What is on your family’s bucket list? Today we are talking to Eric Stoen from Travel Babbo, who has already taken his kids on many bucket list trips including Antarctica, Easter Island, Bali, Palawan, Croatia, the Lego Factory experience in Denmark and more. We unpack how to get kids involved in planning a trip, how to afford bucket list travel, and some of Eric’s favorite trips.
ON THE PODCAST
:30 Kim & Tamara chat about bucket list travel
5:45 Eric Stoen from Travel Babbo
10:59 Where Eric has taken his kids
11:58 Lego Factory inside tour
13:50 Getting kids involved in planning
15:30 Easter Island, Panama and Iguazu Falls
16:58 Palawan and Hong Kong
19:35 How to afford bucket list travel
21:42 How to save on an African safari
26:50 Is it possible to have a worldly toddler?
28:44 Where is Travel Babbo going next?
29:55 Eric’s favorite travel gear
31:50 Tip of the week
34:25 Like us on Facebook!
34:54 Next week we are talking about Austin, Texas
ABOUT ERIC STOEN FROM TRAVEL BABBO
Eric Stoen is a writer and photographer specializing in family travel, based in California. His goal is to encourage everyone to take their kids to unique destinations, and he provides first-hand information through travelbabbo.com to make it easier for people to plan those trips. He’s traveled with his three kids to 38 countries and seven continents, with each of his kids getting to choose any destination in the world every year for a one-on-one trip. You can find Eric on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
FAVORITE BUCKET LIST TRIPS
Eric has done a lot of trips with his kids, but he isn’t obsessed with ticking off countries. He really wants his kids to figure out which places speak to their hearts. He lets each kid choose a destination each year for a one-on-one trip. When his daughter was in pre-school, she learned about penguins and really wanted to visit Antarctica so Eric reached out to tour operators and found out that trip is best for kids over the age of eight, so they waited and that is where they went.
Eric’s son is interested in remote islands and found Easter Island by searching Google Maps and reading up on some of the facts and history of the island. It is one of his son’s favorite places, although they did also get to experience the Lego Factory in Denmark, which is very hard to get into and extremely popular.
His daughter was inspired to visit the Sydney Opera House after seeing it on the Wonder Pets and that was the driving factor for that trip. Usually the kids pick the place and then Eric starts the planning but the kids get very involved in the planning.
HOW TO AFFORD BUCKET LIST TRAVEL
Eric budgets carefully for every trip, ideally not spending more than what he would spend for a week at Disneyland. Some trips are more expensive and you need to save for a few years. One way to save money is to find a local operator. For example, the larger companies that run safaris are U.S.-based and have a strong marketing presence, which impacts the cost. However, Eric was able to find a very well-rated local operator in Nairobi that was half the cost and they stayed at some of the same lodges and had the same wildlife experiences as the luxury brands.
He also recommends using miles and traveling outside of peak seasons. If you look hard you can find deals. Also, if you are willing to be flexible with dates and take advantage of a last-minute deal, you can find things like Antarctica cruises that still have space.
BENEFITS OF TRAVELING WITH KIDS
If you travel regularly with kids, they are trying new foods, being exposed to new cultures, and developing a broader world view. By meeting people in other parts of the world, you don’t draw broad stereotypes about people from other countries because you have met people there.
Travel also makes kids very independent, responsible and resilient. They learn to navigate, how to get around, and how to be flexible.
FAVORITE TRAVEL GEAR
Eric likes to dress nicely for air travel, usually jeans or khakis with a J.Crew button down. He also really likes Patagonia or REI gear, especially for their safari. Eric is a fan of For Sake shoes, which are very comfortable for hiking.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Tamara recommends that when you park at the airport, take a picture of the sign showing the parking garage aisle and level where you park so that you can easily remember it when you get back from your trip. Kim recommends also taking a picture with the kids in front of the sign so you have a current picture and what they are wearing that day in case you need it.
MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST
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This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission. Photos are courtesy of Eric Stoen.