Top 5 list of 2012 travel locations in the world

If you have travel plans for 2012, you might want to change them after reading these recommendations from L.A. Travel & Adventure Show‘s, happening this weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center, star guests. Check out the lists from Andrew Zimmern, Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer and Patricia Schultz.

Andrew Zimmern, Travel Channel host of Bizarre Foods recommends the following for traveling foodies:

  • Barcelona, Spain: “Barcelona offers a remarkable depth and breadth of eateries. The best in Spanish cuisine is well represented here.”
  • Montreal, Quebec: “It’s a city with more culinary balls than any other on earth. Classic eats, street fare, indulgent, boozy, chef-driven, extreme cuisine.”
  • Aleppo, Syria: “This former Spice Route capitol was the world’s greatest food city a thousand years ago and is still one today. Paved with ancient pathways, it’s perfect blend of Middle East and North Africa.”
  • Venice, Italy: “It’s the perfect walking city, dark and brooding at night, hidden and mysterious, and the food is once again on par with the town itself.”
  • Taipei, Taiwan: “I love Chinese cuisine, maybe above all else. The night market in Taipei offers what is perhaps the best street eats on the planet narrowly beating out Penang’s New Lane and Singapore’s hawker stalls.”

Andrew will be speaking 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM on Saturday and 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM on Sunday.

Samantha Brown, the ever-popular host of the Travel Channel’s Passport Series, names the following stellar destinations to get your passport stamped (with two domestic exception):

  • Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Salt Lake City’s Ski Country, Utah
  • Berlin, Germany
  • And last but not least: Portsmouth, NH (There’s no place like Samantha’s hometown.)

Samantha will be speaking 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM on Saturday and 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM on Sunday.

Pauline Frommer, author of Pauline Frommer Guidebooks, began traveling before she could talk with her father Arthur, and eventually got into the family business. She’s also a Lowell Thomas Award recipient for her magazine columns. Her Top 5 budget destinations are:

  • Las Vegas: A plethora of oft-empty hotel rooms means accommodations go for as little as $50 on the Strip. Plus, tourists can find great discounts on shows and meals when crowds are thin in Sin City.
  • Guatemala: To celebrate the “end of the world,” Guatemala is setting up a trail through the country that will introduce visitors to Mayan culture. And as always, cheap meals, transportation and housing are easy to come by.
  • Poland: Unlike other EU countries, Poland’s currency exchange rate is in our favor: a whopping 3½ zloty to the dollar. Plus, it’s fascinating yet not touristy.
  • China: It’s possible to get first class tours for as little as $899 including airfare (from San Francisco) for an 8 night tour to Beijing and Shanghai.
  • India: It’s always been one of the cheaper countries to visit, but the rupee is currently at an all-time low, which is great for tourists. Not to mention, India’s vibrant culture makes for the trip of a lifetime.

Pauline will be speaking 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM on Saturday.

Patricia Schultz
penned 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (both global and North America editions) and hosted a show on the Travel Channel of the same name. Her Top 5 emphasizes experience over specific destination:

  • Go on an African safari
  • Rent an apartment for a week, or a villa for a month
  • Explore your roots
  • Go anywhere in Southeast Asia
  • Visit Cuba, now that restrictions have been lifted

Patricia will be speaking 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM on Saturday and 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM on Sunday.

L.A. Travel & Adventure Show is hosted at the Long Beach Convention Center on January 14 to 15 from 10 AM to 5 PM each day. $10 at the door, $7 if purchased online with code: LAPR.

Photo: Shilin Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan

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