal running through it), her thoughts on whether you should choose the better deal over the better value when booking a trip, and much more.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting videos from the show, so keep your eyes peeled to the blog. But if you can’t wait, here are a few photos we snapped from The New York Times Travel Show.

Friendly Planet Travel’s booth

Welcome! Attendees arrive at the Travel Show

A life-size passport making the rounds on the show floor

Hundreds of attendees entered to win our great giveaways

Dancers performing on one of the many stages

A South American band providing a soundtrack for attendees

And the winners of autographed Arthur Frommer travel guidebooks are …

Before we close the book on Friendly Planet Travel’s contest to win autographed Arthur Frommer travel guidebooks, I want to tell you who won! But before I reveal the names, let me refresh your memory on what’s at stake here.

When we were at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, we got the opportunity to interview Arthur and Pauline Frommer, two of the BIGGEST names in the travel industry. They were so gracious. Not only did they give us a few minutes of their time (when everyone wanted a few minutes of their time), but they also signed a few of their travel guidebooks for us.

Instead of keeping them all for myself, I bundled “Ask Arthur Frommer” and “Frommer’s Costa Rica 2011” together to give two sets away to two lucky Friendly Planet Travel readers. You then told me why you wanted to win these great (and autographed) books by commenting on the original post, and today we randomly selected two winners.

And the winners are … Kellie Cereola and Kelvin! Congratulations! Both of you will be receiving copies of the books signed by Arthur Frommer. We’ll be contacting you shortly to confirm your address to send you books. In case you didn’t see them the first time, here are photos of Arthur’s sig.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I loved reading all the comments and I’m so happy to see that like me, Arthur Frommer not only inspired you to travel, but has given you great travel advice along the way. I’d also like to thank Arthur again for talking with Friendly Planet Travel and autographing the books.

And if you didn’t win this time, don’t fret. I’ll be telling you how you can enter to win a copy of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” autographed by Patricia Schultz. And if there are any other travel writers you’d like to see us to feature on the blog, let me know in a comment.

Reflecting on the 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show

We had a great time at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show this past weekend, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. But first, let’s get to the most exciting news: The winners of our Taste of China tour, Taj Mahal Express tour, and Nikon S8100 digital camera.

On Sunday at 3:15 p.m., my special guest Corrine dug her hand into a fishbowl full of names and picked the three winners. For a trip for two on the Taste of China tour, we called out Larry Kleeman. Larry and his wife Wendy were in the crowd to accept their free trip!

Melissa, a Friendly Planet Travel blogger, interviewed them right after they got the news. I can’t put their excitement into words, so I’ll let them do it themselves. Watch the video below.

Congrats again Larry and Wendy! You’re going to have an amazing trip. We announced the winners of the Taj Mahal Express tour and the Nikon S8100 digital camera, but neither winner was there to accept their prize. So if you entered our drawing, check your e-mail and voice mail, we’re trying to reach you!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth to enter to win and who showed up to my presentations on Saturday and Sunday. It was gratifying to see the room fill up to standing room only. I hope every one of you took something valuable away from “7 Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend” and “How to Compare Travel Offers for the Best Value.”

And in case you missed it, we have the video! I’ll post it in the coming days. I wasn’t the only presenter at the show. I was in the amazing company of Arthur and Pauline Frommer, which was very exciting for me. After all, without Arthur Frommer’s “Europe on $5 a Day,” I might never have figured out that travel to the far corners of the world can be inexpensive as well as thrilling. Melissa interviewed Pauline and Arthur and got a few of their travel guidebooks autographed.

She also got a few minutes with Patricia Schultz, travel journalist and author of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” When I post the interviews, I’ll tell you how you can win autographed copies of the Frommer’s travel guidebooks as well as Patricia’s book.

P.J. Thomas, Founding Editor of Pathfinders Travel Magazine and Travel Journalist Reid Bramblett stopped by Friendly Planet Travel’s booth for quick interviews too. Thanks Pauline, Arthur, Patricia, P.J., Reid, and the dozens of attendees who spoke to the Friendly Planet Travel blogging team.

Our blogging team found out what travelers thought about the TSA’s new airport security measures, airline ticket prices, as well as their favorite piece of travel advice, the #1 item they need in their carry-on bag, and much more. You’ll hear all their answers and a few fun surprises in the videos that are coming soon.

Friendly Planet Travel had a great time at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show! Thanks again to everyone who attended. Stay in touch with the blog, videos and giveaways are on the way!

And the winners of our eight Space Bags TO GO are …

Time is up! Our Space Bags TO GO contest is over and I’ve randomly picked the winners. I could just type the names here in my post, but what fun is that? Melissa, a Friendly Planet blogger, grabbed her webcam and recorded herself drawing the names. Watch it now to see if you are one of the lucky winners!

Congrats to our winners! THANK YOU to everyone who submitted their best packing tip. I’ll be putting them together into one post to share with our readers, and hopefully make packing a little easier.

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About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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