At airports she feels “like a teenager in a mall.”

By Peter Schlesinger
May 26, 2015
Credit: Kevin J. O’Leary

Longtime poster girl for the Travel Channel, Samantha Brown is returning to the network with two new shows next fall. Before she returns to the screen, we caught up with her in Brooklyn to learn a little more about the professional roamer:

She loves freebies

“In the US you can pay $100 and get all the amenities. And brands like Kimpton or Embassy Suites have cocktail hours with wine and cheese. I feel like whether budget or luxury, hotels have been doing a better job of making the customer feel comfortable at that level.”

She loves airports

“I feel at home, like a teenager in a mall. They’re becoming regionalized and enjoyable places to be with farm-to-table restaurants. Even LaGuardia is getting better!”

She hates airplanes

“As soon as you get on the plane, it’s like ‘ugh.’ It’s been a race to the bottom—unless you’re in the front of the plane or have loyalty status.”

But she sleeps well on flights

“I love melatonin. I call him Tony.”

She’s an architecture buff

“I love when you see an architect or architectural movement really take shape and define a city. Art Deco in South Beach; Gaudi in Barcelona. Calatrava is my favorite.”

She got lost in Atlanta

“Really lost. Crying lost. It was 2 a.m. and I got on the airport train in the wrong direction. After taking escalators that were four stories tall I found myself totally alone in the international terminal. There weren’t any signs and I couldn’t find the exit.”

She’s got an easy tip to avoid the crowds

“Tourists just want to cross things off the list—they stick to one area, thank goodness for them. Just walk in one direction, a few blocks even, and it’s really easy to escape. (A prime example was Badaling, at the Great Wall of China. We walked ten minutes in the other direction and all of a sudden had the place to ourselves.)”

She’s not a Yelper

“I’m a luddite. Don’t look at Yelp reviews; ask the person next to you—take the media out of social media and just talk to people about travel.” —As told to Peter Schlesinger