TRAVEL HERE: SAMANTHA BROWN VISITS DALLAS
My favorite speaker at the recent Dallas Travel & Adventure Show was Samantha Brown. That’s probably because she’s also my favorite travel personality. This was the second time I’d seen her live but I still got all giddy.
The exciting news was that she’s in the family way – twins in fact. One has to wonder whether she’ll start reporting on travel for families when her dynamic duo arrives.
One of the things I like about her is that she manages to keep her humble-person-seeing-the-world attitude in spite of the fame she’s garnered. Often when I read/view something by other travel authorities, I feel like what they say has nothing in common with my travel experience or priorities. I realize that the travel pros have a wide audience and that any many cases I’m not even the one they’re talking to – but with Samantha, I feel like she’s always talking to just me and I’m being generous by letting others listen in.
Samantha’s approach-ability was very apparent in the subject she chose to speak on at the show, “My Globalization of Mishaps.” She shared everything from her frustration with plastic covered soap to her broken nose in Marseilles.
Here’s the bits I liked best:
- Learn to say “please, thank you and hello” for whatever non-English speaking country you go to. That’s usually enough to earn points with the natives. She tried one of those language tapes on her first trip to France, but ended up in tears outside a Parisian bakery.
- Never ask, “do you speak English.” You’ll sound rude and your audience might feel put down. Instead apologize for not speaking their language. Nothing fancy. “Lo siento no espanol.” Whoever you’re talking to usually figures out the fact that you speak English.
- And if you’re in the Far East, use a translator. She even got “Hello, I’m Sam. Thank you,” wrong in Taiwan. The audience greeted her with a standing ovation and even though she got the syllables right, she used the wrong inflection. It’s her most embarrassing moment, yet. (I’d say ever, but with her willingness to try most anything, she might have a worse one and I’ll love her even more for it.)
- She recommends always taking the first flight out in the morning to wherever you are going, because the plane being used was the last one to come in last night. There’s one personal caveat I have to add to that. Sometimes that last flight in doesn’t make it in, so you might run into a problem anyway, like I did on the way to Portland this year. She also said they were usually cheaper.
- She says that the “arrive two hours before your flight” rule needs to be amended. It should be two hours before it boards, not two hours before it departs.
- And here’s one I never thought of, but I realized immediately how valuable it might be. One of the first things she does when she gets to a new hotel room is run the water to see how long it will take to get hot. If you wait until morning to figure that out, you might be late to wherever you’re headed.
- She also recommends following whatever airline you’re flying on twitter. You’ll get announcements earlier sometimes and she’s also found that she gets answers to her questions faster that way.
What do you think? Are those some great tips? If you’d heard them before, would they have saved you some grief on one of your trips?