Articles and ads for vacations are fine for tickling your fancy, but nothing beats the opportunity to get face-to-face with the people who can make it happen.
That's why this time of year brings travel shows -- your opportunity to get answers, suggestions and tips from those in the know.
Coming up fast:
Jan. 31: Meet Arthur and Pauline Frommer (above), the creators of Frommer's Travel Guides, at 7 p.m. at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road. They'll discuss their new line of Easy Guides and offer some top travel destinations for 2014.
Feb. 1: Mann Travels’ annual travel and cruise show will be 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St. Mann specialists from nine area locations will be there to help consumers sort out vacation deals. There will be reps from the major cruise lines, resorts and tourism boards; interactive exhibits; Hawaiian dancers and entertainment from Radio Disney. Seminars will be offered in four theaters. Admission: free. Details: www.manntravels.com.
Feb. 6-9: The Mid-Atlantic Boat Show returns to Charlotte for its 42nd year. Exhibitors at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., will be displaying a variety of pleasure boats, as well as equipment for water skiing and fishing, swimwear, docks and lifts and real estate. Hours: noon-9 p.m. Feb. 6-9 (Thursday and Friday) 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Feb. 8 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 9. Admission: $9; $8 for military and for 60 and older; $5 for ages 6-12. Details: www.midatlanticboatshow.com