Candyce H. Stapen

Candyce H. Stapen, Ph.D.

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Dedicated to educating Africa’s children
Henny's Kids

Henny’s Kids
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Founded by Candyce

Send solar-powered laptops to Africa.

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Zambia Rhinos

Zambia Rhinos
photo: Alissa Kempler

Travel for Good: Voluntourism Adventures. Help kids with computers. Then see rhino, giraffe and Victoria Falls with Wilderness Safaris. Read my Men’s Fitness article.

Articles, Digital travel content, Apps, Columns, Books, Broadcasts; Leader in family travel for 20+ years; Columnist/Blogger Travel Tips and Trips, Physician’s Money Digest; Former USA TODAY travel editor/ digital producer

Highly respected family travel expert, Candyce H. Stapen has authored 30 travel guide books—including two for National Geographic– developed FamilyiTrips apps, written 2,800+ travel articles for a variety of outlets, appeared on the TODAY Show and other broadcasts to talk about travel.
Please follow her @familyitrips

Featured Articles, Videos, Blog Posts
Discover your inner movie star at this glamorous, ’50s-inspired Miami Beach hotel

Faena Hotel pool

The thing to do on a movie set is to get into character. That’s how I found myself conjuring my inner starlet as I strolled Miami Beach’s new Faena Hotel early this year. I walked the red carpet in the lobby and stepped behind the gold-leafed columns to admire the murals, where lions sit next to flamingos and white winged horses fly over red coral beds.

The Washington Post, April 18, 2016 Read More

Ready to explore Cuba? Here’s how to get there

Carnival's MV Adonia to Cuba

With restrictions on traveling to Cuba gradually easing, U.S. cruise lines and airlines are gearing up to meet the anticipated demand for transportation to the island. On March 21, Carnival received approval from Cuba to begin voyages from Miami on May 1. This will be the first time a ship has sailed to Cuba from U.S. shores in 50 years.

The Washington Post, March 31, 2016 Read More

Vacationing with kids: Travel hacks for babies, teens and everybody in between

Grand Velas

Traveling with kids presents challenges that grow and change along with your children. No sooner do they outgrow those cumbersome car seats and strollers than you are weighed down by the dilemma of what to do after they bed down at 7 p.m. — and then they become teenagers, and you have to manage what they’re up to.

The Washington Post, March 7, 2016 Read More

Country Getaway: Dog-friendly Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke, VA

Mountain Lake Lodge

Our goal for our long weekend at Mountain Lake Lodge, perched at nearly 4,000 feet in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is to show Maggie and Cleo, city slickers who live in Washington, DC, the joys of the countryside.

Physician’s Money Digest, March 5, 2016 Read More

Dos and Don’ts of Reserving a National Park Lodge

Reserving a National Park Lodge

National Park lodges come with world-class settings. Lakes, towering mountains, river-cut canyons, painted deserts and red rock formations beckon just beyond your room’s door. The railroad companies built many of the grande dame hotels, creating properties that often featured soaring lobbies, thick log beams and impressive fireplaces.Follow these tips to maximize your stay at these iconic properties.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts, February 2, 2016 Read More

Read more Xanterra National Parks articles.

Arizona in the Spring (Part 1): Tucson


Spring, when the Sonoran desert blooms, is a great time to visit Tucson and Phoenix. In the morning play golf on world-class courses or explore the desert. In the afternoon when temperatures rise, go indoors to visit museums, browse art galleries, and get pampered at the region’s noted spas.

Physician’s Money Digest, February 25, 2016 Read More

Arizona in the Spring (Part 2): Phoenix and Scottsdale

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa

Phoenix and Scottsdale lure you with much more than golf, even though the areas’ green fairways offer up some of the best putting and driving anywhere. In both cities and just beyond, the legends and colors of the Sonoran desert with its Indian lore and pastel painted bluffs, buttes, and bold red mountains beckon.

Physician’s Money Digest, March 3, 2016 Read More

Cruising Royal Caribbean’s mega-ship: At times, a little too mega

Anthem of the Seas

Waiting in line for our first time on the cruise ship’s bumper-car ride, I paused to look at a photo in my phone. The man behind me poked me in the ribs, saying, “You got to keep the queue moving.” Cruisers sometimes get testy on a big ship, and Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas — full capacity: 4,905 passengers — is among the biggest.

The Washington Post, September 10, 2015 Read More

Travel for Good: Voluntourism Adventures


Tag rhinos in South Africa, teach soccer in Romania and follow dolphins in Belize, whales in Mexico, giraffe in Kenya and seahorses in Cambodia. These are just some of the many volunteer projects that enable you to combine adventures with doing good. “Voluntourism” is trending.

Men’s Fitness, September 17, 2015 Read More

Munich and Bavaria: Expect the Unexpected

Munich Bavaria

Bavaria is what you expect but also what you don’t, a combination that makes the region anchored by Munich especially interesting. Centuries-old castles, medieval villages with half-timbered houses, and rolling fields edged by snow-capped Alps remain staples, creating the spectacular scenery we expect.

Physician’s Money Digest, June 7, 2015 Read More

Planning a trip to Miami Beach? Go north for a different vibe.

North Beach Carillon
A Miami Beach vacation doesn’t have to be all about music blasting from outdoor bars. If, like us, you’re in search of an alternative to South Beach’s noise, $30 valet parking, packed sands and traffic, do what we do: Stay in North Beach.

The Washington Post, March 5, 2015 Read More

Tips for Traveling with your Dog

USA Today, June 20, 2013

Photo by H. Darr Beiser

Click here to read the article

Sol Searching: Luxury and Adventure Await at Mexico’s Riviera Maya and Cozumel

From atop the cliffside Castillo (castle), Tulum’s most important building, the crashing waves and the calls of the sea birds conjure visions of this once-vital Maya seaport. Tulum is one of the treasures of the Riviera Maya, a swath of about 85 miles along Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

Physician’s Money Digest, April 17, 2015 Read More

Hotel ChairsHotel Décor In The Home

The robes are just the beginning. Savvy hotel guests know to take home their favorite lodging’s feathery down pillows, the silky 600-thread-count sheets, the tea-scented candles and especially the plush pillow-top or thick foam mattress that created a cocoon for sleeping.

Global Traveler, July 1, 2015 Read More

AC Hotel MarriottHotel Update: Marriott

At the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, a bellman shadows a svelte guest after she steals his all-access key card, while another luggage unloader trails a suspicious duffle. When the duo discover a heist at an on-property art show, they take out the bad guys with a fun mash-up of dance moves plus martial arts kicks and blocks.

Global Traveler, July 1, 2015 Read More

David Royce GlassAmerican Craft Council and SOFA Shows

Some craft and art shows are worth traveling to, especially the American Craft Council (ACC) shows, hosted in Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Paul and San Francisco, as well as Sculptural Objects and Fine Arts (SOFA) yearly show in Chicago. At these events, you can find high-quality handmade objects. Even if you can’t buy, go ahead and browse.

www.BellaOnline.com, February 22, 2015 Read More

Laughs at Sea: Cruise Ship Comedy Clubs for summer family travel

For many cruise passengers, one of the best parts of their voyage isn’t the elaborate buffets, the casino bets or the booze. It’s the belly laughs. These days, several major lines are showcasing more humor by way of their comedy clubs. Forget about the stuff-food-in-your-face jokes; the performers and the material are better than ever.

“Back in the day, being labeled a ‘cruise ship comedian’ certainly carried a negative connotation, as it was believed that performing on a cruise ship meant it was either the beginning or the end of your career,” says Mark Tamis, Carnival Cruise Line’s senior vice president of guest operations. “That is certainly not the case these days.

Cruise Critic, August, 2014. Read More

Family Cruising BasicsFamily Cruising Basics

Two million kids younger than 15 sailed the high seas in 2013 on lines that are members of the Cruise Lines International Association Industry. To attract and keep that many children happily engaged, cruise lines offer meet and greets with beloved cartoon characters and more.

Cruise Critic, May 14, 2014. Read More

Book: An Explorer’s Guide to Virginia

Lush vineyards, exciting cities, deep history, space-age science – VA has lots to offer. (Countryman Press)
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Stapen has taken her love and experience of travel writing and combined it with her entrepreneurial spirit to launch FamilyiTrips, a series of user-friendly and informative family travel apps. Stapen wrote DC With Kids, and noted journalist Deb Geigis Berry wrote Boston With Kids and NYC Family Guide.

DC With Kids ReviewsBoston with Kids ReviewsNYC Family Guide Reviews
DC With Kids, a seven+ weeks iTunes Hot List Pick. Written and created by Candyce Stapen. Click here to find out some fun facts.

DC with Kids logo

New York Times Review
The apps, which landed on iTunes’s hot list last month, allow users to nimbly explore listings, including shops, hotels and restaurants. But they also offer filters through which to explore the cities: by budget, by activities that are “like a local,” and by attractions according to age group.
Read the review

Huffington Post, 12/24/2012
DC With Kids: This app from www.FamilyiTrips.com is a gem for locals and visitors to D.C. alike. A mere $3.99 gets you access to over 250 ideas for activities for children in the D.C. area and free updates whenever new activities are added. You can search for things to do by age (young children, grade schoolers, and teens) or by using a number of other categories including the “Top 11,” seasonal events, seasonal happenings, and free activities. The app offers practical advice, such as where to find family-friendly places to eat near attractions. This is a good choice to help find attractions on the go. If your holiday travel includes Boston or New York City, you can find similar apps for those cities here.

Chicago Tribune Review
“Why it’s great: It’s loaded with info. By selecting favorites, you can create custom itineraries.” May 6, 2012
Read the review

Travelingmom.com says FamilyiTrips apps worth the cost
“After having taken these apps out for a test run I can tell you that these apps are 100% worth their cost. If you are traveling to DC or Boston I highly recommend you get these apps.”
Read the DC With Kids app review
Read the Boston With Kids app review
Read more DC with Kids reviews and more. Rated

Boston with Kids, a two times iTunes Hot List Pick. Written by Deb Geigis Berry, a noted family travel expert.

Boston with Kids logo

Boston Globe praises FamilyiTrips

“Each colorful, nicely illustrated app has more than 250 entries that include top picks, outdoor activities, and freebies, along with places to eat, sleep, and shop. Or find an activity for a specific age group: young kids, grade-schoolers, or teens. Discover everything from science workshops to puppet shows, moonlight tours, museum sleep- overs, or animal adventures.”

“This is my new favorite app. As a family that travels a lot, we’re constantly getting pamphlets, guides, and whatever we can to help us, but nothing has been as helpful, thorough, or fun as Boston with Kids. My kids love it for the fun, whimsical illustrations, and my wife and I are still learning just how in depth it is and how much there is to do. We highly recommend.”
Read the Boston with Kids reviews and more. Rated

NYC Family Guide, Written by Deb Geigis Berry

NYC Family Guide logo

Lots of great info for kids of any age. I really love that this app gives lots of great suggestions for tots through teens. No one is left out. I particularly appreciate that there are so many food choices. We sometimes feel overwhelmed when visiting NYC because of the number of places to eat. Finding the best ones for us is a lot easier now.
by Aunt Di bethesda – version 1.0 – Sep 19,2012

Best NYC Guide for Families! If you are going to be in New York City, then this app is just as important as a subway card. It is a great guide for families with kids of all ages. It includes comprehensive information about the major attractions as well as lots of really great things to see and do beyond the typical tourist stuff in town.

Read the reviews and more. Rated

Awards & OfficesOnline Columns & More Articles
  • Five-time winner, Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas Journalism Award
  • Society of American Travel Journalists Award for Best Travel Industry Website, 2013
  • Caribbean Travel Writer of the Year, North America, 2004
  • Travel Journalist Guild president, 2006-2008
Author, 30 travel books, includingPublished 2800+ articlesBroadcasts/Videos
Travel Books

• An Explorer’s Guide to Virginia (Countryman Press, 2011)

• Fun with the Family: Virginia, 8th ed. (Globe Pequot, 2010)

• National Geographic Guide to the Caribbean Family Vacations (National Geographic)

• National Geographic Guide to Family Adventure Vacations, Wildlife Encounters, Cultural Explorations and Learning Escapes In the U.S. and Canada (National Geographic)

Published Articles

Former USA TODAY travel editor & producer; USA TODAY; USA TODAY.com; USA WEEKEND; Cruise Critic.com; Family Vacation Critic.com; National Geographic Traveler, Budget Travel.com; Family Fun; Washingtonian; Caribbean Travel and Life; Redbook; Parents; Better Homes & Gardens; MSNBC.com; New York Post; Boston Herald; Condé Nast Traveler; Miami Herald; Family Travel Network.com; Washington Times; Expedia.com; Postcards; Away.com; Caribbean World U.K.; Where to Retire and more.

Travel Videos

• Big Fun with the Fuhu Nabi Big Tab Click here to view

• Luggage Review: Smarter Travel ECBC TSA-Friendly Luggage Click here to view

• Take These Along When Traveling With Kids Click here to view

• Should Pets fly on Jets? Click here to view

Watch more videos

Candyce’s Blog,
Travel Tips and Trips
Physician’s Money Digest

Which Travel Rewards Credit Cards Are Best?
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Kayak Shem Creek

Top Beaches: Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms, SC
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Bad drivers

Which Bad Drivers Annoy You the Most?
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Wyndham Vacation Rentals Vacation Differently
Multigenerational Trip

Planning a Multigenerational Trip: How to Please Everyone
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What Kids Want

What Kids Want on a Family Vacation
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Rainy Day in Orlando

Rainy Day Activities in Orlando
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Travel with Pets
Should pets fly on jets

Should pets fly on jets?

USA Today
Video and article

Guilt trip pet travel

Guilt trip: Pet travel can be stressful for people, too

USA Today
Video and article

Select Articles & Blogs

Cruise Ports: What to Do in Gibraltar

Physician’s Money Digest
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Trakai Castle

Lithuania: A Rising Star for Tourists

Physician’s Money Digest
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Family Fun in the Ohio State Parks

Xanterra: Family Fun in the Ohio State Parks

Xanterra Parks & Resorts
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Rapid City

Profile: Tempting Tourist Towns

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All in the family

Multi-gen Family Vacations

Physician’s Money Digest
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say aloha to authentic Hawaii
Photo: Candyce Stapen

Say aloha to authentic Hawaii

USA Today
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Old Salem

City Getaway: Winston-Salem, NC

Physician’s Money Digest
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Advice for going on Safari
Photo: Alissa Kempler

Advice for going on Safari

Physician’s Money Digest
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Botswana's Okavango Delta

How to Explore Botswana’s Okavango Delta

Physician’s Money Digest
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Catching the Migration in Kenya

Dream Trips: Catching the Migration in Kenya

Physician’s Money Digest
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Best new Products for Summer Family Travel

Best new Products for Summer Family Travel

USA Today
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Featured Videos
DC With Kids App

DC With Kids, FamilyiTrips.com

Click image to view video

More Broadcasts/Videos

Featured Book

“A classy series with encyclopedic coverage.”
–National Geographic Traveler

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