For 13 years, Samantha Brown has captivated travel audiences with her down-to-earth, approachable personality, both on screen and off. After hosting countless shows on the Travel Channel (Great HotelsPassport to EuropeGreat Weekends, and Passport to Latin America, to name a few) and traveling to more than 220 cities in 49 countries, she's much more than a travel expert. I got to speak to her this week about her travels, from what to pack to what her favorite destinations are. Here's a sampling of our conversation:

Amanda Black: What's in your carry-on?

Samantha Brown: I always bring a pair of running shoes. I mean, I'm not good at running. But I like to do it. It’s a good way to combine sightseeing with a physical activity. I also always bring earplugs. They’re not the fancy BOSE kind (those were stolen); now I just have the cheap foamy things that come in a pack of 400. I like to get work done at the airport and there are always 42 announcements (and only three you need to hear!) so blocking out that noise is helpful.

AB: Do you have a favorite airline?

SB: Delta. My husband was Continental (and is now with United). When we travel I always want to fly out of New York’s JFK and he always wants to fly out of New Jersey’s Newark Airport. It’s a constant battle. That’s the one fight we’re always having as a married couple!

Check our site on Tuesday to read the full interview where I discuss her feelings about pandas (yes, the animals), how she get's to experience a true local's lifestyle everywhere she goes (and you can, too), along with her favorite airports, and more.

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