Stephanie, from the United States, never had the opportunity to travel while growing up. In our interview she says, “I remember thinking ‘Man, I sure would love to go to Hawaii’.” When she began high school and college, she was finally presented with opportunities to travel. For her honeymoon, she and her new husband traveled to Kauai and loved it so much that they later decided to move there and attend school on the north shore. “It was really miraculous the way the whole thing came about, because we applied really late to school and somehow, they let us in, it was amazing.”
Ever since then, Stephanie has loved looking at airfares and exploring the possibilities and affordability of travel. You can find her posting multiple times a week to her Instagram account @blue_eyedtraveler where she has been sharing the best fares she’s found since January 2017. Stephanie began sharing these fares primarily for her family who kept asking her how and where she found such great deals on her travels. While she never promoted her Instagram account as she was simply doing it for fun whenever she found a good deal, her Instagram account is now followed by almost 800 people looking for a good deal from the SLC airport to anywhere in the world. She says “I just want to help people, and that’s why I do it. I just want them to find the good deals and enrich the experiences they have”.
She and her husband now travel with their 4 kids at least 3 weeks each summer and sometimes more. After just returning from a trip with her family to Mexico, they’re already planning their spring break trip to Cancun and then look forward to exploring the East Coast of the United States including Bosting, New York, Martha’s Vineyard and more.
Stephanie shared that she and her husband have been bringing their kids with them on their travels since their youngest was only 4. When asked if she had any concerns about traveling with her kids at such a young age, she compared it to simply going to the Zoo. “There are kids in Europe” she says. “People have kids there. It’s the same in Europe, but they have cooler buildings.” Stephanie then said, “We limit our own selves with how we feel or think about things” referring to the apprehension we often find when discussing traveling with children. She mentions that while they are comfortable traveling with their kids, they aren’t without caution. They are always aware of their kids’ location, especially in crowded places like the Louvre, “oh my goodness, we felt like sardines” she says remembering their trip to France.
After years of traveling with their kids, Stephanie and her husband have asked them how they feel about the trips they take to which they have responded “Our trips are the most important things to us, we can’t be on our phones, we can’t be plugged into things.”. Stephanie explains that they have to talk to each other, look out the window and be in the moment. She continues by saying “It really does open your eyes to different cultures, different people and different beliefs. It’s so good for kids to see all those different things and have those different experience. Travel makes you not so judgmental, not so one-sided. Let them make up their own minds. They know, truth is truth.”
As always, I asked Stephanie if she had any advice she would give to new travelers, her response: “Don’t sweat the little things” People call her all the time and share concerns about booking the right things and preparing for their trip so it’s perfect. “Relax and enjoy the Journey” she says. “Don’t sweat the small things. If you don’t have a place to stay for the night, you’ll find something.” Stephanie herself prefers not to plan in advance and has even been known to book accommodations while they were on the way to their next location. I think we can all learn from her when it comes to not over-planning.