Debbie Dubrow, the writer behind the popular travel blog, DeliciousBaby shares with us some insights and top tips on traveling with kids. She also tells us about the very successful annual travel bloggers’ fundraiser she co-organizes, Passports with Purpose and shares her advice on travel writing.
1) Tell us a little bit about your pre-DeliciousBaby life and how your site came about. Did DeliciousBaby start out as a blog for friends and family, or did you have a broader audience in mind from the outset?We had always written about our travels for family and friends, but when I started DeliciousBaby I knew that I wanted to start something broader. I had found very little real-world information about traveling with kids to the types of destinations I was interested in, and I knew that other people must be as interested in getting tips and information about traveling with young kids as I was.
2) If you could go back in time and give your new mom self some advice, what would it be?Don’t buy so much stuff.
3) In your travels, your children are exposed to so many wonderful opportunities for cultural exchange. What has been the most memorable instance so far?
I have so many wonderful memories that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. One of our favorite things is to just hang out at a playground for a little while. We end up talking with local families, and the kids get a chance to interact with local kids too.
4) There was a popular movie several years ago, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, in which the father character used Windex for every ailment under the sun. Do you have a Windex equivalent – a must-have, multi-use product that should be in every parent’s travel bag?There are two things that I always bring with me, Duct Tape and ZipLock bags [shown in photo as a waterproof case for an iPad].
5) What are the top 3 tips for any parent considering traveling with children?1) Pack light. Remember you’ll have to haul all those suitcases PLUS your tired children at some point, and you really can buy anything you might need at your destination.
2) Be resourceful about activities. Instead of carting along a DVD player, try to find ways to get your kids engaged in what is happening around them. It doesn’t need to be something historic or hugely insightful, my kids sometimes get interested in things like street gutters, new plants, or different road signs.
3) Go slow. Everyone will be happier if you take time to stop and drink in the environment around you, and you never know what you might discover. In Istanbul, we ended up walking across the Galeta bridge each day instead of taking a streetcar because the kids loved interacting with the fishermen. That was a huge surprise to us, and I’m glad that we hadn’t rushed them along the scenic bridge on the first crossing. Allow lots of time at each destination so that you’ll be sure to get to each of your “must do” activities even after stopping to smell the flowers.
6) You co-founded an annual fundraiser called Passports with Purpose. Can you briefly share with us some information about it?Passports with Purpose is an annual travel blogger’s fundraiser. This year over 100 travel bloggers from around the world joined us to help raise money to build a village in India. With individual donors contributing $10 to hundreds of dollars, we raised over $64,000 this year! Construction of the village has already started, and it’s heartwarming to get pictures of the families who will be moving out the mud huts that their families have lived in for generations and into real homes. It’s super inspiring to be a part of the Passports With Puprpose fundraiser each year. So many people go to a lot of effort to make it happen, and it really does have a huge impact on the lives of the people we help. You can find out more here: http://www.passportswithpurpose.com.
7) As a travel writer, what would be your advice to other writers looking to create a successful travel blog?I think the best travel blogs give readers insight into a life or a world that they dream of entering on their own. That could be anything from traveling to a specific destination to traveling with kids or with pets or traveling when you have a disability. Pick a niche that you feel excited about to write about regularly, and stick with it! It can take a long time to develop your voice and to find following, but blogging can also be very rewarding.
Thank you to Debbie Dubrow, mother of three and the writer behind 2009′s #1 most popular travel blog, Delicious Baby. In addition to her blog, you can follow Debbie and her family on their travels via Facebook and Twitter. And for Trippers traveling with children, don’t forget to join our Traveling Families Network. Happy family travels!
Photo credits: all photos are originally from the DeliciousBaby website: www.deliciousbaby.com