2013 Travel Show Celebrity Speakers
Make your next trip or trek more enjoyable by getting insights, tips and more from the people who know travel best. More speakers to be announced, so check back soon.
Bond is a popular travel blogger and award-winning author-editor of 12 books, including the bestseller “50 Best Girlfriend Getaways in North America,” “A Woman’s World,” and “Gutsy Women,” which landed her on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Bond has traveled to six continents and 90-plus countries. Her books and blog, GutsyTraveler.com, offer advice, inspiration, and valuable information regarding destinations around the world.
A photojournalist for 34 years and a Times staff photographer since 1983, Boster has covered presidential campaigns, the war in Kosovo, the 1984 Olympics, Super Bowls, the World Series, the space shuttle disaster, Northridge Earthquake, Wildfires, and Hurricane Katrina. His recent project “Four Seasons of Yosemite” is now a book with a foreword by Robert Redford.
Based in Los Angeles, Chaplin documents all things delicious on GastronomyBlog.com. Her writing and photography have appeared in numerous publications including Saveur Magazine, National Geographic, and Condé Nast Traveller. Her first book, “The Food Lovers Guide to Los Angeles,” will be published by Globe Pequot Press in July 2013. Follow her bite-by-bite on Instagram and Twitter at @GastronomyBlog.
Travel journalist and TV personality, Julia is co-host of “Word Travels,” and a featured travel expert for MSN Travel. She hosted the online travel series, “Destination Getaway,” for MSNBC. Her nationally syndicated column, “Travel Junkie,” appeared weekly in newspapers across Canada and in Metro International newspaper. Julia pushes the boundaries of travel writing, backpacking solo through off-the-beaten path locations in search of adventure.
John “Johnny Jet” DiScala
Featured in USA Today, Fortune and The New York Times, DiScala has appeared on ABC, CBS AND CNN, among others, and hosted “Hot Spots 2012” on the Travel Channel. His website was named “one of the top best money-saving websites for travel” by Budget Travel Magazine. The L.A. Times calls it “one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the Internet.”
A Times writer and editor, Erskine is best known for his columns, Man of the House and Fan of the House. He is also the author of the best-selling book, “Surviving Suburbia,” a collection of his columns from The Times, and “Man of the House,” a collection of essays on life in suburban America. He is a popular host and speaker at charity events.
Classically trained in French cuisine, Finley was named The Next Food Network Star in 2007, but gave it up to travel through France with her family researching imperiled regional food traditions for her memoir, “How to Eat a Small Country.” A regular contributor to Bon Appétit, her writing and recipes have also appeared in Good Housekeeping and People. Learn more at www.howtoeatasmallcountry.com.
Frommer’s first travel guide, “Europe on $5 a Day,” was published in 1957. Today, Frommer’s travel guides consist of more than 340 titles reaching more than 6 million travelers each year, covering every major destination in the world. Frommer’s has also developed a major Web presence and over a dozen types of guidebooks to suit every type of traveler, from budget to deluxe.
Host of the hit Syfy series “Destination Truth,” Gates’ adventures have taken him to nearly 100 countries and on sub-sea archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, sailed to Antarctica, and took part in the first ever overnight filming in the infamous tomb of King Tut. His bestselling book, “Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter,” was published in 2011.
Jonathan is a Los Angeles Times restaurant critic and author of Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles. Previously, he was a restaurant critic for the L.A. Weekly and Los Angeles, Gourmet and California magazines. Jonathan has won seven James Beard Awards for his reviews and in 2007 was the first food writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for criticism.
Catharine Hamm has been part of the Los Angeles Times Travel section since 1999, serving as travel editor since 2003. She launched the “On the Spot” travel consumer column early in 2007, and it now appears in newspapers and on websites across the country. Since Hamm has been editor, The Times Travel section has won the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation top honor for newspapers, circulation more than 350,000, three times.
Hansen writes two blogs: www.EatMx.com, devoted to Mexican food and travel, and www.TableConversation.com dealing with all aspects of food, wine and travel. Her five books include "Cooking California Style," "Good Bread," and "Mexican Cookery." Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and Saveur Magazine. She also writes and takes photos for Squid Ink, the food blog of LA Weekly.
Dylan James Ho
Best known for his blog, Eat, Drink & Be Merry, Ho has contributed photos to Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, AFAR and SAVEUR magazines. He has also appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” Ho and his wife, Jeni, have traveled to more than 23 countries. See where wanderlust takes him next at @eeddbbmm on Instagram.
A travel blogger and consultant, Kelly is founder of The Points Guy, a website where he shares his extensive knowledge of frequent flyer miles and travel points systems. He has been featured in the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler and the Los Angeles Times, and on CNN and “The Today Show.” He also dishes out his signature tips and advice via Twitter.
Host of the Emmy-winning TV show “The Amazing Race” and author of the best-selling book, “No Opportunity Wasted,” Phil has co-created/co-produced a number of original TV series including “Short Sport” and “Keoghan’s Heroes.” In 2009, he kicked off a cross-country cycle ride to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, filmed and later released as a feature length documentary called “The Ride.”
Kurokawa is a doctor whose dedication to humanitarian medical work has taken her to locations around the world – from the bushes of war-torn Liberia to the epicenter of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake. Based in Los Angeles with a second home in Tokyo, she pours her passion for food and travel into her blog, Tomostyle, and documents her adventures on Twitter and Instagram as @DrTomostyle.
Lee’s cookbook, “Seoultown Kitchen,” was named one of the most notable cookbooks in 2011 by the New York Times. A top authority on Korean food, her playful approach to cooking has landed her on The Nate Berkus Show, Fox Morning News and Martha Stewart Living, as well as on the pages of Sunset magazine, Los Angeles magazine, Zagat, and Urban Daddy, among others.
Leo writes the nationally syndicated Web Buzz column for the Los Angeles Times, blogs for CNTraveler.com, and writes kid-friendly hotel reviews for PoshBrood.com. You can hear her weekly co-hosting the podcast “This Week in Travel,” available on iTunes. Outside of Jen’s travel life, she co-founded BestKidsApps.com, a website that reviews children’s iPhone and iPad apps.
In just two years, Malarkey has opened five wildly successful restaurant concepts in San Diego including Searsucker, named Time magazine’s #2 hottest restaurant in the country. He has hosted and guest starred in TV series on TLC, Travel Channel, Bravo, and OWN. In early 2013, he’ll join ABC’s new cooking competition show, “The Taste.” He is the author of “Come Early, Stay Late.”
As the youngest of fifteen kids, Martin spent many hours in his mother’s busy kitchen in Downey, California. Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, he has become a personal chef to celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Martin lives in the South Bay of Los Angeles with his wife, Teena, and son, Jackson.
Maxa, aka “the Savvy Traveler,” is the popular host and executive producer of public television’s “Smart Travels” and “Rudy Maxa’s World,” and a frequent guest on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, “The View,” and other national TV shows. His work as a reporter and columnist at The Washington Post was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and his television shows have won three regional Emmy awards.
An editor-at-large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, Andrew McCarthy is also an actor, having appeared in more than two-dozen films. In 2010, he was named “Travel Journalist of the Year” by The Society of American Travel Writers and, in 2011, received four North American Travel Journalist Awards including the “Grand Prize.” Free Press recently published his memoir, “The Longest Way Home.” two dozen films including “Pretty in Pink,” “Less Than Zero” and “The Joy Luck Club.”
Public affairs manager and spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, Melendez has served in the administration of President George W. Bush as public affairs special assistant at the Department of Transportation and at the Department of Homeland Security. His military awards include a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy Achievement Medals and several other unit and campaign awards.
Moore has covered the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris for The Times, and interviewed style-world leaders from Rachel Zoe to Tom Ford. She has been The Times’ fashion critic since 2004, and helped launch the weekly Image section as one of its founding editors. She writes for Image and its All the Rage blog, as well as The Envelope.
Mycoskie is the founder of TOMS and the One for One idea, which has turned into a global movement. TOMS has given over two million pairs of new shoes to children in need and has recently expanded to include TOMS Eyewear, helping to save and restore sight for those in need. His book, “Start Something That Matters,” became a New York Times bestseller in 2011.
A California native, Reynolds has spent two decades writing about travel, the outdoors, arts and culture for The Times. In the last two years, he has climbed Machu Picchu (for the third time), cycled through London and down a Hawaiian volcano, traced the path of the old Pony Express, and jumped (with rope attached) from the tallest building in Soweto, South Africa.
Host of the hit Cooking Channel series “United Tastes of America,” Saad is a skilled chef who has created and contributed to many successful restaurants including San Francisco’s Sweet Heat, Pasta Pomodoro and The Grove. His cookbook, “Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders” takes the reader on a culinary trip around the world—no passport required!
Travelzoo’s Senior Editor Gabe Saglie is a leading expert on travel deals, travel tips and trends. He has appeared on dozens of highly-rated national and local news programs including CNN, NBC’s Today Show, CNBC’s On the Money, ABCNewsNow and Meredith Corporation’s Better TV.
Stern is technology editor for ABC News where she leads the coverage of technology news and hosts “Tech This Out,” a series about new tech products, apps and trends. Before joining ABC, she helped launch The Verge, a technology news and reviews website. She has written about technology for The New York Times, Gizmodo and Engadget. Her particular focus is on mobile technology.
Host and writer of the popular public television series “Rick Steves’ Europe” and best-selling author of over 50 European travel books, Rick encourages Americans to travel as “temporary locals.” He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe — and Europeans — for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.
Star of History’s “American Pickers,” one of the top three shows on all of cable TV and the series that started a whole new programming genre, “artifactual entertainment.” Wolfe also co-authored the best-selling book, “American Pickers’ Guide to Picking.” His website, KidPickers.com, sets the stage for his new book, “Kid Pickers,” to be published this spring.
Join Wildlife Experience for their Wild World live animal presentation featuring some of nature’s most magnificent animals from across the globe. Founded by conservationist Beverly Critcher, Wildlife Experience is a non-profit dedicated to wildlife conservation through community education. Its nature programs and field conservation projects aim to conserve wildlife and the habitats in which they live by encouraging and empowering people to become responsible stewards of our natural world.