Welcome to the latest edition of our Traveler Interview Series. Today we are featuring Family Travel Blogger Erin Buhr of Bambini Travel. In this interview, she shares her travel experiences mostly within the United States and traveling with health challenges. Check out her story below.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. NAMES, CHILDREN’S AGES, OCCUPATION/S? WHERE IS HOME?
We are the Buhrs. Erin, Nick, James and Audrey (twins age 8). I work as a writer and blogger. My husband is a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service. Our family has lived in five different states since my kids were born, but currently, we call San Diego, CA home.
WHEN DID YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL BEGIN?
When I was little we used to fly to Florida every summer to visit my grandparents and I loved to fly. I loved everything about it and I think that’s what first excited me about traveling. Since then, I’ve come to have a passion for the exploration part. I love walking around somewhere new. I love trying different food and seeing new things. I love how it makes the world seem bigger and smaller all at the same time.
WHAT IS THE FIRST TRIP YOU REMEMBER TAKING BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A FAMILY?
My first trips were all family vacations as a child. We went to Florida, New York, DC, France…when my husband and I started dating we realized we both loved to travel and we started taking yearly trips in October to new places. Our first was to Vancouver BC.
Our first trip as a family of 4 was when our twins were about two months old. We flew to Michigan for a family reunion. Everything went wrong on that trip. The rental car company screwed up our car seat reservation. The airline lost our luggage. The hotel crib was terrifying. But we survived and we’ve been traveling ever since.
HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED THUS FAR?
Our family has not traveled abroad much due in part to my husband’s work and in part due to my son’s severe allergy. We have been to Canada a couple of times and we are going to France and Iceland this summer. Otherwise, we’ve made the most of traveling around the US.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE DESTINATION YOU HAVE BEEN TO SO FAR? WHY?
My favorite destination ever is probably Ireland. I loved the endless green. I loved constantly being on the coast because I’m an ocean girl. I loved the history and natural beauty.
More recently, I loved our California road trip. We flew to Portland and then drove back south along the coast to San Diego. Everything from the Redwoods to San Francisco to Big Sur exceeded my expectations. The West Coast is mostly new to us and it is stunning.
LET’S TALK FOOD. ANY MEMORABLE DINING EXPERIENCES FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE?
Personally, I still dream about the fondue I had in Annecy France as a teenager. It was the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. As a family, our food stories are more traumatic.
My son has a severe food allergy to dairy and dairy is so much of what we eat both here and abroad. I’ve learned to always travel with extra Epipens and to triple check everything he eats. Our most positive food experience was actually at Disney World. I was astonished at how seriously they take food allergies and how careful they were in providing him with food.
ANY UNIQUE EXPERIENCES OR CHALLENGES DURING YOUR TRAVELS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
Aside from my son’s allergy, I also have Cystic Fibrosis. This has presented challenges along the way but the most memorable have involved finding places to do my IV medications when I had a PIC line a few years ago. I’ve hung them in the car while driving, on the corners of picture frames in hotels and airports…anything to take care of myself while not letting my CF hold me back.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BLOG? HOW DID YOU GET STARTED BLOGGING? WHY DID YOU BECOME A FAMILY TRAVEL BLOGGER?
I started my blog while I was staying at home with my twins. It started as a log of the simple adventures that we took together. Those eventually evolved into my book – LITTLE WALKS BIG ADVENTURES. My background is in Early Childhood Education and I wanted to combine teaching and learning for little kids with travel. I think real life experiences, both big and small, are so important for developing cognitive skills, language skills, and just a better appreciation for all that the world has to offer.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH TRAVEL?
I have learned so much from travel. New perspectives, a better context for history, how to be open to new things…but more than anything I think travel has taught me to be flexible. Naturally, I’m a planner. I like to have a schedule and a plan, but when you travel plans get ruined and schedules are unpredictable. I think travel has helped me learn how to better adapt to the unexpected.
CAN YOU GIVE FAMILIES A FEW TIPS, TRICKS, AND HACKS WHEN TRAVELING?
I think my top two are to learn a couple of waiting games and remember to pack for the return trip.
The first is a teaching trick. Teachers always have a game or two in their back pocket for when they have to kill 5 minutes. When you travel with kids you will end up standing in line or waiting for things and that’s when most crabby behaviors erupt. Learn a couple of easy games, like i-spy or how long can you hop, to play in those circumstances.
The second one I learned the hard way. When you take kids for a long drive or a long flight parents are good about packing loads of things to keep their kids busy on the way there. Don’t forget about the way home. Hideaway a few new things for them to do on the way back.
ZIPLINING OR BUNGEE JUMPING? Ziplining
TEA OR COFFEE? Tea – especially an iced chai.
WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE MET SO FAR? If you mean a stranger, my last Uber driver definitely.
DISNEY WORLD OR THE REAL WORLD? Real world
WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST STREET FOOD YOU’VE HAD? Crepes in Paris
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Thank You, Erin, for taking time out to share some of your travel experiences and valuable family travel tips.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about the Buhr Family as much as we did, and that you’ve been inspired to go On Travel Mode more often!
If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed for one of our future editions, please comment below or email us at email@example.com.
Additionally, if you have any questions you’d like us to pose to future interviewees we’d love to read them!