Eric Stoen, or Travelbabbo on Instagram, is one of my all time favourite travelbloggers to follow. He is almost always on the road, often taking his kids with him. He invented #takeyourkidseverywhere and travels to the most beautiful places on our planet. He’s a busy man, so I was very honoured that he wanted to take time out to answer our questions about traveling with children. He’s the last contributor to our series.
Names: Eric Stoen
Full-time travelers or part-time travelers: We’re part-time travelers. We’ll pull the kids out of school occasionally, but most of our travel is during school breaks.
Do you always take your kids along on your travels? No. Once a year I meet up with a French cousin to photograph somewhere in the world without kids. I also leave the family at home when I’m at travel conferences.
Why do you travel with your kids? It’s such a cliché, but travel is the best education. I want our kids to understand how amazing the world is, how unique other cultures are, and how other people live. And I love seeing the world through my kids’ eyes.
Best tip(s) to travel with children: There are so many things I do to make family travel easier. I’m loyal to an airline to build up status and get shorter check-in lines and upgrades to flat-bed seats on international flights. We have Global Entry in the US which lets us bypass long security lines and skip the immigration queues when we come back into the country. And I always call or email hotels before booking to make sure that we get the best room or rooms for the five of us at the best price. Overall I try to minimize any travel hassles so that we can concentrate on traveling deeper into our destinations rather than wasting time fixing problems or waiting in long lines.
Favourite destination for kids: We love Europe. We’ve traveled to all seven continents with our kids, including Antarctica, but we always come back to Europe for the summers – sometimes returning to Italy, France and Greece, and sometimes adding in new destinations. This summer we’ll introduce our kids to Hungary and Iceland but also return to Denmark, Ireland and Italy.
Place you wouldn’t take your kids to: People have kids everywhere in the world, so really every destination can be kid-friendly. I would rule out war zones or other clearly dangerous destinations, but otherwise I try to take my kids everywhere.
Favourite Unesco World Heritage site visited: There are a lot of UNESCO sites I love, but the historic center of Florence is the one that we return to virtually every year. It’s our favorite city anywhere. If you ignore the modern storefronts, so much of the city is largely unchanged from the Renaissance.