Samantha Brown's Top Hacks For Staying Safe While Traveling

As someone who has spent the better part of the past two decades exploring every corner of the globe, travel expert Samantha Brown has a treasure trove of tips to dispense to fellow travelers. Be it tips on staying comfortable while flying economy or the art behind packing efficiently for the whole family, her reservoir of travel-related advice never ceases to help people elevate their travel experience. But while she has all sorts of guidance to share with every kind of traveler, one thing that she wants to emphasize is the importance of implementing safety measures, whether you're traveling solo or with a group.

Brown once extolled about the virtue of telling a little white lie, especially when you're on a solo adventure. Speaking with AAA, she shared that there's nothing wrong with embellishing the truth if it means that you're protecting your privacy. "Never feel obligated to tell people you're alone. A white lie here is 100 percent A-OK," she said. "In fact, I don't think there is anything wrong with sporting a fake wedding band. I know, I know. I wish that wasn't such an effective deterrent, but it really is."

But apart from refraining from divulging personal information to strangers, Brown also said it's equally important to inform the concierge — or anyone of note — of your whereabouts and to rely on your intuition.

Make yourself known to the hotel concierge

There are a lot of things that a hotel concierge can help you with. Not only can they assist you in scoring a table from an in-demand restaurant, but they can also provide you with local insights you can't obtain elsewhere. Samantha Brown even noted that they can be instrumental in ensuring your safety, vouching for you if the situation calls for it.

"Whenever I'm going for a walk, I will go up to the desk and say, 'I'm going in this direction. Is that OK?' That does two things. One, it gives me information from a local. Two, there's a time stamp of when I've left; someone has seen me walk out," she told Bloomberg (via Fortune). "For women, if you're traveling alone: Touch in with the front desk."

But, in case you're staying in lodging like an Airbnb with no front desk that can serve as a reassuring presence, Brown recommends talking to strangers you meet along the way. That may seem counterintuitive, but she said in a TikTok video that approaching fellow travelers first automatically gives you the upper hand, all while simultaneously forming genuine connections. "... you don't have this travel partner, so you naturally open yourself up to others," she noted. "... I love it because I'm in control. I've chosen them." Just be wary if the opposite happens, of course. If someone seems suspicious, you don't have to feel obligated to keep engaging with them.

Listen to what your gut is telling you

There's one underutilized tool that travelers sometimes fail to consider, according to Samantha Brown: your gut. Particularly during solo trips, the "Places to Love" host said that it's especially critical to activate your sixth sense as it can be the key to avoiding — and getting out of — sticky situations. "I feel like your gut knows more about your safety than any concierge or front-desk person or any tour book you're reading," she told Forbes. "If you feel that something is wrong... even if you walk into a busy restaurant, just leave. Absolutely leave and get out."

Brown reiterated this in a TikTok video that has since gone viral, urging travelers to use their gut as a biological safety device. "Always trust the hairs on the back of your neck," she noted. "Those hairs are connected to your gut safety, and your gut safety knows more about your safety than anything else." Recalling her past travels, she went on to tell about an unsettling incident where she decided to go against her intuition. While she was unharmed, it ultimately left her uneasy. "We women have a superpower when it comes to our gut instinct," she underscored. "Use it.