the Traveling Dad Team
John Vanda & Kevin Gillooly
Kevin & John have been best friends for over 10 years, first meeting when their wives served together on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Given the enormous overlap in their interests – video gaming, pop culture, sports, playing golf, and all things Disney, Star Wars, & Marvel – it would not be surprising that they may have been brothers in a previous life. It was this affinity for Disney vacations, be it at the Parks or on the Disney Cruise Line, that sparked their podcasting careers in 2016. Their show, “Don’t Make Me Pull This Flying Elephant Over!” combines their in-depth Disney knowledge, personal stories, and dry yet nutty sense of humor, with notes of licorice and a hint of Irish whiskey.
JD Andrews is an award-winning executive video producer, world traveling photographer, speaker & social media specialist. He's spent 20+ years traveling the world (100 countries across all 7 continents), creating, shooting, & editing travel/tourism videos for various cruise lines, airlines, DMOs, tourist boards & television networks.
TravelingDad contributor Brian Armstead has been involved in print, radio and
television for over 41 years. He is President Emeritus of the Washington Automotive
Press Association, and has covered the auto and travel industry from many exotic
Our guest authors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but each has something unique to contribute to Traveling Dad.
Jon Bailey - travel blogger/harried dad/vacation dreamer/worrier, likes exploring far away places, home cooked meals like his Sicilian mama used to make, John Varvatos, The B52’s, and a front-of-the- line pass to just about anything. Father to two teen girls and husband to one outstanding man, Jon has combined his talents and passions to build 2DadsWithBaggage.com into a growing social gathering space for savvy travelers and their friends. Particularly focused on family travel, lifestyle and parenting, 2DadsWithBaggage features travel stories and tips from around the world, as well as the everyday adventures of
two gay dads raising two teen tempests. Jon is also owner of i.d.e.a., an integrated marketing agency based in San Diego focused on helping brands find their courage.
David is dad to two energetic and happy boys. Living on Long Island in close proximity to New York City, he and his family enjoy making the most of the many events and locations around the area, from the Met Museum to the NY Mets. More of a recreational traveler than a business traveler, he and his family take several road trips per year to visit family and friends all over New England. Ad man by day, and full-time dad by night, he is excited to share his experiences and discoveries as he takes on his most exciting journey yet: fatherhood.
Brandon, AKA The Rookie Dad, is a working father of two. He hails from Kansas City, the heart of the U.S. where it is easy to travel to just about anywhere in the United States. He has traveled the length of I-70 through Kansas and all the way to east coast, and hopes in the near future to travel it to the west coast. He offers tips and tricks for people traveling to the Midwest and believes that it is one of the most under traveled destinations.
Jeff Bogle is an at-home dad who writes about fatherhood, family travel, and All Things Childhood on his site Out With The Kids. His stories have also been featured on The Huffington Post, Esquire and PBS Kids, among other print and online outlets.
He is married to an adorable redheaded gal with whom he has two remarkable tween daughters who provide countless hours of humorous in-home entertainment.
He considers himself one of the luckiest guys in the world, although he needs to be reminded of this fact from time to time
Miles and points have taken Jeff, his wife Chrissy, and their two sons, Ryan and Cole, to over 35 countries. They have been seen flying first class, business class, and even in coach on low cost carriers. Whether he’s staying in a hostel dorm, or in a luxury suite at a 5 star resort, Jeff is constantly looking for the best deal to make travel as close to free as possible. A background in math and science provides the analytical basis necessary to manage more than 80 loyalty accounts for his family. Jeff is a co-founder of The Points Consultants, and has been a featured speaker at the Chicago Seminars and Family Travel for Real Life Conferences.
Tim Burns is the father of 8-year-old twins. He blogs about the adventures of parenting from a fun-loving dad's perspective at ageekdaddy.com. A connoisseur of comic books and remote control cars, he enjoys family road trips and is an avid Detroit Tigers fan.
Hud is a long-time traveler and a new dad. His first son, Hudson, was born on 2/5/17, so he’s still trying to get the hang of this parenting thing. He lives in Raleigh, NC and works for RewardStock, a travel company that has a free website that shows users how to earn, manage, and use reward points instead of cash for travel. His specialty is using points and miles for (nearly) free travel and hopes to share some of this knowledge with the Traveling Dad community. He’s looking forward to learning from all of the seasoned dads out there!
As writer of the blog As The Joe Flies Joe Cheung is a self-described “average Joe trying to fly his family for less.” He specializes in helping families utilize their miles and points to travel at a great discount. He uses those same techniques to travel domestically and abroad with his wife and two children throughout the year. You can also find him podcasting at Saverocity and Tweeting at @asthejoeflies.
Richard Christensen was born with an insatiable curiosity about the world and degrees in History and Library Science have only fueled that fire. He's often seeking new adventures, whether that be spinning in a teacup with his daughter at Disney World or heading off the beaten path to visit a lost piece of roadside Americana. You can read about this Michigan dad and his travels on the Wagon Pilot blog or brush up on your Disney World expertise over atPixie Dust Daily.
After accompanying his travel writer dad to the Peruvian Amazon, Paul Eisenberg had his first trip report published at age 15 in Junior Scholastic magazine and has been a fan of family travel and journalism ever since.
Some years later he went on to serve as editorial director at Fodor’s, where for nearly a decade he directed a guidebook program including U.S. and family travel titles. He has reported on travel for Barclaycard, Shermans Travel, and FoxNews.com, has written about parenting for Nick Jr. magazine and authored the sixth edition of Fodor’s Around New York City with Kids.
In 2010 his article about medical tourism received a Lowell Thomas Award, the highest honor in travel journalism.
Paul and his wife live in New York City with their three children.
Kevin is a New Yorker by birth and settled down with his family in Virginia after serving as an active duty Naval Officer for 10 years. He is husband to Jennifer, a Federal Government employee and Navy Reserve Officer, and father to two wonderful daughters, Audrey and Kathryn. What brings him to Traveling Dad is a decades-long love affair with all things Disney. A multiple visitor to both the Walt Disney World Resort, as well as Disneyland Resort in California, he has often been called upon by family and friends for “expert advice” on the best way to plan their Disney vacations. He’s even provided real-time text message support to loved ones already on Disney property needing food or entertainment recommendations. As if this weren’t crazy enough, he has also made multiple voyages aboard Disney Cruise Line, is a member of the Disney Vacation Club, and is a proud stockholder of The Walt Disney Company.
Jason Harris is a writer, community manager and happy father of three. Jason's passion is enabling people to have better lives and better experiences through technology. In between family road trips and ventures in the Northwest and beyond, Jason is also the tech correspondent for , the most listened to travel radio show in the US.
Tim lives just down the road from the #1 family travel destination, Walt Disney World. Although he, his wife, and two kids visit this area quite often, they’ve also traveled to Peru, Costa Rica, on an 8,600 mile road trip around the US (yes, two kids and parents in a car for 8,600 miles!), and cruises through the Caribbean. Tim has worked in the travel industry for 17 years and is currently planning his next adventure! You can follow Tim and all of his travel adventures on Jones Family Travels.
A simple internet search for cheap airfare led Richard to chasing the proverbial white rabbit down the hole towards points and miles. Richard’s passion is exploring the inner workings of loyalty programs in order to provide readers the best strategies for maximizing their loyalty account balances. Richard has traveled to over 40 countries and has lived in the UK and Japan. His wife, Emily, and son, Thomas, are his favorite travel companions. Thomas has visited six countries and taken over 20 flights at the ripe old age of one.
Richard graduated The Georgia College in 2007 with a BBA in International Business followed by Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI where he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps. He served as the Supply Officer of the ballistic missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) from 2010-2013 followed by a three year your in Japan as a Material Control Officer responsible for supporting maintenance on Navy and Marine Corps aircraft outside of the US.
Richard is currently a lieutenant working in the Washington D.C. area inside the Navy aviation community.
Contact Richard via email at [email protected] or keep up with him on Twitter and Instagram (@thepointsjock).
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” – Mark Twain
Steven Locke, AKA Mr. Locke, is a computer geek at heart. It turns out that he's pretty good at photography and videography, too. An Ohio native, Steven digs road tripping with his family, bourbon, craft beer, disc golf, and video games. Did we mention cigars? Yeah, those, too. You can find Mr. Locke on Sand and Snow...and everywhere in between! where he's showing his take on the world through the lens of his Nikon.
Shawn McAskill is the millennial father that the old print newspapers warned you about. He is a marketing professional living in South Florida with two highly energetic boys and a very patient wife. Shawn loves his family, his cars, FSU, and wasting his free time planning out everything he’d like to do in his free time.
Dan Miller generally writes over at Points With a Crew about how families (especially larger families) can travel for free or cheap. Feel free to contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @PointsWithACrew. He loves helping families travel and is more than happy to answer specific questions.
Bob & Sandy Nesoff
Bob and Sandy Nesoff have been together, and reporting together, for more than 40 years. Bob is an award-winning journalist who has worked for two daily newspapers and was a New York magazine editor. He is a columnist for New York Resident Magazine and a travel writer for a number of outlets and publications in the Northeast. Bob served as the first national president of the North American Travel Journalists Association and is a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors. His novel, Spyder Hole, has been highly rated on Amazon and has been treated especially kindly by the reviewers. Bob has been listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the Media and Communications since 1998.
Sandy is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and was a founding member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and a past national officer. She has coauthored a weekly travel column with Bob as they traveled the world from Africa to the South Pacific and throughout the U.S. and Europe. Their three daughters were their test subjects for travel. That job has now been taken over by a granddaughter and two grandsons.
Raphael has visited 38 countries, over 40 US states and lived in all four time zones between LA and NYC. Most importantly, he embarked on his toughest yet most rewarding journey: fatherhood of identical twin boys. He chronicles his trips through the lens of entertaining pre-schoolers with an attention span of 68.2 seconds.
Mark Orwoll is a California native who moved to New York City in his twenties to work as a magazine writer and editor. He ultimately landed at Travel + Leisure, where he held more editorial job titles and had more bylines than anyone in the magazine’s history. He recently retired from T+L as International Editor after 29 years in the editorial department (another record). He has traveled to 70 countries and 48 states, a number of them with his wife and three (now grown) children. When he’s not on the road as a freelance travel writer, he performs as a member of the Official Mandolin Ensemble of the United States of America, which is really just Mark and two of his musical buddies drinking beer and plucking stringed instruments in his backyard on lazy Sunday afternoons.
HERE ARE THE FACTS
- Name: Luiz Perl
- Blog: Jet Set Daddy
- Years as a Dad: 7
- Family: Saira (wife), Sofia & Elisa (daughters)
- Current Home: South Florida (near Fort Lauderdale)
- Current Location: Depends when you read this – by the end of next month I will have been to 10 countries (Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Chile, Trinidad & Miami USA)
- Travel Type: Business traveler during the week, family travel on weekend
- Favorite Trips: Anywhere new doing something active
- Most Exotic Trip: Road trip through Oman
- Countries Visited: 63
- Countries Lived In: 8
- Languages Spoke: 5
Josh Rodriguez is a father of three, husband, and founder of TexasDadBlog.com. He writes about parenting adventures in Austin, Texas, travel tips, and parenting from a fathers perspective. He enjoys taking trips with his family and road tripping across Texas. He is also a travel writer for Travelingdad.com. Josh recently co-founded TXBrewsandTunes.com where he writes about the craft brewery and music scene in Austin, TX.
Boyd Rogers is "that guy" who embraces business travel and finds joy in the journey wherever his travels take him. Boyd found his first calling in life as a dad shortly before he found his second calling as a global employment/labor lawyer and HR executive. Now a dad of three (and a dad-in-law of one), his favorite thing is scouting out new cities and travel adventures for his family. Boyd tweets at @boydlrogers and shares his "travel n' dad" pix on Instagram at boydlrogers. Professionally, you can find him on LinkedIn solving the world's HR and employment challenges.
Greg Stump is married to Traveling Mom Nasreen Stump. Together they have 4 kids- a 14 year old boy, 7 year old girl, 5 year old girl, and 1 year old boy. By day Greg is a paramedic for a large county service in Texas. Working a 48 hour on 96 hour off schedule Greg attempts to squeeze in as much outdoor/adventure/nature travel as possible into his days off. He thinks the ideal vacation is either walking a busy city center and eating all the things or being dropped by helicopter into the remote wilderness and not seeing another human being for a week. He also loves Disney more than he cares to admit.
Greg writes about adventure travel, travel with a wide range of kids, medical travel and all the ways to keep your family safe and sound while on the road.
Shreeraj is the proud owner of events site for locals and travelers Trekommend and even prouder father of two small kids. Despite an extreme love of the sun, Shreeraj has found himself progressively moving up the West Coast, starting in LA and currently residing in Seattle.
Eric Jay Toll
Eric is a reporter for the Phoenix Business Journal covering Economic Development. In free time, he covers the West--and other journeys along the way. Eric has been journaling about travel for more than 10 years. He is a traveler, camper, and accomplished chef--or fancy food dabbler, as the case may be. He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Aaron Turpen is a father, writer, and purveyor of dad jokes. With kids in tow, he often pretends to be in charge as adventures and (always law-abiding, officer) antics ensue. Aaron enjoys cooking (with gadgets) and driving vehicles on and off the road. And heavy metal. His children are under the impression that "Ozzy's Boneyard" is a station that should be available on every device at all times. Because he's raisin' them right. Aerosmith sucks! \m/
John Vanda was born in Michigan, and lived there just long enough to be a lifelong Detroit sports fan, including the Lions, despite his father's urging to never like the Lions, because they'll always let you down. When he was 10 years old, the family moved to Virginia, and he lived there until after college. During the college years, he married Jessica Vanda, and shortly after, became a military spouse when Jessica joined the Navy. Two wonderful kids, 7 moves and 16 years later, John is still a military spouse, now living in the United Kingdom. Somewhere along the way, he met fellow Traveling Dad, Kevin Gillooly, and they both soon realized that they had quite a lot in common, including their love of all things Disney. He's been on two Disney Cruises (with a third one booked for May 2017), has been to Disney Tokyo by the Sea, as well as Disney World and Disney Land, and is also a Disney shareholder.