What's In Your Backpack, Samantha Brown, Travel Channel Host

by Juliane Huang Mar 23, 2009
For Matador’s “What’s In Your Backpack?” series, Travel Channel’s wildly entertaining host Samantha Brown graciously opened up her bag and let us get a peak into what she carries when jetting around the world.

Photo courtesy of Travel Channel

From pastoral dirt roads in Nicaragua to the busy streets of India, without fail, these are the items Samantha Brown needs to bring with her while she shoots take after take of her ever popular travel show.

Two “Pinky” balls

These are sold in just about every toy store. Are you ready to feel the best you’ve have felt on the road?

Place two balls next to each other on the floor. Lie down on the balls so that they are at the base of your neck and aligned with your spine.

Bend your knees and push so that the balls roll down your back, over your buttocks, and down your legs.

For deep knots, just hang out putting all your weight on the balls – pure bliss.

Now where’s that Enya CD?

A Jar of Peanut Butter

I’ve been traveling with peanut butter for years.

With my empty stomach, I can go from a grown, mature woman to a grumpy six year old in 10 minutes.

Armed with peanut butter, I can easily buy pretzels, crackers, or carrots (and in emergency cases, just dip my finger in the jar).

Peanut Butter is not only healthy, but also keeps you satiated.

I’ve just stumbled on a company called P.B. Loco where you can order online flavors like European Café Mocha, Sumatra Cinnamon and Raisin, and CoCo Banana!


A Sweater or Sweatshirt

Even if you are going to Hawai’i, I recommend bringing one.

We over air-condition everything.

When I’m in a 55 degree restaurant, I’m always wondering, ”Isn’t this the cool weather I was trying to escape?”



You don’t need $250 noise canceling headphones worn by the band members of Fortune 500.

Just the run-of-the-mill, bright orange, foamy kind will do.

They won’t shut out all the noise, but just enough to take the edge off of listening to your three-year-old’s favorite children’s CD for the 700th time.

It also allows you to psychologically be in your own private space, even if that is only in a two foot wide seat of a mini-van or airplane.

Melotonin Supplements (For Adults)

This is a completely natural sleep aid.

Melatonin is produced in your body, but we lose it as we get older.

There are no side effects like with prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills.

I take them because many nights I find myself in a different hotel bed, plane seat, or time zone.

How does it make you feel? Your muscles totally relax like you just took a long hot bath.


Swiss Army Knife with Corkscrew Opener

Anything that’s issued as standard equipment to NASA astronauts has to be good for your family’s summer “Liftoff”.

I recommend the model with the corkscrew.

You have spent an entire day traveling with the kids.

You’ll really need that glass of wine.



I don’t like anti-bacteria gel.

The high number of times I need and use it, my hands are so completely dried out by all the alcohol.

Good ol’ soap is still better than anything.

Remember to wash your hands for 15 seconds to kill all the germs.

Pick a fun song so you know when those fifteen seconds are up. Mine is “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine”.


Disposable Wipes

These days, doesn’t it seem like every brand makes their product in a “wipable” form?

Nowadays, wet wipes are travel essentials and not just for cleaning up baby bums and children’s faces!

A good anti-bacterial wipe is perfect for hotel rooms, airplanes, and restaurant bathrooms.

Wipe down that hotel phone before you order an extra cot!

Resealable bags

Need I say more. I honestly “ziplock” everything.

My clothes go in extra large bags that – with the help of my body weight – I can squeeze out all the air from so that my wardrobe for a week resembles freeze-dried cream chipped beef.

I put creams, gels, and hairsprays in them. If there is a leak, it is contained.

Many times, my luggage has sat out on the tarmac in the pouring rain and has been soaked through so at the very least, put your most special outfit in an resealable bag.


For more information on Samantha Brown, including her taping schedule, you can visit her page on the Travel Channel website.

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