The Long-Time AAA Member Talks Travel
By Lynn and Cele Seldon
Long-time AAA Member Samantha Brown loves travel and loves sharing her experiences with others. She’s known for her warm personality and her ability to convey the true character of the places she visits. She’s explored 40-plus states and more than 62 countries and counting.
Brown’s beloved Samantha Brown’s Places to Love television series has been a huge hit for those with wanderlust. It was also nominated for three Emmys, winning two in 2019.
The third season of Places to Love premiered on PBS earlier this year to rave reviews. It was sponsored by AAA — The Auto Club Group, Rocky Mountaineer and AmaWaterways. Season 3 highlighted classic American destinations like Maine and the Florida Keys, as well as international idylls like Vienna and the British Virgin Islands.
When asked about other favorite domestic destinations, Brown quickly responds: “I’ve taken both my mom and sister on separate girl trips to Santa Fe. The sunshine, the mountains and the margaritas! Downtown Santa Fe is a lovely small city to walk through enjoying all the great artist galleries, shops and historic buildings.”
“I also love the hikes,” she continues. “You’re about a 10-minute drive from incredible hikes thru Aspen trees and sage bushes. The air heats up and the desert plants release the most glorious scent. Santa Fe is also the place to really go big on massage therapy since this is such an epicenter of the healing arts and attracts the best therapists in the world.”
Brown is also effusive about Vienna. “I really love Vienna,” she says. “A huge part of that city is green and you can walk from the city center to the outskirts where you meet up with hiking trails that take you up steep hillsides to vineyards and wine taverns — and it’s all still in Vienna.”
Of travel in the wake of COVID-19, Brown says, “I think it’s made everyone ardent travelers who are chomping at the bit to go somewhere and reconnect with friends and family. But the reality is COVID will keep us closer to home, doing a lot of one-tank trips to places in our home state or bordering states that share the same phase openings and restrictions. We’ll go back to the way my family always did our road trips — with a cooler of bologna sandwiches, lots of fruit and bags of chips!”
Brown recently teamed up with AAA for the Well-Traveled with AAA podcast. For these already-popular podcast segments, she shares insights, stories and tips to help listeners with their travels. “I’m honored to join the Well-Traveled with AAA podcast, to transport listeners all over the world through this exciting new medium,” Brown says. “Each destination has so much unique personality to share. Through our joint love for transporting people to these destinations, I know we’ll be able to introduce people to the heart of new destinations. I’ve been a member of AAA since I was 18 years old and share their commitment to helping travelers get the most enjoyment from their vacations.”
A few years ago, Brown and her husband, Kevin, rented an RV in the Pacific Northwest (with their twins, Ellis and Elizabeth, in tow). The result was a popular Places to Love segment that Brown still loves sharing. Along with a link to the popular Oregon RVing show, which aired in 2018 as the final episode in Season 1, Brown’s website, Samantha-Brown.com, features several RVing stories, including America’s Greatest Destinations for Traveling by RV, Nearly Everything You Need to Know About RVing and 9 Mistakes that Newbie RV Campers Make.
“I’ve always wanted to do an RV trip, and especially while the kids are still young,” says Brown. She’s quick to note that AAA offers upgraded AAA Plus RV Membership, a comprehensive campground guide and lots of RVing advice through TripTiks and AAA planning guides.
“People often say I have the greatest job in the world and it’s true,” shares Brown. “I’m really excited to transport viewers all over the globe, from Europe to my home state of New Hampshire, and introduce them to the people and places that reveal the soul of each destination.”
“Well-Traveled with AAA and Places to Love are great sources of inspiration,” says Rob Huffman, vice president, Travel and Branch Operations. “They allow you to continue to dream and plan to explore new destinations, knowing that your local AAA Travel Agent is here to help when you’re ready to go.”
Visit AAA.com/GoTravel for road trip inspiration, travel discounts and other vacation resources!
(Go Magazine Sept-Oct 2020)