MEET Yolanda Felton, FOUNDER OF Eat Drink Travel Mom
Bébé Voyage was co-founded by two moms who have spent countless hours pouring their energy into the business and the community. Between getting a startup off the ground and managing a family, they know what it feels like to be stretched! Along this journey, we have met so many amazing mompreneurs. The “mompreneur” community truly feels like a sisterhood. We have been so grateful to the community and this series is about profiling our powerful “mompreneur” sisters out there, making a difference in your communities!
Q. Congrats on launching Eat Drink Travel Mom! What inspired you to create this business? What is your Mompreneur story?
A. Thank you! I started a travel blog called EatDrinkTravelGirl back in 2012. When I become a mom three years later, the brand evolved into EatDrinkTravelMom, and I started looking beyond writing blog posts and articles. The Parisian Bunny Caper, my debut children’s book, is my first endeavor. I started my professional life as an attorney and moved into real estate. I enjoyed both, but I’ve always needed a creative outlet. For me, this year is about taking control and focusing on building my brand.
Q. Where do you live and do you recommend your city as a family travel destination?
A. I live in Los Angeles, which I think is a fantastic family travel destination. We’ve got great food, stunning architecture and lots of cultural activities. I miss the days of being able to take our daughter, Lily, to museums and street fairs. Honestly, though, I think the real draw is our amazing sunny weather. Also, the fact that we can easily run to the beach or the desert is a big plus.
Q. What’s your insider tip for families coming to your hometown? What are your favorite family-friendly hidden gems?
A. I definitely suggest buying tickets in advance for any attractions—it makes life so much easier. Kids love exploring “Urban Light,” the famous outdoor LACMA installation. Manhattan Beach has a charming pier and relatively shallow water that kids love to splash in. We also love going to Zuma Beach and Malibu Lagoon State Park. For kids visiting Los Angeles for the first time, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is always a big hit. I wouldn’t leave without eating some yummy Korean food, which is some of the best outside of Korea.
Q. Is family travel part of your life?
A. Family travel has been a huge part of my life. My husband and I had done a lot of traveling on our own before Lily was born. Many people told us there was no way we would continue to travel with a child, but we were determined to prove them wrong. Lily got on a plane at three months and started traveling internationally at 13 months.
Q. What is the most memorable trip you took with your kids?
A. When Lily turned one, we decided to go on a two year trip around the world. We traveled to 35 countries. Seeing the world through Lily’s eyes is something I’ll never forget. So much of who she is today was shaped by those years abroad. She doesn’t remember the beginning of the trip, but she has quite a few memories from the latter part of that journey. Lily has vivid memories of more recent trips, and she misses being able to travel as I do.
Q. What’s your best advice for traveling parents?
A. You can do it! A lot of parents come to me and say that travel with children seems too overwhelming. It takes some planning, but it’s definitely worth it. Organization is key. I’m a big list maker, and my “don’t forget to pack” lists have constantly evolved as Lily gets older.
Q. What is your favorite family travel product or service?
A. I love TripIt, a free app that coordinates all of your flights and hotel reservations. We stayed at a lot of Airbnbs on our big trip, so adding the stays to our calendars was always a big help. The GB Pockit stroller was a lifesaver. It folds down so small that we were able to put it in the overhead bin on nearly every flight. It’s also comfortable enough that Lily slept in it many days. When she was younger, the Ergobaby 360 was also incredibly reliable. We hiked all over the world in it.
Q. What item do you always pack in your carry-on?
A. Baby wipes. Even though Lily’s now five, they’re super handy when traveling. If Lily eats something sticky, I just grab a few wipes. Before we had to worry about obsessively sanitizing things, I’d put alcohol-based sanitizer on wipes to wipe down our seating areas on planes.
Q. How do you tackle the work/life balance (e.g., daycare, babysitting, schools, etc.)?
A. Before the pandemic, when Lily was going to school, I felt like I had a good handle on things. With her on month five of Zoom kindergarten, the lines are so blurred. I’ve committed to working on my business daily. Sometimes that means working on Lily’s lunch break, other times it’s when she’s sleeping. At the same time, I’m trying to be easier on myself because there is so much happening in the world right now.
Q. What are the advantages of being a Mompreneur while raising children vs. working for an outside entity? Disadvantages?
A. I prefer being a Mompreneur, without a doubt. It’s hard being your own boss, and there are absolutely no days off…but it’s much more rewarding, and I think it’s a great example to set for Lily. On the other hand, I sometimes miss turning in my work and getting steady direct deposits.
Q. What’s your shameless plug?
A. The Parisian Bunny Caper, the first book in the International Lily series, is out now! It’s available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.
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