Are you inspired by parents on Instagram who seem to take their kids everywhere? We are! We launched the 5 Questions series to ask families who have made adventure a priority how they make their travel dreams come true.
This month we're thrilled to interview Eric Stoen, the travel writer and photographer behind Travel Babbo. A father of three, Eric loves to take his kids along on his adventures overseas. The family has traveled to 43 countries on all 7 continents!
You love to inspire families to travel adventurously. Why are you so passionate about travel to "crazy places"?
I want my kids to find the places that speak to their hearts. Maybe that’s the Eiffel Tower, but maybe it’s a small village in Albania, or it’s Antarctica, or it’s Easter Island or Greenland.
I enjoy seeking out crazy places partially because I feel like there aren’t crazy places – only places that people don’t think are kid-friendly, but in fact are. And those are the destinations that aren’t yet overly touristy, so you can still experience culture and see nature in an authentic way.
You are an incredible photographer. What is your best tip for families taking pictures on a trip?
Let your kids be kids! I don’t try to pose my kids – I simply capture them exploring and (usually) running ahead of me. I also don’t obsess about photography on vacation. Sure I want to get some good photos for Instagram, but the most important thing is that my kids have fun. I’ll never make them stand outside of a hotel room so that I can get photos of the room first.
You have been all over the world with your kids. What’s one place you love to go back to?
We love Italy. Even though we like to see new countries and explore new cultures, Italy is the one place that we return to every year. We always delve deeper into the language and history with the kids, and we love taking cooking classes. Our kids are amazing at making pasta from scratch now!
As a dad, you have prioritized one-on-one travel with your kids. Why does this matter to you?
There’s a different dynamic when my kids aren’t with their siblings and we’re not together as a family. There’s definitely increased bonding, but there’s also less stress, since the kids are aren’t arguing about anything and my wife and I aren’t counting on the other to fix a situation. It’s pure adventure, just the two of us. All of my favorite kid memories come from those one-on-one trips.
You just spent Spring Break in Chile. What did your family learn on the trip?
We learned that the desert is interesting! We’re mountain and coast people. None of us saw much beauty in the desert before, but the Atacama Desert is amazing. There was so much to do with the kids that we’d love to go back. Patagonia and Easter Island are also incredible, but it was Atacama that surprised us.
Don't miss the incredible pictures of the Atacama Desert in Chile and so much more on the Travel Babbo Instagram. And if you are looking for inspiration for your next family vacation, the Travel Babbo website is full of ideas for places to go and things to do.