About Us

santa elena canyon big bend
Here we are at the Rio Grande at Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Kristin and Tom's Story

After a 30-year career in publishing, Tom Bartel and Kristin Henning shed their last publication, their house, and most of their possessions. In 2010, they gave their dog to their daughter and set out on a journey to see the world. Kris and Tom combine a love of culture with enthusiasm for the outdoors. Their travels vary between long stays in such cultural cities as London, Barcelona, Rome, and Beijing, detours to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and spurts of hiking or biking in Europe, Australia, Asia, or the United States National Parks.

Even before taking to the road full time, Kris and Tom were students of the world. They’ve spent months in London going to the theater, a summer in Rome studying Latin, three months in Florence studying art history, and have visited nearly every major museum and church in Europe. They’ve lived in Madrid and Quito while teaching English, and earned their keep housesitting in Spain, Chile, and elsewhere.

Kris and Tom bring their considerable experience as professional writers and photographers, publishers and marketers, to Travel Past 50. It’s only natural that they enjoy sharing their personal travel stories, love offering travel tips to their followers, and work hard to support their clients’ content and marketing needs.

Travel Past 50

Travel Past 50 reflects Kris and Tom’s appreciation of international cultures and active travel. It is designed for travelers 50+ who share their sense of curiosity and are inspired to explore a range of destinations including historic sites, arts and cultural centers, and natural parks with wildlife. The blog is for those who want to learn, for those who want to participate, and for those who enjoy a good meal and friendly conversation at the end of the day.  Travel Past 50  has always been defined as the travel resource ‘for those who’ve been around.”

Working with Travel Past 50

Read on for examples of our award-winning work and professional experience, or jump here for more information about working with us in a variety of manners, including ambassadorships, consulting, and content marketing.

Awards for Kristin and Tom and Travel Past 50

Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), Central Chapter

North American Travel Journalists Association 2019 Awards for Excellence in Travel Journalism

North American Travel Journalists Association 2018 Awards for Excellence in Travel Journalism

North American Travel Journalists Association 2017 Awards for Excellence in Travel Journalism

North American Travel Journalists Association 2016 Awards for Excellence in Travel Journalism

National Geographic Photo Contest 2015  Editors’ Favorite

Honors for Travel Past 50

Feedspot Thirty Best Retirement Travel Blogs and Websites (2022)
Getting On Travel Best Boomer Travel Blogs in 2018
Feedspot Top 75 Baby Boomer Blogs
Feedspot  Top 20 Retirement Travel Blogs
SmartLad.com  Top 100 Travel Blogs You Should Be Following in 2017
Discover Corp   The Best Travel Blogs for Couples
ElderTrek’s Trek Talk Blog  Top Five Senior Travel Blogs
Flipkey by TripAdvisor  Top 20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2015
Trip Advisor  20 Boomer Bloggers Having More Fun than Millennials
Stride Travel  The Most Popular Trends in Baby Boomer Travel
My Faces and Places,  24 Baby Boomer Travel Experts Reveal their Favourite 3 Destinations


Tom Bartel and Kristin Henning bring more than 30 years of experience publishing and editing print newspapers and magazines to their blog at TravelPast50.com.


Guidebook: The Rake’s Secrets of the City: Guide to Minneapolis/St. Paul (2008)
Monthly: The Rake Magazine (2001-2008)
Web: SecretsoftheCity.com (2001-2010)
Weekly: City Pages (1979-1997)
Web: established CityPages.com 1994
Monthly: Minnesota Parent (1990-1997)
10,000 Arts Quarterly
Theater All Year (ticketing and marketing program)


Solo photography exhibit, “Time Zones,” Icebox Gallery, Minneapolis (2017)

Professional Associations

Current memberships:

Member, SATW: Society of American Travel Writers
Member, NATJA: North American Travel Journalists Association
Foundation Member, PALAT: Professional Association of Lifestyle and Travel Writers
Member, IFWTWA: International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association
Members of TBEX: Travel Blog Exchange
Members of TBIN: Travel Bloggers Influence Network (#TBIN)
Member, ATTA: Adventure Travel Trade Association
Former members of, and awarded editorial and design honors from:

Minnesota Newspaper Association
Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
Parenting Publications of America (now Parenting Media Association)
Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association
Society of Professional Journalists

Select Freelance Portfolio


Cathedrals: Masterpieces of Architecture, Feats of Engineering, Icons of Faith by Simon Jenkins, (published in US, February 2022) Photographs by Tom of Salamanca and Toledo, Spain cathedrals
Ultimate Journeys for TwoNational Geographic Books 2017; “Ghent, Belgium”
Great Hiking Trails of the WorldRizzoli International Publications 2017, various photos for Chapter 1, “The Way of the Pilgrim”

Regular Broadcast Contributors:

Travel Writers Radio Broadcast in Melbourne, Australia
Travel Writers Radio Soundcloud archives

Magazines, Newspapers, Websites

American Craft Magazine “Art on the Arno”
Outside Magazine “The 25 Trips You Need to take This Year”
FWT Magazine Maritime Canada: Seafood in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
FWT Magazine Acre Restaurant: Oasis in Baja’s San Jose del Cabo
Peregrine Adventures Blog The spirit of adventure: how travel has changed for the Baby Boomer generation
FWT Magazine Breckenridge Distillery: Out of Thin Air and Snowmelt
FWT Magazine Jaume Marin: The Guy Behind Costa Brava’s Tourism Success
TripIt Blog Budget Travel Tips for Boomers
Flights.com Blog Exploring the European Capitals of Culture: Wroclaw, Poland
TravelChannel.com Travel’s Best Retirement Getaways 2015
Minneapolis Star Tribune How a Minnesota Businessman became a World-Class Soccer Fan 
Minneapolis StarTribune “My Good Life: Retirement on the Road”
International Living Magazine, “An Off-Season Tour of the Chilean Coast”
The New York Times, “An Ex-Smoker’s Own True Facts”
BestKidFriendlyTravel.com, “Peterborough and the Kawarthas: A Family Play Vacation”,  “Hawaii Scenery with Small Town Benefits”

Kris and Tom in the News

While Travel Past 50 is frequently cited as one of the top travel blogs for travelers 50+, the following interviews and stories are more specifically about us and our traveling lifestyle. Check out these very personal interviews for unrehearsed, candid looks at our life on the road.

Old Dog Podcast “New Tricks for Old Dogs” Lifestyle interview with Kris and Tom
Finder.com Wanderlust with Tom and Kris
Mindtrekker Former Publishers Become Nomadic Travelers
Tripedia  Interview with Kristin Henning
One Road at a Time  On the Path of Redefining Retirement
The Expat Chat Interview with Podcaster Tony Argyle  Why 50 is the New 30 For Travelers
The Budget-Minded Traveler Podcast  Long-Term Travel in Retirement with Kris and Tom from Travel Past 50
Johnny Jet Johnny Jet's interview with Kris: Travel Style with Kristin Henning
Johnny Jet Johnny Jet's interview with Tom: Travel Style with Tom Bartel
Nomad is Beautiful  Interview with Tom and Kris
Podcast: The Gathering Road  on the Womens Radio Network, with Elaine Masters of Trip Wellness.com
Voyage Minnesota interview with Tom

And, our latest posts on TravelPast50.com.

Affiliate Partners

We partner with these businesses to advertise their products

Allianz Global Travel Insurance
REI Outdoor Equipment
BH Photo and Video
Think Tank camera bags and accessories

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Media Information: Working with Kris and Tom

We love sharing the stories we discover on our travels, and helping our clients tell their stories. Whether you are interested in using our services for content (our site or yours), PR, social media, or marketing consulting, we're ready to offer you options. Here is our latest Media Kit.

Guest Posts, Sponsored Posts, Paid Links, etc.

Please read our detailed information about guest posts, sponsored posts, paid links and other advertising/marketing opportunities

Privacy Policy and Advertising Disclosure

If you are interested in such things, here is our privacy policy and advertising disclosure.

Contact Us

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Tom and Kris are also the publishers of MNTrips.com, a website dedicated to travel around Minnesota.