The recently held Washington, DC Travel and Adventure Show was host to many great travel speakers, including the effervescent Samantha Brown.
Samantha Brown, the host of several programs on the Travel Channel, spends more than 200 days traveling each year. In 2008, her adventures continued with the installment of two new Passport series: “Great Weekends” and “China.” Brown gave two presentations during the show packed with useful tips and information for any traveler.
Her presentations spanned a variety of topics, from staying healthy while traveling to some of the best places to get the most out of your travel budget. After her presentation, I had the opportunity to chat with Samantha for a few minutes.
LandLopers: Most of the attendees here at the Travel Show are looking for travel experiences, and not just sightseeing. What has been your worst travel experience?
Samantha Brown: The worst feeling while traveling is not feeling safe. The one time when I was truly scared was in Belize City. I was walking alone and suddenly a group of men approached, they started to surround me and it was just frightening. I got out of there and nothing bad happened, but it was a good travel lesson. As travelers we have to learn to pay attention to our instincts. When a situation doesn’t look or feel right, listen to your gut and get out of there.
LL: As travelers, some of our strongest memories are usually associated with food. Of all the places you’ve been, what is your favorite travel food memory?
SB: Hmm, it would have to be in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. I found this little place that had the best, freshest seafood anywhere. You never know what will be served, it’s just what they catch that day. I had barnacles deliciously prepared there, and who knew you could even eat them? I also had a outstanding ceviche that was so fresh and delicious. Anytime you combine local talent with great, fresh local food you can’t go wrong.
LL: Travel is more expensive than ever and the crisis in the Middle East is causing airfares to skyrocket. What are some ways we as budget travelers can still save money and what are your favorite budget, hidden travel jewels.
SB: The prices are awful now, but budget travelers can absolutely still save money. Once you get past the outrageous airfare, try to save money in other ways. Airbnb is a great website to find inexpensive, alternative lodgings. In fact, I’m using them for an upcoming trip to L.A. Also focus on areas of the world where your money will go further. Southeast Asia is always a great bet and Luang Prabong is one of my best budget travel tips. It’s a great city. Iceland is also a great travel destination right now, in light of their economic problems. Finally, London is under a lot of pressure to moderate their prices. It’s just so expensive for Americans to travel there, they have to lower hotel and restaurant prices in order to stay competitive.
To find out more about Samantha and her upcoming shows, visit her Travel Channel site.