A Conversation with Debbie Dubrow

Debbie Dubrow proves that traveling with little kids is not only easy—but fun!  Her blog, Delicious Baby, is one of the top-rated blogs on its kind, placing her as the traveling mama of the millennium. In addition to her travel expertise, she offers tips, tricks, and the best-of locales for trips with families in tow as well as personal stories about her own travels with her husband and three kids. Recently, she co-founded Passports With Purpose, an organization that raises money to help communities in need around the world. She’s been interviewed by NPR, teaches classes at the Rick Steves Travel Center, and has been featured on such sites as ABC News, the Consumerist, and Arthur Frommer’s blog.  Check out her blog here.

Free plug: tell us about Passports with Purpose, where you’re one of the co-founders.

Passports with Purpose is an annual travel blogger’s fundraiser.  Once a year, we all band together to give back to some of the places we’ve visited.  Last year, we built a school in Cambodia.  This year, we’ll be raising $50,000 to build a village for families in India who currently live in mud huts.  As a donor, you not only get the opportunity to help change the course of a family’s personal history, but you also get entered to win some truly fabulous prizes (for example a multi-night resort stay or a Kindle Reader).  The energy and passion behind this effort each year is truly amazing, and I feel inspired by all the bloggers who put in so much effort and creativity to make it a success.

How did you “break in to travel writing”? What have been the keys to your success?

I started my own website, DeliciousBaby.com to write about our own family adventures, our top travel tips, and favorite products for family travel. Over time my audience grew and now I’m often surprised at the opportunities that come my way through my blog . In person meet-ups have helped a lot – whether it is meeting with local travel bloggers here in Seattle, or attending conferences where I meet established travel writers and travel bloggers from around the country.

Knowing what you do now, if you were starting from scratch today to become established as a travel writer, what steps would you take to ensure success?

Writing every day (or almost every day) for my own website was a great way to improve my writing and develop my voice. It’s also important to spend time developing relationships with other bloggers and writers who are just starting out and with writers who are more established.

I also think it’s important to maintain a strong connection with your audience.  Once you start developing relationships with others in the travel industry, it can be easy to start writing for them instead of travelers, but it’s hard to grow your audience if normal people can’t relate to your stories and advice.

What advice would you give to someone near and dear to you who wanted to become a travel writer—assuming they had zero credits to their name? (Besides “Don’t do it”?)

Find your “niche” and build yourself up as an expert in that area. A lot of people write very general articles, so if you find a niche where there is no one established leader (or where you offer a different point of view) you can build your reputation quickly. If there are a few people writing in your niche, together you can create a community that supports each other.

What happens to a parenting blog after your kids grow up? Will any blog—should any blog—last that long?

It’s a great question, and one I haven’t fully figured out the answer to.  Luckily, since my youngest is only 1 1/2, I have a long, long time to decide how to evolve what I’m doing!

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Debbie Dubrow is a mother of three (ages 4, 2 1/2 and 3mo) living in Seattle,  WA. Her blog, Delicious Baby, is about  traveling with babies, toddlers and kids.  DeliciousBaby offers the perspective and real-world advice that only a mom who travels frequently with her kids can offer.  Debbie also recently launched an iPhone app called TripDoc.  TripDoc lets you organize everything you want to do on one map so that you can plan your days and find your way around.

Interview conducted in October, 2010 by Travel Writing 2.0 author Tim Leffel and edited by Kristin Mock.

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