Meet Candyce H. Stapen, Ph.D.

Candyce Stapen and Family

Candyce H. Stapen, 202-362-1433,
Great Family Vacations,,
Washington, DC 20015

Short Biographical Statement

Candyce H. Stapen, Ph.D.

Candyce H. Stapen, Ph.D.

Travel Journalist, Editor, Digital Travel Content Expert, NGO Founder
  • Columnist/blogger, Travel, Adventure Living,
  • Contributing travel editor, MD (medical doctor) Magazine.
  • Articles appear in many additional publications and outlets, including Global Traveler, The Washingtonian, USA, Cruise, Where to Retire, MapQuest, and The Washington Post.
  • Created Henny’s Kids,, a charity to bring solar-powered laptops to school children in rural Africa. Delivered the first 11 computers and solar panels to Zambia, June 2014.



Candyce Stapen delivers solar powered computers

Candyce Stapen delivers solar powered computers to rural Zambia.

Travel Editor/Producer, USA Today
  • Launched USA TODAY’s Experience Travel sites, including Experience Las Vegas, Experience Cruise, Experience Food & Wine, and Experience Caribbean.
  • Expanded, revised and created content for the travel section of the Point, a digital product showcasing local restaurants and experiences available at chain hotels.
  • Located 160+ expert writers, assigned articles, edited content, managed work flow and supervised three staff members. I assigned, edited and posted, within five months, more than 850,000 words of copy for the travel sites and about 75,000 more words of content for the Point.
  • Employed SEO strategies to maximize visibility and page views.
  • Produced and wrote content, including videos, that consistently ranked high with users.
  • Used content management systems to post edited content, photographs and videos.
  • Supervised an assistant online editor and three interns.
    February 2013- February 2014. Position was eliminated as part of across-the-board newsroom cuts.
Social Media, Digital and App Design and Development
  • Demonstrated ability to use social media. I have 12,000+ Twitter followers.
  • Possess more than 17 years of experience in the design and development of travel websites and apps; and more than 20 years of experience writing about travel.
  • Created FamilyiTrips, a travel app company.
    Design and develop the apps’ navigation, categories, icons and brand look. Hire and manage tech experts, illustrator, editor, photographers, contributing writers and public relations agencies. Edit and write content. Select content management systems.
    Establish public relations, marketing and social media strategies. The NY Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Washington Parent, WUSA-TV (DC), as well as many parents and travel bloggers praise FamilyiTrips.
  • Produce and write DC With Kids, 3.6 September 2013. Launched January 2011. Editor, producer of two apps by Deb Geigis Berry: Boston With Kids, 1.2, March 2012 and NYC Family Guide, 1.0, July 2012.
    January 2010-Feb. 2013. Because of my position at USA TODAY, I was required not to update or promote FamilyiTrips apps. As of Feb. 2015, the apps will no longer be available for sale.
  • Produced content for additional digital sites, including’s family travel site (April 2005- May 2007); Physicians’ Travel and Meeting Guide, print and online (Family travel columnist 2003 – 2008); USA (won SATW award for article);; Budget; (family travel news columnist January 2000 –April 2002); Family Travel, Family Travel; travel editor for (, a site that targeted Baby Boomers, October 2006 – November 2007. (TBD ran out of money for paid staff Nov 2007); and for the Walt Disney Company’s (editor November 1996 – March 1997; Contributing editor and monthly columnist April 1997-winter 1998).
Broadcast, Video, Travel Spokesperson
  • Travel expert for USA videos, 2013-2014.
  • Starred in and provided content for a digital promotion by Destination DC, (DC’s Convention & Visitors Bureau). Also, answered Facebook chat questions. Spring-Summer 2012.
  • Travel reporter, delivering periodical live segments for ten plus years for WUSA-TV, Washington, D.C.’s CBS affiliate.
  • Travel expert for live satellite media tours for National Geographic Books, Cruise Lines International Association, ResortQuest, Hyatt Hotels International, Busch Entertainment Corporation, SAM’s Club/Wal-Mart, and other companies.
  • Travel spokesperson for American Express Platinum Travel, National Geographic, Amtrak and other companies.
  • Travel expert on many television and cable news talk shows, including Today (twice) CBS This Morning (seven times), The Prudent Advisor (three times) and several programs on Lifetime.
Additional Books, Articles, Awards, Memberships
  • Authored 30 travel books (including two for National Geographic)
  • Written more than 2500+ travel articles.
  • Won the Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas travel award five times.
  • Awarded Caribbean Travel Writer of the Year for North America, 2004.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities grant recipient four times for editing/founding literary magazine.
  • Society of American Travel Writers member since 1988.
  • Travel Journalists Guild member; president 2006-2008.
  • American Society of Journalists and Authors member, 18+ years.
  • Recipient of numerous grants to support research in women’s magazines and newspapers, 1865-1930 when serving as a graduate professor of English, Towson State University.
  • Ph.D. English Language and Literature, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Cleo Maggie

Candyce raised her family in Washington, D.C., and currently resides there with her husband and two dogs, Cleo, a chocolate Labrador Retriever, and Maggie, a Newfoundland.