Are you looking to travel in 2013, but aren’t sure of the latest trends or top destinations? AARP’s new Travel Ambassador, Samantha Brown joined me for an interview recently to discuss the top trends in the world of travel in 2013- from her favorite international travel destinations to places close to home to the latest in hotel accommodations and much more!
Candace Rose: What is going on in the world of travel for 2013?
Samantha Brown: “Well, so much Candace. Today, a lot of the airlines have merged and that means fewer flights, fewer seats and fewer expensive prices. But the good news is they’re bringing in a new fleet of bigger planes, and they’re going to be bigger planes and they’re going to have more overhead bin space. I know that’s a huge topic, it’s on almost every day in the news, just people having their carry on, spending money- $50 to check it both ways. They want to carry it on and they are fighting to get the bag in the overhead space once they get on the plane. So hopefully that will really start to settle down and will be an easier experience on the plane.”
Candace Rose: What are some of the newest trends when it comes to hotels and hotel accommodations?
Samantha Brown: “There’s a type of hotel called a Pop-Up hotel. This is fabulous! It literally is a hotel that sort of pops up and then it disappears. It’s very limited. They can exist in modular units that they bring in or they just take over an existing building and make a hotel. It always happens in areas where there’s a lot of people traveling to a fair or a festival, but not a lot of accommodations. So people who have to travel an hour, two hours outside of where they want to be and the venue. Some people are making this a serious business. They’re these modular units, you get a room and in the room is a bed. There’s running water, there’s plumbing which for me is a necessity. It puts you right in the middle of all the action. You just open up the door and you’re there. And then when the fair or the festival (or whatever is happening) is done, it disappears.
It’s really happening in Europe right now. It hasn’t come to the United States; we see it in Mexico as well on the beaches- gorgeous spots that have a short tourism season so it doesn’t have a hotel, so now people can stay in places for a reason or another they’re just isn’t a strong demand year round. The best way to find where the Pop-Up hotels are happening is just to do a search engine to see where it’s going. There really isn’t one website that’s handling all the Pop-Up hotels, but that’s soon to come.”
Candace Rose: What are the hottest destinations for the upcoming months?
Samantha Brown: “Well, I have my two favorites for 2013, one is Rio De Janeiro- it’s going to be the home of the World Cup. I’m a huge soccer (futbol) fan, and after that the Olympics in 2016. It is a hot destination to look at especially go before these things happen especially the Olympics. After that we always see sort of that Olympic bump, these cities it’s hard to get accommodations now. They become exclusive because they’re so popular.
Another favorite destination of mine is the country of Nicaragua. I love this country. They have a beautiful coastline along the Pacific, crescent shaped beaches with white sand. It’s a gorgeous place to go and extremely inexpensive. It’s sort of the new Costa Rica that people are talking about.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any trips planned this spring or summer?
Samantha Brown: “I am going to be going to Florida. I know it’s pretty hot down there, but mainly staying close to home. I just had twins in January, so it’s about seeing family who really want to see the twins. Where I live is a beautiful coastline of New Hampshire and Maine, and my husband’s family lives down in Annapolis, Maryland so we’ll be making closer trips to home.”
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about your new role as the AARP Travel Ambassador?
Samantha Brown: “I would love to! I am now the travel ambassador for AARP. I love their members, they are travelers through and through. They have a lot to teach me. But for me I’m going to be contributing twice a month to their website- to their travel page. I’m giving my personal advice as well as having more of an online presence, really reaching out to the members and saying ‘Hey, talk to me about where you want to go, what your advice is’ because I feel I have so much to learn from them. But being more of a presence rather than ‘here’s my article, read it and do what you want.’ I really want to hear back from them so there’s going to be a lot of online chats.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Samantha Brown: “All of my travel information right now, I’ve got some great advice on some great cities to travel for multigenerational trips, which is definitely a hot trend right now- grandparents traveling with their kids and their grandkids. Just go to the AARP.org/Travel website.”