This week we want to introduce the creator of the infamous travel blog TravelBabbo, Eric Stoen. He explores the world with his family and gives us those holiday blues by posting pics, tricks, and tips about his adventures. We managed to get him to stay still long enough to ask him some rapid-fire questions!
How did you first get into travel writing?
I took my daughter to Antarctica when she was eight and I wanted to document it more broadly than just posting to Facebook for my friends. So, I signed up to one of the blogging platforms and created my first post about the trip. Then later that year I quit my healthcare job of 18 years and started blogging more and more about our travels. Before I knew it, I was a travel writer. It wasn’t intentional!
The theme of your website is ‘Take Your Kids Everywhere’. If you could pick one must-see destination for kids, where would it be?
My kids have voted Greece as their favourite country. The islands are absolutely perfect in the summer, and its history is accessible for kids because of Greek Mythology. Plus there are beaches and it’s safe and fun for kids to explore island towns on their own.
I love that you encourage parents to take their kids to adventurous, cool, amazing places in the world. What has been one of the most memorable activities you have done with your kids?
In Oman you can check into the Six Senses Zighy Bay by paragliding in from a nearby mountain. Definitely unique and memorable!
You have been to over 97 countries – if you could only pick one destination that adults must see, what would it be and why?
Italy. It remains my favourite country, and is simply perfect on every level – food, culture, architecture, art, and history.
You are a dad of three. Every year each of your children get to pick any destination in the world for a one-on-one trip (in combination so far 62 countries!). Which has been the most memorable request so far?
My oldest daughter chose Antarctica and my son’s picked Easter Island, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. But the most fun was when my daughter at 10 couldn’t decide on one destination so she sketched out an around-the-world trip that we ended up going on, with destinations including Orlando, Paris, Oman, Bali and Sydney. Then I let my son do the same when he was 10, and my youngest daughter has also been allowed to plan her own around-the-world trip.
What has been your most memorable souvenir?
I somehow got a wooden 6-foot-tall giraffe home from Tanzania 20 years ago and he still stands in my office.
What are your top three travel tips?
Make every trip about the kids, including destination and activity selection. No one will have fun if you bring kids along on an adult vacation.
Never pack more than you and your kids can easily carry.
- Fly as early in the morning as you can, since those flights are rarely delayed, and spend a little more to fly direct to minimize the chances of a connection mishap.
What’s next on your bucket list?
Uzbekistan, Georgia, Iran and Namibia are at the top of my wish list. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
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