COLUMBUS — Looking for information on your next big vacation, or want to see your hometown on display for thousands of potential visitors? The world’s top travel companies and destinations will be on display at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus for the 12th annual AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo this Friday-Sunday Feb. 7-9 — and the destinations will include Preble County.
Travel professionals and future vacationers will pack Kasich Hall, offering tips, trips and discounts for travelers seeking everything from close-to-home escapes to exotic dream vacations.
Dozens of travel professionals from destinations near and far will give visitors the opportunity to enter to win multi-day trips, overnight packages, tickets to attractions and excursions. Preble County will even be featured, as the PC Convention & Visitors Bureau puts the county on display during this weekend’s event in Columbus. This year, Preble County will be represented more than in the past, as the PCCVB is teaming up with the other two CVBs in the county — Hueston Woods and New Paris — to present an even bigger and better Preble County presence.
PCCVB Board members, New Paris CVB representatives and Hueston Woods CVB representatives will be on hand to represent the county and the attractions which make it a great place for a day trip — including a tour of the famous covered bridges, activities at Hueston Woods State Park, camping and snow tubing in New Paris, and more.
There will be opportunities for attendees to enter drawings for special day trips and overnight stays in Preble County, along with prize packages which include meals at some of the area’s hometown restaurants.
This weekend will also be highlighted by the release of the 2020 edition of the This is Preble County, Ohio Visitors’ Guide, produced by the Preble County Convention & Visitors Bureau with the help of The Register-Herald.
This one-stop-shop for everything related to travel will feature more than 150 exhibits, events, attractions and appearances, all aimed at helping travelers escape the doldrums of winter and plan their next getaway. Guests will have the opportunity to shop for every imaginable experience and accessory — from family road trips to European tours, cruises and even the most functional luggage.
Special events and attractions include:
• The Vacation Marketplace: Offering guests one-on-one access to the world’s top travel suppliers and experts. Travelers can talk one-on-one with the pros for inspiration and ideas to help them find and book the best trip for their budget and lifestyle.
• AAA Travel Stage: Featuring appearances by celebrities, travel experts and entertainment related to popular vacation destinations.
• Destination Showcase Theatre: Enabling guests to hear firsthand from the world’s top travel providers about vacations of a lifetime.
• AAA Explore Store packed with free guidebooks, maps, brochures and travel gear
• Paradise Pavilion: Giving guests special access to resorts throughout the Caribbean and Mexico, and helping families plan tropical escapes.
• Explore Hocking Hills: Providing insight into Ohio’s most diverse region, which offers everything from adventure-packed zip lines and outdoor explorations to pampering spas and fully-loaded luxury cabins.
• Ohio Amish Country: Offering a glimpse into Amish culture and the possibilities of a leisurely Amish Country getaway, filled with craft stores, down-home restaurants and cozy lodging.
• Road Trip Ready Zone: Enabling guests to speak with automotive and traffic safety experts to ensure their vehicle is ready to transport their family safely on their next road trip.
• Senior Day, Friday, Feb. 7: Travelers age 55 and older enjoy special programs and $2 off general and AAA-rate admission.
• Taste of the Place, Friday, Feb. 7: Guests can enjoy tasty samples of food and drink from destinations featured throughout the Expo.
• Kids Day, Saturday, Feb. 8: Families can visit booths throughout the Expo to get their “Passport to Prizes” stamped and be entered to win an unforgettable family vacation, while celebrity appearances and live performances entertain the whole family.
The AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo will take place Friday, Feb. 7, through Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Ohio Expo Center. Hours are Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door AAA members who show their AAA card receive 50 percent off admission. Children ages 16 and under are admitted free.
Additional event details are available at AAAGreatVacations.com.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.