I spent 11 years working in software company sales and business development in Silicon Valley before starting Ciao Bambino. That fast-paced work experience during a period of radical technological transformation (the rise of the Internet) gave me my entrepreneurial bug, as well as the knowledge and confidence to start an online-driven family travel planning service. Starting from scratch in a new industry at 35 years old was intimidating, but I’ve never looked back!
One of the joys of running a travel company is that I’ve now been to all seven continents and I’ve lost count of the countries. A perennial favorite is Italy; the company is named Ciao Bambino because it is our founding destination. For good reason: Italy quite simply never disappoints with wonderful food, people, scenery and engaging experiences.
Other favorites include Morocco, for its exotic and visually stunning setting paired with incredible hospitality, and Kenya, a place with indelible natural wonders as well as life-changing opportunities to interact with people whose lives are so different than our own. In Southeast Asia, exploring the wondrous temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia while understanding this country’s tragic history made lasting impressions on our entire family.
The deep cultural immersion opportunity in Japan for all ages puts this fascinating country towards the top of the list as well. And finally, our trip to Antarctica, a place relatively untouched by humanity in comparison to the rest of the planet, had countless one-of-a-kind unforgettable moments. I could go on and on …. Chile, dude ranch vacations, Alaska, the Galapagos … how does one choose a favorite when all of these tremendous experiences are so different? The glorious part is that our bucket list remains extensive; we could never get to all the places worth seeing and understanding in our lifetime.
My position as the leader of Ciao Bambino has enabled me to play a role in enhancing the lives of millions of families through our website and family travel planning service. I passionately believe that travel is the greatest gift that we can give to ourselves and our children, and Ciao Bambino makes these experiences easier, better and more meaningful for everyone. Travel is fun, but it isn’t frivolous — it’s a powerful educational tool, builds lifelong bonds between family and friends, and creates an opportunity to cultivate healthy relationships as a global community with fewer stereotypes and more understanding.
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.