Spring Break Hotspots – Local Tips from the Babierge Trusted Partners

Spring break with your little ones can’t be beat – whether you’re hitting the beach as the weather turns up, catching the last snows of the year, or hoping to watch the foliage return at your favorite national park, there’s family fun to be had! Not sure where to go? The Babierge Trusted Partners have got you covered with some great local activities, eats, and accommodations in their cities.

Don’t forget to rent your Spring Break baby gear early to receive a 10% discount.

 

Penelope Hayes – Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston has been a perfect spring season family vacation destination for centuries because of the variety of activities it offers.

See: Now is the perfect time to hit the beach and avoid the crowds. There are so many other family fun things to do – boat rides to Fort Sumter, horse-carriage rides downtown, an excursion to the South Carolina Aquarium, a day at the Children’ Museum, and much more.

Eat: There are several great restaurants on Shem Creek that will be a hit with adults while keeping children entertained too. Enjoy fresh seafood in a casual setting while the kiddos are watching the return of shrimp boats and dolphins playing among the paddle boarders.

Sleep: The perfect places for families to stay are along the great wide beaches on the Isle Of Palms. There are many homes and condos available for rent, and it’s located only 12 miles from downtown Charleston.

Recommended Baby Gear: Carrying all of your beach gear is a breeze with an all-terrain folding cart.

 

Michelle Ross and Chrissy Gutierrez – Orlando & Daytona Beach, Florida

Orlando is the classic family destination, get it while it’s (not) hot!

See: Orlando offers all of the theme parks: Disney World, Universal Orlando, and it’s not 100 degrees outside yet in Spring, so it’s much more enjoyable. Epcot Center also has a International Garden Festival every Spring from February 28 through May 28!

Eat: Yellow Dog Eats is your one stop shop for family eats with American staples like BBQ, hamburgers, salads, tacos, and an affordable kids menu! Skip the food lines at Disney World and fill up at this restaurant, about a 20 minute drive from Disney world.

Stay: Any of the Disney hotels are pricey but REALLY awesome! For example the Jamba Lodge at Animal Kingdom actually has safari animals outside the resort so you can see them right from your room if you’re facing the right side – so cool! The Art of Animation is another great place for families with an epic pool for the kids.

Insider Tip: Bring a backpack full of your favorite snacks so you can keep bellies happy between meals. Food and snacks don’t have to be a big expense on a trip to Orlando.

Also: Buy tickets to the Typhoon Lagoon water park after 2pm, they’re discounted and it’s not as hot or crowded.

Recommended Baby Gear: A fun day at the beach requires a lot of bulky beach gear like pails, balls, shovels, and more. Rent a Beach Package instead of lugging all that gear! It includes an umbrella, beach towels, four personal fans, four beach chairs, a tote, and sunscreen for the family and baby as well.

 

Carolyn Pugh – Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola offers a perfect mix of relaxing beach life and engaging cultural history.

See: Visit the Naval Aviation Museum to see over 150 beautifully restored aircraft, one-of-a-kind flying machines, flight simulators, and a giant movie theatre to catch some footage of America’s fastest machines at work.

Eat: Peg Leg Pete’s is a must visit! Fresh seafood straight from the Atlantic as well as basic items like chicken tenders, steak, and pasta parmesan for those who prefer the cuisine of landlubbers.

Stay: Holiday Inn has a pirate ship & lazy river and Kids ages 19 and under stay for free when sharing their parents’ room. Up to four kids ages 12 and under eat free any time of the day in any Holiday Inn on-site restaurant.

Insider Tip: If you visit the National Aviation Museum on a Tuesday, you’ll see the Blue Angels practicing!

Recommended Baby Gear: A full-size crib! So many families thought they would be fine with a pack ‘n play, only to find out the hard way during their first night that babies sleep better in cribs, just like at home. A sturdy stroller is also a must-have for taking relaxing strolls along the island.

 

Stephanie Walsh – Sonoma County, California

Sun, wine, open spaces, and great food are all in store during a family trip to Sonoma and Napa counties.

Eat: Luma is the go-to spot for any occasion, special or not! A small restaurant tucked away in a quiet neighborhood in Petaluma, their staff is always friendly, the ambiance is comfortable, and the food is superb!

See: Did you know that Santa Rosa was the home of Charles M. Schulz? His legacy and cherished Peanuts Gang continue to be loved by new generations at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Next to the museum is the Snoopy Ice Rink and Warm Puppy Cafe where you can cool off and grab some lunch. On the other side is the Children’s Museum of Sonoma which is a wonderful indoor and outdoor space for the kids to play.

Stay: El Dorado Hotel and Kitchen is right on the Sonoma Square and is the perfect place to stay to enjoy the area. Bonus you don’t even have to leave the property to enjoy a great meal; their Kitchen is a great spot for brunch.

Insider Tip: Wine country has become more family friendly and there are many wineries that have made a point to keep your entire family comfortable while mom and dad sit back and do a little tasting. My family’s favorite is Larson Family Vineyard because my daughters LOVE the goats out front and the pups that roam the property.

Recommended Baby Gear: If you are visiting the area in the Spring or Summer I suggest a jogging stroller and an outdoor blanket or pop-up shade structure to enjoy the many wineries and parks this area has to offer.

 

Mary Martin – Carlsbad, California

A relaxing beach town, Carlsbad is a perfect middle ground for families wanting to enjoy expeditions to both Los Angeles and San Diego.

Eat: Take a nice walk down the Oceanside pier to Ruby’s Diner. Enjoy a burger and milkshake and ocean views all around you. You might even spot some dolphins!

Stay: Consider staying at an Airbnb or VRBO in Carlsbad or Encinitas. Many rentals include bicycles or kayaks for your family to use and are located in prime locations near the beach.

See: If you’re wanting an all day adventure, Legoland Theme Park California has lots of fun to offer for families. There’s even a water park open in the summer months. If you’re looking for a more casual day, Moonlight State Beach offers picnic tables, a playground, volleyball courts, and beautiful scenery.

Insider Tip: Consider finding a place to stay within walking distance to the beach. It will be worth the couple extra dollars to not have to worry about parking and really maximize your stay.

Recommended Baby Gear: You’ll definitely want a Beach Package to keep your family safe and comfortable all day at the beach.

 

Judi Greenhill – Savannah, Georgia

Avoid the typical hot spots and check out Tybee Island, known as “Savannah’s Beach.”

Eat: The Crab Shack is not awesome because of their seafood feasts and great non-seafood options, but they also have exotic birds and an alligator pond to wow your kiddos.

Stay: Beachside Colony is Tybee Island’s only oceanfront resort, this all inclusive experience has different accommodations for your family’s needs.

See: The Tybee Lighthouse has been guiding mariners safe entrance into the Savannah river for over 270 years! Plus children five and under get in for free.

Insider Tip: Best beach for beachcombing is Mid-Island Beach. This is your best bet for finding seashells!

Recommended Baby Gear: Single or double BOB stroller works great on the beach!

 

Clara Trujillo – Aspen, Colorado

Come to Aspen in the early Spring to enjoy North America’s premier skiing spot, or watch the snow melt as Spring sets in.

Eat: Jimmy’s Aspen, never disappoints. Offering innovative, American cuisine and the best tequila selections.

Stay: Stay at the luxurious, world renowned, Little Nell, right at the base of Aspen Mountain.

See: Skiing and snowboarding, of course! The little ones always love dog sled tours at Krabloonik, Snowmass.

Insider Tip: Hit up Snowmass Mountain, Naked Lady run for the noon groom. Beautiful sunny, blue skies and undulating slopes make for a perfect ski day. If you’re looking for something more extreme, hike up to the top of the Highlands Bowl for the most epic ski/snowboard ride down you’ve ever had. (Experienced riders, only!)

Recommended Baby Gear: Snowy streets means that having a stroller that can cruise through the snow, ice, and slush is essential. Rent a BOB, Joovy or City Mini GT Stroller so you can enjoy your stroll through town.

 

Megan Clark – Charlotte, North Carolina

Eat: A unique, local favorite restaurant, enjoy locally sourced pizza at Pure Pizza, located in an old townhouse uptown – you will never tire of this pizza spot, voted Top Best Pizza in 50 States!

Stay: You got to stay at the Ritz Carlton Charlotte! In the heart of a beautiful, walkable, art-filled downtown.

See: US National Whitewater Center is known for whitewater rafting, canoeing & kayaking but they have so much more things to do to name a few: rappelling, rock climbing, hiking & biking trails, live entertainment, craft beers & delicious eats. A fantastic spot to hang out with the family in a relaxed atmosphere that is fun for all ages. Bring a blanket to relax on the lawn enjoying the sights and sounds of the water.

Recommended Baby Gear: The Kelty Backpack Kid Carrier makes moving around the city, parks, hiking trails more mobile & enjoyable.

Insider tip: Charlotte has an amazing “secret garden” that exists here called Wing Haven. It’s one of Charlotte’s best kept secrets & is an escape from urban life. Filled with winding brick trails, water features, sculptures, birds & flowers.

The Best Winter Getaways for You and Your Baby

February in North America is a prime moment to enjoy the snow – just in time to say goodbye to rough temperatures, while still being able to enjoy fresh powder soon to be rain. We checked in with Babierge Trusted Partners across the country to see what fun times are happening in their areas, and get some ideas for local kid-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and attractions for your family to enjoy the end of Winter.

Jessica Beemsterboer – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor is the perfect winter mix of small town fun and mountain town sporting opportunities.

See: For playing in the snow, some beautiful walks, and sledding, try out Nichols Arboretum. The Hands On Museum is downtown and tons of fun, perfect for indoor play. It even has a great room just for 5 year olds and below, and a baby area too.

Eat: Zingerman’s Deli is a must-try! Afternoon Delight and Seva are a few of our other favorites and kid-friendly.

Stay: If you want to be downtown within walking distance to some of the best restaurants in town, a few stellar hotels are the Bell Tower and The Graduate.

Insider Tip: A bit further from downtown is the new 242 Community Center with a huge indoor park-like play area, and its free!

Recommended Baby Gear: Add on our stroller or infant carrier covers to keep the little ones warm while you’re out and about.

 

Patricia Stacer – Grand Rapids, Michigan

West Michigan always has so much to see and do, even in the winter!

See: Bring the kids to see dragons, unicorns, and mermaids! Get some hands on learning and take a ride on a 1928 Spillman Carousel that overlooks the Grand River at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Eat: My family’s favorite restaurant happens to be in my hometown, Vault Cafe and Bakery located on Main Street in Caledonia. It’s worth the drive for some fresh baked breakfast treats or some homemade soup and sandwiches for lunch. A great place for kids and parents.

Stay: AirBnb and similar sites offer tons of affordable, fun accomodations for families visiting Grand Rapids.

Insider Tip: Vacationing on a budget? Grab the kids and head to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for Family night every Thursday. Admission is only $1.75 per person from 5pm – 8pm.

 

Caitlin Hankins – Denver, Colorado

Colorado and the Rocky Mountains provide some of the most beautiful winter views, with a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy.

See: Copper Mountain Resort – Located just over an hour from Denver, Copper Mountain provides everything you’d expect from a ski resort in the Rocky Mountains, plus so much more! Snow tubing, ice skating, a snow-coaster, and a special kids-only zone on the mountain are sure to entertain the entire family!

Eat: Before a day on the slopes or even just a stay in town, locals love to start their day at the Butterhorn Bakery and Cafe. Then for lunch, soak in some Rocky Mountain sunshine at one of Copper Mountain’s many restaurants right at the base of the slopes. We recommend Mahi’s Street Tacos for a quick and delicious meal to refuel the family for some afternoon adventures.

Stay: Frisco offers tons of cabin and home rentals for your stay. Use 5 Diamond Lodging, a local property management company, to find your dream mountain chalet for your stay. Only 7 minutes to Copper Mountain, they offer a free shuttle to the resort and around Frisco as well.

Insider Tip: Even though it won’t be hot during your stay, sunscreen and SPF chapstick are a must when on the mountain! The sun is much stronger at 10,000 feet, even when it is cloudy. Also remember to drink plenty of water so altitude sickness doesn’t ruin your visit!

Recommended Baby Gear: Around town or on a snowshoeing adventure, you and your child will find comfort with this backpack kid carrier, made for longer treks in the great outdoors.

 

Mircedez Falcone – Bellingham, Washington

Bellingham is a typical Pacific Northwest wonderland with great food and even better outdoor opportunities.

See: Go skiing, sledding, or snowshoeing at Mount Baker. Lift tickets are free for kids 6 and under! The third biggest mountain in Washington, Baker always has unforgettable views for its visitors.

Eat: Washington is known for its breweries. At North Fork Brewery parents can enjoy a brew while the kids enjoy the pizza.

Stay: Mt. Baker Vacation Rentals have several cabins perfect for the whole family, all close to the ski area, hiking, and the small town of Glacier, WA.

Recommended Baby Gear: To enjoy some hiking with your little ones be sure to rent the backpack carrier. It’ll keep them nice and warm while you trek through the snow.  

 

Babierge’s Inaugural Trusted Partner Conference

Last Thursday, January 18, Babierge held our inaugural Trusted Partner Conference. It was a day filled with great connections, corporate updates, partner feedback sessions, and a top performing Trusted Partner panel where four of the most experienced Trusted Partners, Blair Gross in Orange County, Sarah Huff in Los Angeles, and Kathleen Chaput and Meredith MacNeill in Sonoma discussed how they create success and the little things that help them ensure customer happiness over and over again.

Founder Fran and Head of PR Trish posing with our panelists, Kathleen, Meredith, Sarah, and Blair.

Here are 10 special takeaways from a historic first Trusted Partner Conference:

1) Team for growth (and to avoid fatigue!) – It’s truly remarkable the difference a close collaborator makes in knocking out tasks, reaching goals, and saving time. Whether it be between spouses, close friends, colleagues, or fellow Trusted Partners, Babierge runs on teamwork.   

2) Never stop improving – Success depends on an ability to recognize weaknesses and turn them into strengths. From improving our platform usability for both Trusted Partners and customers, to helping partners grow their marketing and PR efforts in 2017, Babierge is always looking to better our platform and outreach. The HQ team welcomed loads of valuable feedback!

Fran discusses key insights uncovered during 2017

3) Answer the Phone! – Punctuality and quick communication make all the difference. The Trusted Partners all over constantly mention how quickly they pick up their phone makes all the difference between new business and lost customers.

4) Represent! – Don’t forget to be proud of who you are. Showing your personality and brand, whether it be in casual conversation or throwing a Babierge car magnet on a minivan like Meredith MacNeill does in Northern California, is great way to make sure people remember who you are and think of you when the time is right.

5) It’s in the details – Little insights and key data points make all the difference. From the nifty shortcuts Google Maps doesn’t know about, to knowing exactly when airport traffic is lightest, Babierge Trusted Partners create efficiency through knowledge.

Our incredible Trusted Partner panel!

6) Tap the tech – The Trusted Partners are embracing all that tech offers to grow their businesses. Kenny Wheeler from Miami mentioned how apps like RoadWarrior help him map out the most efficient delivery routes, while other Trusted Partners avoid traffic jams with Waze. Trusted Partner Taylor Horn in Sacramento shared how to use Google Voice and made partner duo Meredith and Kathleen that much happier

7) Wait ‘til the time is right – Trusted Partners like Blair Gross, who services Orang County’s beach towns, put special emphasis on not expanding too quickly before knowing customers need the gear… unless there’s a great sale, that is!

Smart phone tech and insights were a reoccurring subject in business strategy discussions.

8) Embrace simplicity Sometimes we can make searching for a solution way more complex than need be. Meeting a client at the Starbucks across from the airport is one of many go-to solutions San Jose partner Julia Sullivan has used to solve challenging airport pick-ups and drop-offs.

9) Make work play! – Partners all over talk about how fun Babierge is for them because they can bring their kids along to help deliver baby gear, make new friends with kids in customers’ families, and check out local museums, parks, or ice cream shops in delivery areas.

Our fabulous Sonoma partners!

10) Babierge leads to friendship – The Trusted Partners say other partners they have met through Babierge have become valuable friends and allies who have helped to avoid crises, tackle big orders, and create happy memories. It’s awesome to watch partners from different places and walks of life become good friends through the Babierge platform.

SO much love!

We are so excited to host a Trusted Partner Conference in all corners of the states in the near future, and continuing to build Babierge through love and collaboration.

How to Rock Your Side Hustle: Tips from the Babierge Trusted Partners

Schoolteachers, yogis, personal concierges, artists, businesswomen, and full-time mothers are just a few of the identities side hustle moms at Babierge occupy on a daily basis.

We’ve asked these busy moms how they are juggling it all while also building thriving businesses as baby gear rental entrepreneurs. Here are five ultra-valuable tips they’ve shared with other budding mompreneurs to make sure their side hustle works for them.

1) Set a schedule – When it’s time to work, stick to it. Make it a point to focus on work and not be distracted by the other numerous things that need to be done at home.

2) Work as if you are in an office and your boss is watching – Work for a focused 55 minutes then and take a 5 minute break to refresh.

3) Meal prep – Before the work week begins, Sunday night meal prep helps everyone avoid getting “hangry.” Designate a meal for each day like “taco Tuesday” and “pizza Friday” and gather your ingredients so that you don’t run out of energy while you work or have starving cranky kids bugging you while you finish up work. 

4) Have a designated workspace – Set up a nook in your home where you only work on your side hustle. This will make it easier to be disciplined about your gig work in general.

5) Manage your personal social media usage carefully – Otherwise you might find that you spent all day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Strollers, Car Seats, Cribs, Oh My! Kaylee Tucker – Wenatchee, Washington

Kaylee Tucker is a super mommy and gig economy mompreneur who lives with her baby boy AJ and husband, Alex, in East Wenatchee, a beautiful town in North Central Washington. She loves helping families travel and experience all the Valley has to offer. Kaylee is passionate about providing safe and top quality baby equipment so families can relax on their trips and create lasting memories. She has previously worked in education, sales and recruiting, and Human Resources. When she’s not helping families travel lighter, or chasing after AJ, she loves writing for the Wenatchee Mom Blog and exploring WA. Kaylee is thrilled to be a Babierge Trusted Partner and looks forward to helping families enjoy their next adventure!

Day Job – Full time stay at home mommy to AJ. No sick time. No overtime pay. No holiday bonuses. But lots of fun, and endless cuddles.

Most Unusual Gear Request – For some reason I get a lot of calls for construction equipment! It really confuses folks when I tell them I can’t rent them a “scissor lift”!

Most Heartwarming Order – I’ve been helping a great grandma plan her granddaughter and great-granddaughter’s first visit to Wenatchee. She hasn’t met her great-granddaughter who is just 4 months old and I can hear the joy, anticipation, and excitement in her voice. She can’t wait!

Funniest Delivery Experience – My mother-in-law was traveling a few months ago and she couldn’t keep an eye on AJ, so I brought him with me on a few deliveries/pickups. I had him strapped to my back in the Ergo carrier while I lugged around the cribs, strollers, toys, etc. It was quite a sight to see! AJ wasn’t the most helpful assistant that day but he did provide quite a few laughs.

Most Fulfilling Rental – A few weeks ago, I delivered to a family staying in Cle Elum. Nothing about the order was particularly unique or difficult – standard baby gear and drop off for the most part. I was able to deliver and set up before the guests arrived. Within 5 minutes of the family arriving to their vacation rental, I received the kindest, most heartwarming text thanking me for the service. And 5 minutes after that, the guest wrote a wonderful review on my website. I sometimes forget just how impactful our service is, and while I may think it’s just a simple order and delivery, to the guest, it’s much, much more.

Feeling Empowered – Being a TP and a part of the gig economy has given me the opportunity to contribute financially to my household while still being able to be with my son 90% of the time. I feel empowered being a business owner and having the freedom to build Babierge here in the North Central Washington region.

This experience has taught me just how powerful a platform community/marketplace can be! It’s great to see the Babierge community come together to help customers, refer customers, recommend equipment, share marketing ideas and more. We are all over the country and most of us have never met, but I truly feel like we are a team. I am so honored to be part of the Babierge community and work with the corporate team.

Click here to check out Kaylee’s gear selection and all there is to do in beautiful North Central Washington.

“Safe and Spotless” Babierge Customers Report in New Customer Survey; Kudos to our Trusted Partners!

Like any marketplace, Babierge customers leave reviews of the Trusted Partners, the independent contractors who provide and deliver the baby gear to traveling families. Overall these reviews are really terrific, often commenting how we “saved their vacation” or “came to the rescue.” Recently we decided to go a bit deeper and ask parents and grandparents more specifics about their experience with Babierge. Let me quickly summarize our Customer Survey findings – our Trusted Partners totally rock! Here are some of the highlights:

100% of customers consider the equipment to be Safe, an absolute standard that we cover in our Trusted Partner training program and reinforce in our community. This result shows that our Trusted Partners take Safety very seriously!

100% say the equipment is safe!

77% reported the equipment to be Spotless (a very high standard!) and the other 23% said the equipment was Very Clean.  And not a one rated it any lower than that! Enough said!

77% say “Spotless”

87% found the experience with Trusted Partners to be Excellent with the rest indicating Very Good.

87% say Excellent

Babierge’s company values together with  our community embrace the importance of hospitality and service. In our private community, our Trusted Partners are constantly trading tips on how to best handle customer requests, exchanging new ideas to better serve families (such as adding Holiday decorating items), and applauding one another’s “wins” where they went beyond expectations to help a family in need.

Finally, over 90% of participants in our customer survey indicated they were Very Satisfied with Babierge (and no one was unsatisfied) and 94% indicated that they are Very Likely to recommend Babierge to other families.

Wowza! These results tangibly show that Babierge Trusted Partners are truly delivering exceptional service and products to traveling families. This takes hard work and dedication and I am supremely grateful that they have chosen to embrace our values and work on our marketplace!

Other things we learned, most of them not surprising to us:

  • The “most important item” families rent from Babierge is the Crib (46%), followed by Car Seat (20%), cribs are flying again this Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • Prior to using Babierge, 26% borrowed gear from friends or family and 19% bought gear at their destination. I’m sure they’re happy that they don’t have to do that anymore!
  • And the biggest pain points are Getting through the Airport and Flight (44%) and Not Having the Gear they need at Their Destination (33%). So glad we can help!

So in advance of the crazy busy Thanksgiving Holiday – the biggest family travel holiday – Thank You Babierge Trusted Partners!

(Please share your holiday family travel horror story in the comments!)

Interested in joining our loving team? Learn about the Trusted Partner opportunity here.

4 New Trusted Partners Serving Some Pretty Fabulous Large Areas

Lavenda will provide service to Palm Springs, California and The Greater Coachella Valley including Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, La Quinta, and Indio. Meet Lavenda

 

Also, we have Joe and Debra who will be providing service to the Phoenix, Arizona areas of Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, and Paradise Valley Meet Joe and Debra

 

Finally Ambyr is going to provide service to the all of the popular areas in Austin, Texas. Meet Ambyr