When we sat down to plan our first family trip since the start of the pandemic, we knew we’d have to try something new. The size and composition of our group — four adults, two kids, and two dogs — would dictate our options. We were looking for drivability from D.C. (no one was ready to… Read More
About Candyce H. Stapen
Candyce H. Stapen is an award-winning travel journalist and author. As travel editor/producer at USA TODAY, Stapen launched the company’s digital travel sites. Her work appears in many outlets, including the Washington Post and Frommers.com. Candyce has written thousands of articles and 29 books about family travel, including two for National Geographic. She founded non-profit Henny’s Kids to bring solar-powered laptops and computer training to rural elementary schools in Africa.
Candyce raised her family in Washington, D.C., and currently resides there with her husband and Lily, a Newfoundland.
Entries by Candyce H. Stapen
After more than a year of the pandemic lockdown, we’ve planned a June trip to Anguilla, a Caribbean island known for its gorgeous beaches and great food. We’ve booked a house at Long Bay Villas to celebrate all the missed birthdays and milestones for our multigenerational family. We’re happy, hopeful and also hesitant. After all,… Read More
It looked so good on paper — a week in a Caribbean villa with my two sisters, their children and mine. By sharing, we cut costs, gained more space than a hotel room and added such luxuries as a private pool. The rental house in Jamaica, our first villa rental, gave us time to reconnect… Read More
At a Maasai settlement in Kenya, my daughter Alissa and I listened to a guide, robed in a traditional red shuka, explain the importance of cattle and how women construct the straw, mud and dung huts. When Alissa turned around, she saw a Maasai girl her age. Smiling, each of them pointed to the other’s earrings – tiny,… Read More
All of us need to dream now, and planning a bucket-list trip creates the joy of anticipation, even if the departure date still looms far into the future. For us, the go-to magic is an African safari. There is something joyous about watching a herd of elephants lumber across a grassy plain, lanky giraffes munch… Read More
We work-weary urbanites found a way to escape to the woods during the pandemic. Yellow birch trees towered over us and ferns feathered the ground along the Upper Jungle Trail at Mountain Lake Lodge in southwest Virginia. Even in the light rain, 3-year-old James happily ran along the grass path, saying “Wow!” and Charlotte, 21… Read More
We miss cruising. My husband and I board big and small ships with friends or relatives every year. Sailing gives us interesting ports plus time together and apart without the hosting duties of cooking and cleaning. When Azamara canceled our August 2020 Norway voyage because of COVID-19, we understood. Our spirits sank until we saw their 2021 deals. Then we booked another exciting voyage — two weeks exploring the Black Sea in April 2021.
I knew we were in trouble when our local tour guide drove silently for the first five minutes of our ride from Dubrovnik along Croatia’s coast. When I asked him if he would tell us about our destination, Cavtat and the Konavle Valley, he turned around, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’m from Bulgaria. I don’t know anything about the area.” And he didn’t, even though the company we used listed Dobromir as a “driver-guide.”
In over 30 years of covering the cruise industry, I’ve taken more than 60 cruises. I enjoy sailing on megaships and on smaller vessels. But even when this pandemic is over, it will take a lot to get me to board a cruise ship of any size. A friend and I canceled an August small-ship… Read More
Virginia Beach, with its 38 miles of coastline, offers a rare combination of secluded shores and a bustling beach town. My goal was to explore both in the same day.
Candyce H. Stapen, Ph.D.
Candyce’s Social Media
- The Washington PostRenting a Vacation Home for the first time? Don’t take anything for granted.April 25, 2021 - 1:15 pm
- Creators SyndicateTravel Insurance in the COVID-19 EraApril 19, 2021 - 3:03 pm
- Creators SyndicateWhat to Know When You Share a Vacation RentalFebruary 22, 2021 - 12:42 pm
- 5 Wonderful Ways to Enjoy Historical HonfleurFebruary 15, 2021 - 11:18 am