Bebe Voyage understands how complicated traveling with all that baby equipment can get. In fact, we feel that questions about what type of gear to travel with when flying with baby are probably what attract people to our community in the first place.
So when we met goBaby founder Natalie Kaminski, we knew we had to bring the ease of her new app to our members. goBaby is a new app that will solve so many traveling with baby conundrums, it will change the game!
We had a chat with Natalie about goBaby, travel, and babies!
***Download the goBaby app, type in this promo code “BebeVoyage” under the profile section to get $25 off your transactions.***
Where are you from and where are you based?
I am from Brooklyn, NY and the goBaby is also based here.
How many children do you have and how old are they? How old were your children when you first started traveling with them? Where did you take them?
I have two daughters, Nika age 10 and Tali – 3 years old.
With my older one, we were not brave enough to start traveling with her until she was 2 years old and her first trip was to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. Since that time we have been taking 3-4 trips per year, and when our youngest one was born, we only waited a few months before taking her on a cross country plane ride to San Francisco.
To date, we have taken the kids to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, Costa Rica, Panama, Canada, Israel, United Kingdom, France, Belgium. We have also traveled a bit in the US, including California, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Philadelphia, as well as endless trips upstate NY.
What surprised you about traveling with small children? Was it easier or harder than you expected?
I was surprised to learn that it was not a big deal at all as long as you are prepared and organized. Both of my kids do really well on a plane, so I am lucky that I never had to spend a long haul flight walking up and down the aisle with a screaming baby apologizing to my fellow passengers. We always buy overnight tickets whenever we flight to Europe, and make sure to have both of them tired enough by the time we board so that they fall asleep as soon as we take off.
Long car trips are a bit more complicated, as it is not the best idea to drive overnight, so we just try to make stops every 2-3 hours and run around.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new traveling parent what would it be?
Many first-time parents are hesitant about traveling with infants, but I say to them – this is the best time to do so because, unlike toddlers, babies do not require any entertainment and usually do very well as long as they are fed and held!
If you have older kids, get them excited about the trip ahead of time, show them the photos of the destination, engage them in activity planning, and they will be a lot more likely to cooperate during the trip.
What gave you the idea to create goBaby? Is there a particular instance you can remember having the “aha” moment?
After a trip to Chicago in September 2015, where I was able to borrow a car from a friend, but couldn’t find an easy way to rent a car seat, I decided I’d had enough and was determined to prevent mothers and fathers around the world from ripping their hair out.
As an entrepreneur myself, the sharing economy was a natural place to turn to for a solution. We’ve trusted sites like Airbnb and Uber to make traveling easier and more affordable than ever. What if we could replicate that with an on-demand community that allows us to rent the gear we need for our children when we need it — eliminating the need to bring it with us or incur extra travel expenses by buying it at our destination. Thus, the idea for goBaby was born.
Other than cost, what is the advantage of renting gear when traveling?
The biggest benefit to traveling parent is the convenience of not having to pack and carry all the cumbersome equipment that kids may need. These include strollers, carseats, cribs, playpens, high chairs, and even potty chairs and bath tubs. Just like booking your airplane ticket or Airbnb apartment, parents can plan ahead and book the gear they will need ahead of time. Another use case is when you need something unexpectedly and don’t feel like buying an expensive item that will be only used once or twice – for example, camping gear, or a kids’ bike for a ride in Central Park while you visit New York City.
Needless to say, connecting with local parents provides an opportunity to make new friends, get advice about local family friendly activities, and contribute to the sharing economy.
Can you give us an example of a situation in which a traveling parent would use goBaby?
There are several use cases that are worthwhile considering:
- A family with a 3-year old is traveling to a large city to spend a few days exploring. They may choose to not bring a stroller, and instead rent it from a local parent on goBaby for just those days when they plan to do the most walking.
- A family with an infant rents a house on a beautiful beach, but the owner does not provide the essential baby gear, so they could rent the crib, the playpen, the high chair, the beach tent/umbrella, and feel like they have everything they need to be 100% comfortable during their stay.
- A family with a 5 years old visits New York City and decided to ride a bike in Central Park – the only problem is that it is impossible to rent a child size bike, so they could use goBaby and ride together as a family.
What is the most helpful piece of gear that you could find with goBaby?
goBaby offers many different items, including cribs, strollers, car seats, high chairs, toys, and more, so you can find anything you need for your child.
What makes goBaby different from other gear rental options?
goBaby is not a completely novel idea. There are many businesses that exist today that rent out baby gear. But most of them are small, local businesses, that are hard to find. They do not cater to modern parents who are used to the convenience of mobile apps and on-demand services.
Of course, some hotels may offer cribs for a fee, or you could rent a carseat from a car rental company, but the inventory is usually limited and the quality and cleanliness of items are sometimes questionable.
goBaby solves these problems by bringing together parents who are willing to rent out their baby items with those who prefer a stress free travel experience.
What’s even more important for us as parents is the safety of our children. That is why we have many features that verify quality and safety of the items.
What is your favorite piece of baby travel gear?
Believe it or not, but I do not own any gear that is travel specific! I prefer to travel light and rely on local families and their goBaby listings for whatever it is I may need.
What’s your dream for the future of traveling parents?
I envision an eco-system of companies working together to provide parents the ultimate stress-free travel experience. This includes family friendly itinerary planning, restaurant recommendations, lodging options, transportation, activities, and so on. As a busy parent, I don’t want to spend much time researching the internet, but instead I want to come to a single resource that will provide me with all the information and services I need.