SkySquad was founded by Julie Melnick, a mom who traveled countless times cross-country to visit family with her toddler and baby. Here she shares her favorite travel tips and how to find a work and family life balance.
Q.Congrats on launching SkySquad! What inspired you to create this business? What is your badass Mompreneur story?
A. On one particular trip, I asked the gate agent for help with my car seat and luggage and he told me, “Sorry ma’am, those are your own belongings.” I felt so frustrated and upset that I had to struggle so much at the airport. That moment sparked the passion to create a service that would help families like my own. SkySquad was born out of necessity, and now serves families, seniors, those with disabilities, and more. SkySquad is expanding rapidly and can be found in DCA, IAD, CVG, and is launching at BWI and FLL this summer.
Q. Where do you live and do you recommend your city as a travel destination?
A. I live 25 minutes outside of Washington DC in a town called Bethesda. Do I recommend DC as a travel destination? 100%! There is so much to do and see in Washington DC, from museums and historic sites to beautiful hiking trails and views of the national monuments.
Q. What is your inside tip for families coming to your hometown?
A. We love walking along the trail near the C and O Canal. There is a beautiful waterfall called Great Falls that is a Must See!
Q. Is family travel part of your life?
A. Yes! Absolutely. We love to travel to new destinations and explore! We also love to travel to visit family in Florida and California.
Q. What is the most memorable trip you took with your kids?
A. I think the most memorable trip I have taken was a Disney Cruise with my family. I will never forget the trip to their private island with the waterslide in the ocean. That was pretty cool! We have not yet traveled internationally with the kids but it is something that I look forward to!
Q. What is your best advice for traveling parents?
A. My best advice is to go with the flow. Things don’t always go as planned and that is okay! If kids need a break, take a break. If you need a break, take a break. Everyone enjoys things more when well-rested.
Q. What is your favorite family travel product or service?
A. Besides SkySquad?
One thing that is new-ish, that wasn’t around when my kids were little, is car seat covers! Sounds so basic, but our car seats used to get so dirty when we traveled with them. Now, car seat covers make a huge difference in keeping them clean!
Q. What do you always pack in your carry-on?
A. A Chocolate treat for the kids (and for me) as a pick-me-up! Also, I don’t leave home without my favorite book, The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer.
Q. How do you balance work/life balance?
A. That is a great question! I try to make sure that I am always available for my kids after work and stay as present as possible. Playtime is a big part of our day-to-day. I love to play with them, and since they are bigger kids (9 and 12) that means making a tik-tok dance with them or talking about planes with my son, who loves air travel. I also love to take hikes as a family. When I am working, they know that it is important to let me focus on my work. We have an incredible au pair that really has made managing homeschooling and working from home possible for me.
Q.What are the advantages/disadvantages of being a mompreneur while raising children?
A. SO Many! Teaching your kids about starting a business, showing your kids what it is like to run a business. Involving your kids in the business, from teaching them about your industry (travel!) and inspiring them to follow their own passion.
Disadvantages: sometimes it feels like there is no beginning and end to the day because it is more of a lifestyle than a 9-5 job. But the benefits totally outweigh the negatives.
Q. What is your shameless plug?
A. We want to make travel easier for everyone by being your airport buddy. What is not to love?
You may also like these articles from Bébé Voyage: