Walking On Travels just won a Totally Awesome Award for Top Family Travel Blog in the Nation. We recently spoke to them about their experience as a business owner, the best advice they’ve ever received and more. Hear what they have to say below!
Red Tricycle: Your community recently voted you “Top Family Travel Blog” – what do your customers value most about your business?
Walking on Travels: We give honest opinions on destinations, tried and true tips for travel with kids (and sometimes without them), but most of all, we show parents how to have fun on vacation with their kids. It doesn’t have to be solely focused on the kids. We believe any destination has activities, great restaurants and fabulous hotels that parents and kids can share together, without anyone getting bored.
RT: What do you want people to know about your business that they don’t already know?
WOT: Walking On Travels has been in business for almost six years now. We constantly strive to show parents how to get the best value for their money, whether they are on a tight budget or they have a little extra to splurge with. Just because a couple chooses to have children, doesn’t mean they stop doing what they love. We have always striven to show parents how to show their kids the beauty of this world, whether that’s through the destination, activities or food, and that has grown into our other site, Walking On Mom. This is where we focus on the moms out there who know sometimes need reminding that they were once their own person, that they need to take care of themselves to be the best mom they can be and that we aren’t alone in our struggles through motherhood and beyond.
RT: How did your business get started and what was the motivation?
WOT: I started Walking On Travels in March of 2011 after I returned home from a business trip to China with my husband and oldest son, then 14 months old. No one questioned bringing my husband, but they had plenty of questions and things to say about bringing my son along with us. They wanted to know “how” we did it, but more importantly, they wanted to know “why” we brought him. To me it was a no brainer. My son cost next to nothing to bring with me, while my husband cost a full-fare plane ticket. Why wouldn’t I want to share this unique experience of going to China with my entire family? At the same time I had friends starting to have children and I saw them put their lives on hold. They told me they would wait to travel again when the kids went away to college. I felt at the time, and still do, that putting your life on hold for your kids is a lot of pressure on your little ones to be everything you need in life. Why wouldn’t you share the joys of travel with them? Yes, it is hard to travel with kids, but you know what? It’s really hard to be a parent too, and it isn’t any harder when you change the backdrop through travel. Walking On Travels aims to show parents that they can have it all, they just need to adjust expectations and do it a little differently now.
RT: Tell us, what do you start your morning with: 1. coffee 2. tea 3. mimosa 4. water 5. all of the above.
WOT: Water and decaf coffee.
RT: What is the most awesome thing a customer has ever done for you?
WOT: I love when my readers tell me about the trips they have been on, whether I have recommended it or not. I have readers come to me all the time to suggest where we should go next too. It’s awesome to be part of an amazing community of parents who have chosen to travel with their kids because of our encouragement.
RT: What is your biggest pet peeve as a business owner?
WOT: One thing almost everyone, even my family, doesn’t truly understand is that I am not constantly on vacation when I travel. My job is awesome, but it is work and a lot of it. I experience in three days what the average person would take one to two weeks to explore. It’s fast-paced and exhilarating, but no one wants to hear a traveler complain… ever.
RT: How do you keep your stress levels down?
WOT: I’ve always had issues managing my stress. I started in the corporate world at 16 and I was working my way up until I left my full time career in publishing at the age of 29. Being my own boss and working from home comes with a lot of stress, but knowing I can give myself a few hours off if I really need it certainly helps. Recently I really looked at my diet and exercise routine and made some big changes there as well. As we women get older, what we put into our bodies and how active we are is so, so important, and I’m finally taking that seriously.
RT: What’s your secret superhero power as a business owner?
WOT: The ability to multitask, but also know when I just have to hunker down and get a project done. We are a society who likes to jump around a lot, or as some people would call it, we “squirrel” a lot, just like the dog Doug from the Pixar movie “Up.” My to-do list is key, and I’d be lost without my calendars for sure.
RT: Tell us, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received (as a parent or business owner)?
WOT: As a young woman heading off to Mexico for the first time at age 16, I was nervous. I had never left the country. My aunt and I were going to visit friends, but everything was the unknown to me. My dad took me aside and gave me the best advice I’ve ever received he said to me, “if it’s awful, you can always come home. It is only two weeks. It isn’t forever.” That has stayed with me in so many ways. It gave me permission to experience the world without fear, and as I started my own business, traveled the world with my boys, and went into the unknown, I knew that I could always go back to the people who love me for the support I needed.
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
WOT: Jet lag is one of the most feared aspects of travel for parents, but it really shouldn’t be. We offer a FREE Jet Lag Cheat sheet on our site that can help a parent conquer those fears and get through jet lag with their kids. Grab your free printable at http://walkingontravels.com/back-home/jet-lag-survival/
Check out their website here.
Photo credit: Keryn Means/Walking On Travels