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.

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 …

Cruise Tips: Keys to Smooth Sailing

I have 10 cruises under my belt – enough so that I’ve developed a protocol that helps me start enjoying myself as soon as I’m on board. Here’s what I do. I always bring a carry-on. That huge bag I packed might not be delivered to my room for hours (and I know it’ll have to be ready to go again the night before the cruise ends). In a carry-on, I’ll have the things I want to use immediately: swimsuit, …

Luxury Travel: To Spree or Not to Spree

Sometimes we want to indulge on a special vacation. We read “Zen-like ambience.” How peaceful. “Oasis.” Ah, yes. “Holistic therapy for body, mind and spirit.” How rejuvenating. But how do those eat-your-heart-out amenities really stack up? Couples massage? A butler-drawn bubble bath strewed with rose petals? An elegant seaside dinner served at a table right in the sand? Some luxuries are sure to please, and others … not so much. As a travel-show host I’ve been treated to just about every form of …