Samantha Brown's Top Airport Travel Tips

Samantha Brown has made a career out of exploring nearly every nook and cranny of the world. The "Places to Love" host has had the privilege of visiting 74 countries across two decades, and she has no plans of stopping anytime soon. With extensive travel experience under her belt, she is chock-full of tips to share with her viewers and followers — a handful of which are related to navigating the chaotic world of airports.

It may not be a reach to say that airports are many tourists' least-favorite part of traveling. However, according to Brown, you can alleviate some of your airport anxiety by heading to the airport extra early and spending spare cash on some luxuries that offer convenience. For starters, she suggests planning your airport arrival time based on your boarding time (not the take-off time) to give you plenty of leeway and then opting for the curbside bag check-in when available to dodge long queues. The travel guru also advises flying out of airports that have better reviews to increase your chances of avoiding hassles. "For instance, if I want to go to Florida, I'm going to fly to Tampa or Fort Myers," she shared in an interview with Money. "Both are stress-free airports that only benefit our vacation."

Apart from these, Brown says you should never pre-board if you're flying with your kids; and if you can, you should study airports thoroughly to plan future travels.

Avoid pre-boarding if you're traveling with kids

Flying with children comes with its own set of challenges, but if you want to make it as smooth as possible, Samantha Brown advises against pre-boarding with them. As a mother of twins, she's learned that having children board ahead of everyone else can make them feel more anxious and jittery than they already are. Imagine having your kids sit still while other passengers are fussing themselves with stowing their luggage, adjusting their seats, complaining to flight attendants, and more. It can create further stress for them, so it's best to board when most passengers have already gone in. "The boarding of a flight is the most awful ... We, as humans, become terrible people," she told WTOP. "A young child takes in all that stress and then we get to a cruising altitude of 50,000 feet and everyone else is calm, and now that child releases it. So, don't subject children to that."

Instead, it's better if there is another adult in your group that can board ahead to get things sorted for the kids, like installing car seats and storing baggage. What's more, it would help if your children were already familiar with what planes are, so they don't get overwhelmed on the day of your flight. Per Brown, parents should make it a point to show their young ones what planes look like and how they work, either via books or online videos, to avoid potential intimidation when they finally experience flying.

Take stock of the airport to plan for your eventual return

Airports tend to trigger our fight-or-flight mode. We're usually guarded and laser-focused on what we need to do to hustle out of there ASAP, resulting in us ignoring pretty much everything else. But per Samantha Brown, the smart thing to do is to perform a thorough scrutiny of the airport so you can plan your return much better.

"As most people beeline to either baggage claim or to exit the airport, I like to look around. I check out where my gate is, because it's most likely the gate I'm coming back to. I check out the terminal," she told Forbes. "What are the amenities? Are there nice shops? Then I have a better idea of not just the amenities that I would have on my way home, but also the timing. I'm timing how much time it takes me to get through the terminal. I'm also timing how long it takes to get from the airport to the hotel." If you're unable to do this because of how busy an airport is, then your best bet is to check the airport's website and have a look at the terminal map to see where things are. This allows you to locate the bathrooms, restaurants, kids' play areas, and more.

By taking note of these, you'll know what to do in case things go wrong. Ultimately, these tips will help you be more relaxed every time you step foot in an airport.