After a short break for the holidays, we are back with a new Mompreneur. This week we had the pleasure to talk to Charlotte Burgoyne, reporter, mom of 3 and founder of Little Voyageurs.
Congratulations on launching Little Voyageurs, tell us more about what inspired you to create this business and about yourself.
One day, after coming back from Uruguay with our 4 months old first baby girl, my husband tells me over lunch: “you should start a blog focused on family travel, to share your tips and favourite spots”. At first I was like “Whaaaaaaat? How come?” However, after a few discussions, I realised that his idea was simply brilliant. I had been a reporter for 5 years from the Middle East, covering cultural, travel and news stories; I had written 2 guide books and was collaborating with magazines based in the US. With this new little baby coming into my world, and the tons of travels that was ahead of us; reporting on my family trips seemed perfect. After months of brainstorming, the launch of a blog. I started Little Voyageurs as a webzine. We are growing and now we just launched a podcast, and we are about to release our very first print and downloadable PDF, City Guides for modern tribes! For updates on the launch, stay tuned on our instagram @littlevoyageurs.
Where do you live and do you recommend your city as a family travel destination?
I live in Algiers, Algeria and I do not recommend this city as a particularly family friendly destination. Although it is a beautiful and interesting city, it is not really suited for travelling tribes. Tourism is not really developed yet in Algeria, for instance, you won’t be able to find a reliable kid-friendly Airbnb, which is quite possible one of the best options when you travel with little one, right? There are a couple of places to visit, like the botanical garden the old town or some mauresques palaces; but again you won’t really have any commodities around there such as a place to eat, clean bathroom or a park to play in. Don’t get me wrong though, I like living here a lot, my kids are having a really good time but to visit only is not ideal.
What is your insider tip for families coming to your hometown? What are your favourite family-friendly hidden gems?
If you guys do want to come visit, plan a weekend, I recommend sleeping at the dreamy Saint Georges Hotel, visit the Botanical Gardens, the Bastion 23, the waterfront promenade Les Sablettes, walking on Algiers main street Didouche Mourad and going for half day to the roman ruins of Tipaza.
Is family travel part of your life?
YES. Travel has been part of my life since I finished my journalism diploma 10 years ago. Having kids did not change anything about my travel plans, I just adapted to travel differently. I feel like living abroad is like travelling everyday. Taking the kids to school, shopping, talking to local seems like a mini trip everyday. I do travel outside Algeria pretty often, almost every six weeks when the kids have vacation (yay educational French system!)
What is the most memorable trip you took with your kids?
This summer we rented a house in Cape Cod for two weeks and it was absolutely magical. We exchanged our car for bikes and spent our days in lakes and the ocean, used our barbecue daily and chased turkeys. It was wonderful to be so close to nature and see the kids loving it. As we live in a place where nature is not so easy to get to, this felt like a real refreshing time.
What’s your best advice for travelling parents?
Don’t have many expectations. Take the trips as it comes and try to make the most of the situations the kids will pull you in. You might not see the museum you planned on going to, or the restaurant you wanted to try badly but that’s ok.
What is your favourite family travel and product or service?
I am not going to be super original here. My absolute basics are a Yoyo Stroller by Babyzen and the ErgoBaby baby carrier.
What item do you always pack in your carry-on?
Washable markers, colouring and activity books, a change of clothes, snacks and a tablet.
How do you tackle the work/life balance (e.g. day care, babysitting, schools, etc)?
It is a daily struggle. Guilt still comes into place way too often, as I feel like I am not giving enough time to my last baby. The thing is that I am in a different place with work now, comparing to 5 years ago when I had my first child. I am in the middle of the biggest project (Little Voyageurs) I have ever done (launching a collection of printed city guides), so it is hard for me to give him as much time as his sisters had….I felt like I had some sort of balance after baby number 2 but then came baby number 3 and my whole world was shaken up again. The oldest are in school from 8.30am to 3.45pm and my little one has a nanny during those hours too. The rest of the time, they are all mine. We play, go to activities and do playdate. I also take my Tuesday afternoons as the kids don’t have school then.
What are the advantages of being a Mompreneur while raising children vs working for an outside entity? Disadvantages?
Advantages: flexible schedule, being able to spend time with the kids, doing what you love. Disadvantages: hard to make a business sustainable (aka making money), sometimes you wonder if you make the right decisions (am I working too much? Not enough?), hard to set boundaries work/not work time (you need a lot of discipline).
What is your shameless plug?
I would say our upcoming collection of Little Voyageurs print bilingual City Guides for modern tribes!
Check out our instagram page @littlevoyageurs