I Spy Parent Interview: BebeGoGo – Travelling Tots
Vacationing with kids is a whole new ball game. For parents, it’s not about relaxing. It’s about strategy and survival, backup plans and aching backs. But, when it’s all said and done, family vacations do make for lifelong memories. (Right?)
A pair of West Island parents is trying to make travel easier for visitors to Montreal with their new equipment rental business, BébéGoGo – Travelling Tots. Darcy Moncada and Caroline Seguin say that their own trips with young children led them to start the company, which rents items like high chairs, cribs, playpens, strollers, bouncy chairs, etc. They also operate an online boutique that sells some innovative gear for traveling with kids.
I Spy Montreal: Hello Darcy and Caroline, please introduce yourselves.
Darcy Moncada: I’m a stay-at-home mom to a one-year-old and a three-year-old. I live in Beaconsfield and my background is in the biological sciences. Once I had my children, I found it very rewarding to stay home and enjoy my time with the kids.
Caroline Seguin: I’m a stay-at-home mom with a high-energy toddler (age 2) and a curious and busy preschooler (age 4). I originally worked as a program consultant full-time for the government of Canada, but decided to take a leave of absence to be at home with the kids.
I Spy Montreal: How did you decide to start BébéGoGo?
Bébégogo – Travelling Tots was started as an idea born out of necessity. As parents of young children who travel frequently, we have used baby equipment rental services during our vacations to Maine and Florida. We really appreciated having all of the comforts of home waiting for us at our hotel and rental cottage. A nice, comfortable crib and high chair are the basic necessities when traveling with the kids; it really makes things easier. We thought that this would be an excellent service to start in Montreal. BébéGoGo decided to take it a step further and offer organic linens and an eco-friendly approach to business. We also operate a travel boutique where we sell unique and useful travel accessories for children, such as Trunki ride-on luggage and the CARES airplane harness.
I Spy Montreal: Although BébéGogo is aimed at visitors to Montreal, can locals use it too – if they want to try a particular piece of equipment before buying it, for example?
Our rental service is mainly used by visitors to Montreal, but locals could really benefit from our service, too. We rent jogging strollers, cross-country skiing strollers, such as the Chariot with ski attachments, and child carriers for hiking. It may not always be worthwhile for a family to purchase these items if they plan on using them for a limited time. We have also received a lot of requests from local parents to rent our CARES airplane harness. This is a really popular item and makes traveling with young children a lot easier.
I Spy Montreal: What is the farthest destination you have traveled with your own children and how did it go?
The farthest we have gone is Florida (both the Seguin and Linsdell families visit Florida every winter). From the first trip, both of us noticed right away (and it’s one of the reasons we started this company) the stress and exhaustion that we experienced traveling with little ones. We would arrive at our destinations burned out and depleted. From having to pay extra for car seats and playpens on the airplane, to losing luggage and not having the things we depended on daily for our little ones, our vacations had become really complicated. We would also get home to Montreal even more tired than when we had left.
Flying with kids is not easy, especially with delays, snow storms, increased security and costs, as well as crowded airports. We soon realized that if we were equipped with the proper travel accessories, our trips were that much smoother and the kids were happier, too.
I Spy Montreal: Can you recommend any favourite family destinations in your area at this time of year?
- Allan’s Hill Park in Baie D’Urfé (view map) for sliding is one of the best we have found yet. The parking is ample and it is well removed from the road so we can let the little ones run wild. The hill is gradual enough so that it is safe for the smaller sliders. There is also a beautiful view of Lac St. Louis from the top. It is also lit up at night for evening sliding.
- The Ecomuseum is a great place to take the kids for viewing animals in their natural habitat. It’s open all year-round and is located in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.
- Our little ones are full of energy and a great way to focus some of this energy is through gymnastics! Our children participate in gymnastics at WimGym in the West Island. They offer classes for children age one and up. The kids really love to climb, tumble, crawl and swing at the various play stations.
I Spy Montreal: Great to meet you Darcy and Caroline, and best wishes for BébéGoGo – Travelling Tots.