Interview with Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan, the Founder of MomAboard.com
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? What is your background?
My name is Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan.
I was born and raised in Mumbai, India to parents with serious wanderlust. They believed that travel is the best education and took my sister and I to as many places as they could when we were children. I have that same passion for travel which is why kids have been to 31 countries and lived in 3, and they are both under 10!
What is MomAboard? What are your goals?
MomAboard started as a blog in 2009 when I had my first child. I was living in Sydney, Australia at the time and wanted to continue to travel and explore the region as I had pre-baby. But I couldn't find much help online - how do you find diapers in Japan when you don't speak the language? How do you find kid-friendly bed and breakfasts in New Zealand? Most everything I read was about Disneyland or Disneyworld so i started writing my own experiences.
In 2016, I relaunched the blog as a trip planning service that connects traveling families with local moms. The goal was to make relevant and reliable information easily available to traveling parents. And who better to provide that information than local moms right? They know how to navigate a city, all the best kid-friendly places and attractions, what to avoid. These "Mombassadors" create the perfect itinerary for your family, taking into account the ages of your children, your interests, budgets and needs.
We have 60 cities around the world covered from New Delhi to New York and everything in between. My goal is to offer service around the globe so that parents feel like they can travel confidently anywhere in the world with MomAboard by their side.
How did you come up with your idea for MomAboard? What was the inspiration? The "aha" moment?
I think the "aha" moment for me was a few years ago when I spent 15 hours planning a trip to Sicily for my family. Between online blogs and TripAdvisor I had thoroughly confused myself and was afraid that I would completely mess up our precious time off. I think many parents have this experience when planning a trip to a new place. In fact, we conducted research that has shown that the average family trip takes 8 hours to plan. I thought to myself there has to be a better way to do this. After a year of research and piloting various formats, the MomAboard you see today was born!
We love the term "Mombassador"! Tell us about the concept and how to become one?
We love our Mombassadors too! They are moms from around the world - doctors, lawyers, stay-at-home moms, bloggers - who all have one thing in common: they love their cities and enjoy helping people around them. Our Mombassadors know their cities like the backs of their hands and are always on the lookout for new and interesting things, and things to warn other parents about (we hate tourist traps and long lines!). To be a Mombassador you have to have lived in your city for more than a year and have at least one child over 12 months old. You can sign up here: https://momaboard.com/becoming-a-momaboard-mombassador/
What is your vision for MomAboard? Where do you see it in 1 year? In 5?
I want MomAboard to become the default trip planning tool for parents around the world. We are already seeing a lot of repeat customers which means we are achieving our goal of being viewed as a credible and trustworthy source. We don't take commissions from hotels and restaurants for this very reason. We want you to be confident that we are recommending what we love and what we think you will love. Moms trust moms, and that's why this works. As we expand to all corners of the world, we hope to make family travel planning painless and stress-free for parents around the world.