Travel Trends 2019

Travel Trends 2019

The recent New York Times Travel Show drew record crowds and participation: more than 32,000 attendees visited over 560 exhibitor booths and cultural displays representing 107 countries from across the globe. An annual weekend event, this public show packs in plenty of travel tips and inspiration to keep your wanderlust fulfilled far into the future. Here are some of the major takeaways and travel trends gleaned from the show’s industry seminars hosted at Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Convention Center:

New York Times Travel Show

What are the top destinations in the U.S.?
Not many surprises here, but plenty to put on your bucket list: Hawaii, Honolulu, Florida Keys, New York City, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Hilton Head, and Austin *

Top international destinations?
London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence, Barcelona, Dublin, Amsterdam, Madrid and Toronto *

Top hotel brands?
Hilton, Marriott, Holiday Inn, Hyatt *

Have children, will travel
Thirty-one percent of all trips taken include children. And, their opinions count! Among these traveling families, 77 percent say that their children influence the planning and 68 percent say their kids pick the destination. So, listen to those little ones.*

Heading to the U.K.?
Plan your trip around popular events like Glasgow’s Celtic Festival, a winter music festival featuring artists from around the globe and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. For the sports minded, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will square off at London Stadium in June — the series is part of a two-year plan to play across the pond. **

Bound for Berlin?
November 9th marks the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Events focusing on the history of division, the struggle for freedom, and the process of reunification will occur throughout the year. **

New York Times Travel ShowFancy a trip to France?
June 6th marks the start of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy, with plenty of opportunities to celebrate peace, liberty, and reconciliation. Plan a trip to follow in the footsteps of the “Greatest Generation.”**

Original Eats
No matter where you go, get off the beaten track and take the road less traveled to unique or off the radar restaurants — not just what’s featured on social media. A few gems: Al Pompiere and La Taverna dei Fori Imperiale in Rome and the Bras Group of restaurants in France. In Venice head to the islands of Lido or Burano to dine. In Amalfi, visit the bathhouse/restaurant at Fornillo Beach, located just outside of more populated Positano. **

Ready for a river cruise?
AmaWaterways is adding a new larger ship to its Danube cruises. And, their new itinerary in Portugal’s Douro Valley will bring you up close to this region, famous for its wine tasting. +

Big on Bleisure
More and more people are blending business with leisure activities on business trips. Piggybacking on a business trip itinerary can help save you money and time and is the best reward for your hard work.+

Small is BIG
Small cruise ships can visit smaller ports and take you to unique destinations. These itineraries also feature more intimate excursions often with VIP access or after hours visits that are blissfully crowd free providing for an experiential and meaningful vacation. +

New York Times Travel ShowThere’s an app for that
Technology can improve the guest experience by creating moments of delight and helping travelers use time more efficiently. The AmaWaterways app sends picture postcards home and keeps track of ports and last-minute itinerary changes. The Princess Cruise app is the new “walkie talkie” – it keeps families in touch while on board. (Plus, you can even order a pizza and have it delivered to your cabin!) The MY TSA app tracks airport security lines (And, check out their entertaining Instagram for pics of outrageous items found in carry-on luggage). But, while on tours, put the phone away, turn off devices, and take time to meet the people around you. This is the time to soak up experiences and escape from life’s fast pace.+

What matters most? Travel!
People give up on other things before they will give up on travel. Collect experiences, not things. We all want to escape the harsh realities of life and travel is just the ticket.+

And the most important takeaway of the Travel Show?
Travel Agents will save you time! Click here to see why.

Need help putting together your bucket-list trip or dream vacation?
Email me:, and find out about upgrades, special amenities, and VIP service for Herricks Travel American Express/Altour customers.

SMART PHONE SUBSCRIBERS: to view this complete article online and read my previous articles, use this link:

To become a SUBSCRIBER and receive all of my latest articles right to your inbox, look for the “subscribe to this blog by email” box and then respond to the follow-up email.

For more information on my trip planning services, please click HERE.

Herricks Travel American Express/Altour

*Data provided by James Shillinglaw, Insider Travel Report
**Data provided by Kier Matthews, Classic Vacations; Celina Tavares, Tourismo de Portugal; Wanda Radetti, VisitCroatia; Elizabeth Minchilli, EatItaly App
+Data provided by James Shillinglaw, Insider Travel Report; Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruises; Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways; Jenniver Tombaugh, Tauck; Jackie Freedman, Nexion Travel; Lindsey Uuberroth, Preferred Hotels
Header photo courtesy of Valentin Antonucci; all others courtesy of New York Times Travel Show


New York Times Travel Show 2018

New York Times Travel Show 2018

New York Times Travel ShowMy recent article, Smart Traveler Tips, helped put you on the inside track of stress-free travel. For more travel advice, consider attending the upcoming New York Times Travel Show, January 27-28, 2018, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center located on Manhattan’s Westside.

Now in its 15th year, this annual event will put you in touch with over 550 exhibitors from more than 170 destinations — no passport required! Attend an educational seminar and you will come away with globe-trotting tips from experts in the travel industry. Bring the kids – there’s plenty for them to explore at the Family Pavilion: food tastings, cultural displays, and musical performances.

New York Times Travel Show

Need help putting together your bucket-list trip, dream vacation, or winter escape? Email me:, and find out about upgrades, special amenities, and VIP service for Herricks Travel American Express/Altour customers.

SMART PHONE SUBSCRIBERS: to view this complete article online and read my previous articles, use this link:

To become a SUBSCRIBER and receive all of my latest articles right to your inbox, look for the “subscribe to this blog by email” box and then respond to the follow-up email.

For more information on my trip planning services, please click here.

Herricks Travel American Express/Altour

NY Travels: Discovery Times Square “Art of the Brick” Exhibit

“Art nurtures the brain. Whether made from clay, paint, wood or a modern-day toy.”

During a recent day-trip into Manhattan, my husband, our two sons, and I seized the opportunity to visit Discovery Times Square’s current exhibit, “The Art of the Brick.” My boys’ love of all things LEGO has resulted in my basement becoming a shrine to this popular, Danish, brick, construction toy. Naturally, we were very eager to visit the exhibit, which showcases artist Nathan Sawaya’s critically acclaimed collection of beautiful works of art made exclusively from LEGO bricks.

The artwork is inspiring, but so is the artist’s story. Before you enter, you watch a brief film that describes his life: “When I was a lawyer I quickly came to realize I was more comfortable sitting on the floor creating sculptures than I was sitting in a boardroom negotiating contracts. My own personal conflicts and fears, coupled with a deep desire for overall happiness, paved the way to becoming a full-time working artist,” explains Sawaya.

We wandered through the two-floor exhibit space marveling at the artist’s handiwork. Famous masterpieces as well as original works of art are entirely represented in colorful bricks. Next to each piece of artwork is a plaque that explains the historical context of the artwork as well as how Sawaya selected the specific LEGO’s to create the piece. It is amazing to see how he has fashioned the fold of a robe, the roundness of a shoulder, or a brushstroke of paint, with only rectangular and square shaped pieces as his medium. You can’t help but smile in amazement as you admire his skills.  From Vermeer to Van Gogh, and Whistler to Warhol, he tackles each piece with passion and flair.

At the end of the exhibit, there is a place where you can write your name on a LEGO brick and add it to a growing, free-form sculpture. When the New York show concludes, Nathan Sawaya will take apart the sculpture and create a new one-of-a-kind sculpture of his own, to be displayed at future exhibits. Any extra bricks that he doesn’t use will be donated to charity.

Whether you enjoy building with LEGOs or not, this is a must-see exhibit for children (and adults) of all ages. With a limited run, try to get there soon. (Check his website below for future exhibit locations in the U.S. and abroad).  Discovery Times Square is conveniently located on 44th between 7th and 8th Avenues, so combine it with other family-friendly, midtown stops like the Times Square Museum & Visitor’s Center, Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center, the Bryant Park Carousel, the Sony Wonder Technology Lab (an amazing hands-on exhibit), or an overnight stay at the New York Marriott Marquis, just one block away.

You will definitely come away from the exhibit inspired, with a life-lesson to boot — as artist Nathan Sawaya simply states, “Dreams are built, one brick at a time.”

Nathan Sawaya

An Easter Island LEGO Moai Sculpture


Nathan Sawaya

LEGO Nefertiti, wife of Pharaoh

Nathan Sawaya

This life-size yellow figure reveals a heart filled with LEGO’s

Nathan Sawaya

A portrait of the artist’s girlfriend

Nathan Sawaya

A close-up of the eye of the portrait reveals the square LEGO bricks

Nathan Sawaya

I added my LEGO to the growing free-form sculpture, soon to become a new Nathan Sawaya-built creation

Nathan Sawaya

Thousands of people added their bricks to the sculpture

For more information:

“Art of the Brick” ticket information

Future Nathan Sawaya “Art of the Brick” exhibits 

Times Square Alliance

Guide to Midtown Manhattan

Stay tuned for my next post: Vancouver: British Columbia’s West Coast Wonder

unique family traveler

Ready to book a trip? Email me at Herricks Travel American Express