"Our experiences and memories become part of who we are and last a lifetime." Samantha Brown
Samantha Brown in Florence, Italy
ET Interviews Samantha Brown
Samantha Brown in Interlaken, Switzerland
About Samantha Brown
Samantha Brown is an American television host, notable for her work as the host of several Travel Channel shows. Samantha’s fun-loving style has made her an engaging television personality whose approach is less expert, less host and more a person you would want to travel with. Over the last 13 years, Samantha has traveled around the world visiting more than 220 cities in 49 countries.
What would you say to reluctant cruisers?
People who are reluctant to cruise are usually fearful of having the feeling of being “stuck” on a ship with thousands of people you can’t escape from. On every cruise ship you will be able to find plenty of places: empty decks, hidden balconies, quiet bars where you have your own space. My advice is to always do a big tour of the entire ship when you first board to seek these places out. For more on cruising you can check out AARP’s Travel cruising tips.
I read that you enjoy traveling “off the beaten path.” What are your favorite places you have found you like best in Europe?
I really enjoy what I call “B” side cities. Remember records? There was the “A” side and “B” side. “A” side cities are the major capitols like Paris, London and Rome and “B” side cities are the smaller cities such Lyon, Bologna and Oxford. These cities pack the same cultural punch but aren’t as intimidatingly large so you can take your time and just enjoy every day life.
What are the top 5 things to remember or do before leaving the country?
1. Make sure you have your passport.
2. Take a picture with your smartphone of all credit cards and important documents. It’s easier to do damage control in case a wallet goes lost or stolen. Make sure your phone is password protected.
3. Print documents of hotel, car and plane confirmation pages so you always have a hard copy.
4. Re-confirm all reservations.
5. Make sure you have your passport.
If you only had one day to spend in Europe where would you go and why?
I would go back to Interlaken, Switzerland to ski. The last time I was there we only had time to look at the slopes. That was a painful experience—because I love to ski.
Samantha shares a beer with her mom.
What are your tips for traveling to a foreign country?
Always know how to say “hello,” “please” and “thank you” in that country’s language. Knowing how to be polite goes a VERY long way. Do not over pack. There’s no need to take more than three pairs of pants. And remember no one sees you more than once so you can wear the same outfit a couple of times. Create a ritual—choose one thing to do every day of your trip—an expresso at the same café, a rest at the same bench in a nearby park, a glass of wine at a nice bar. This gives you a chance to feel the ebb and flow of a place as well as allow yourself a time to be truly in the moment.
Why did you decide to become the AARP Travel Ambassador?
When I started traveling overseas to countries like Peru, Nicaragua, Cambodia for my job as a TV travel host, I wasn’t running into twenty-something year olds. Rather, I was running into people in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s who were redefining their lives through travel. They had the best life and travel advice so I was happy to become AARP’s Travel Ambassador and share my tips and love of travel as well.
How do you juggle being a mom and traveling so often for your work?
My husband holds down the fort very well, and I also have an amazing network of family and caregivers who help. But I wouldn’t be able to do this job without my mom who at 69 years old takes a bus from Maine to NYC to take care of 2 ½ year old twins! She should be AARP’s Travel Ambassador!
What do you like best about travel?
What I love most about travel is getting to enjoy everyday life in another part of the world.