Chances are, you’ve seen travel expert Samantha Brown on television—her adventures have taken her to some 220 cities in 49 countries, much of it documented in her work for the Travel Channel. We recently sat down with Samantha to find out some of her tips and tricks on traveling safe, stress-free & comfortably.
Q&A with Samantha Brown
Q: Why is travel comfort important to you?
SB: A scratchy top, ill-fitting pants, uncomfortable shoes—even on a dream trip, bad clothes can ruin your day.
Q: What’s one carry-on must-pack item that you count on for in-flight comfort?
SB: A long, silky-soft scarf I can wear around my neck or shoulders for warmth, wrap around an airplane pillow or even stretch out as a blanket, if need be.
Q: What’s the key to transatlantic comfort?
SB: Luxuriously soft clothing, an eye mask that works (test this before you go) and slipper-soft socks. Oh, and a great moisturizer.
Q: What is your strategy for staying safe while traveling?
SB: Always having an awareness of my surroundings. I dress appropriately for the area I’m in so I don’t draw unnecessary attention.
Q: What’s a trick you always use to keep your passport safe?
SB: I take a picture of my passport with my phone, and then the passport stays in the hotel safe. Plus, I only bring one credit card to limit the hassle if my wallet is stolen. The rest stay in the safe, as well.
Q: Do you have any pre-flight antidotes?
SB: I always do a pre-flight check. Before my bag is whisked away at check-in I always make sure the correct airport code and flight number are printed on the baggage tag. It’s my last chance to notice if there’s a human or computer error—and to ensure that my bags and I end up in the same place.
Q: How do you make the airport experience less stressful?
SB: Leave plenty of time: Just do that and 90% of anxiety goes away. So how much is plenty? Most airlines would say it’s 90 minutes before your departure time for a domestic flight, and I agree. Another tactic in time management is to think of the boarding time as the mark to hit, not the departure time. This is usually 30 minutes before a flight leaves, and will give you some built-in breathing room.
Travel Tips from a Pro
Learn how Samantha makes long distance trips more comfortable.
How to Beat Jet Leg
To combat the physical and mental effects of jet lag, I always abstain from caffeine two days before I leave. No tea, coffee or soda. This way, all the caffeine is out of my system. When I arrive in the country and start to feel like a bag of cement, I head to the nearest cafe and order a double espresso. It hits my system and turns into jet fuel.
Airport Upgrades I Love
Many airports are adding long-overdue innovations and upgrades that save you time and make you feel like you can relax and enjoy your journey. Some of my favorites include:
• Sleeping pods & micro hotels
• Yoga & meditation rooms
• Smartphone charging lockers
• Smartphone boarding pass scanners
Don’t Leave Home Without…
People always ask me what I fly with. It’s all about comfort for me:
• Earplugs to block out noise on the plane and in the airport.
• My own tea to make sure I can form complete sentences.
• Hydrating spray to refresh my face.
• Eye mask so I can sleep on the plane.
• Melatonin so I can relax naturally.
• Fuzzy socks — enough said.
See more Travel Tips by Samantha at samantha-brown.com.