Travel

Globetrotter Samantha Brown has visited 49 countries and 30 of the United states so far, and she aims to share the joy of seeing the world. She's an expert on the "must do's" of a destination, but her true passion is to focus on the people, their culture and the privilege of spending time in their everyday lives.

Getaway to the Water

When summer finally rolls around and you have some extra daylight on your hands, it’s a good time to escape to somewhere wet. It could be to a beach, lake, river or even a neighborhood pool. But my advice is to skip all the places everyone goes and try something new. Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, Mohawk, Mich. Plan an outdoor adventure on the stunning shores of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. You’ll  have access to the country’s largest lake and its stunning shore …

Tips for Smooth Trips

Just like anything else, traveling takes practice, patience and hard work. What do I do to make my trips as stress-free as possible? Here are a few of my battle-tested tips for a smooth journey. Have a plan Your plan is your best friend. Involve everyone participating during the planning stage so all will feel invested in the vacation. Try creating a planning folder (digital or real) and put everything in it. At AARP’s The Travel Experience (travel.aarp.org),  you can …

Cheap Travel Fixes for Winter Doldrums

Groundhog Day has come and gone. Winter’s still here. You’re paying holiday bills. Here are a few inexpensive ideas to keep you going until spring. Host a travel movie night The best way to save money is to stay home. How do you indulge your wanderlust from your living room? Rent a movie that transports you somewhere else. Invite a few friends and enjoy dinner and wine inspired by the movie’s locale. Here are some of my favorites. Research your …

Fights on Flights

Blanche DuBois may have always depended on the kindness of strangers, but it’s not an option on most airplanes these days. Manners at 30,000 feet are deteriorating, and strangers are starting mid-flight dustups over each others’ seats. You say you paid for a seat that reclines so why can’t you use what you paid for? Well, because it’s not that simple anymore. First of all, it’s not your imagination: The airlines have shrunk the seat you’re sitting in as well …

Tips for International Travel

Two back-to-back international trips this year — to Germany and South Africa — gave me a good reason to brush up on my world-traveler skills. Here are the main things I think about when I’m planning a trip abroad. Phoning home. How I am going to communicate? I mainly use Skype. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to make international calls. There are similar applications for phones, including Viber and WhatsApp, that allow you to text, call and send photos and …

Road Trips the Right Way

I love road trips. I’ve been crazy about them ever since the days when my parents loaded my two sisters and me into the Pontiac station wagon and went off to visit relatives or take a family vacation. On Sundays we would go for long family drives, and I always secretly wished my dad would aim the car toward the unknown and we’d be off on an unexpected adventure. Flying will never hold the anticipation and joy the highway does …