By 1936 the broking business was on a firm footing (in retrospect, he would quip, "that was the only time that I could have afforded to retire!") So, Eric took the opportunity of suggesting to his wife, Phyllis, that they take an extended holiday overseas. He had made a number of business trips to England before this but now wanted to see something of the world. She responded positively to his having a break from the office, especially if it would be somewhere which was not easily contacted by the staff as what had usually happened on previous breaks he had taken was a telephone call to summon him back a few days after they reached their vacation destination and she would be left alone with the children to see out the rest of the planned holiday. However, she did have one reservation over being away for an extended period, if it meant leaving their children in the care of others for something like six months. At the time, their twin sons were only about two and a half years old and, because her health had not been robust since their birth a nurse/nanny had always been employed to assist in their care. So, it was decided that they would go around the world, heading west, and would take the four children accompanied by the twin's nanny, Mabel Jackson, who was aged about 26. It was also arranged that Eric's brother, Arthur and family, would move into 'Graystones', their home, until they returned.
The family travelled via South America, calling at the four main ports Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santos and Rio de Janeiro; then they flew up the Andes in short hops in very small aeroplanes, which the adults found very hair raising and when Eric tried to speak to one of the pilots only to find that he spoke no English, his confidence was even more undermined! Their journey continued, sailing through the Panama Canal and up the coast of North America. Just prior to their arrival in the United States there had been a number of air disasters and when an enterprising young advertising agent learnt of this family of seven travelling, often by air, with four children, two of whom were appealing two year old twins, he approached Eric with an offer and suggestion that he exploit these facts, illustrated with suitable photographs, to counteract the bad publicity the airlines had been receiving. However, Eric, although always a great supporter of air travel throughout his life, but always a reserved and private person, would have none of it! On board the boat going through the Canal the family had become acquainted with, among other passengers, a Hollywood film producer, who offered to introduce their young daughter, Ruth, to her favourite film star, Shirley Temple, but this suggestion was also turned down promptly, as she too, had no desire for the limelight! After visiting Los Angeles, they sailed under the San Francisco Golden Gate bridge, shortly after it had been completed and visited the tourist sights of that city before again boarding an ocean liner, calling at Batavia and stopping for a most interesting tour of Japan at a time when 'tourism' was unknown as a business.