New Year, New Adventures
It’s a new year and 2018 promises to be significant for Penguino Travel. I can’t wait to tell you about what’s next. But first, let’s look back at where we’ve been.
Two years ago, Penguino was just an idea. After coming home from a family trip to Mexico, I needed a vacation from my vacation. I knew I wasn’t alone. Every parent knows that travel with kids is hard! My husband (and now co-Founder) Mark and I began to explore if there was a way to start a business to make family travel easier. After many late nights creating a brand and designing our first Travel Boxes, we launched Penguino as an online store.
One year ago, we were packing up our first orders! Since then, we’ve redesigned our website and Travel Boxes. We have partnered with Plane Pal, Frog Orange and Simply for Flying – three companies founded by Australian moms – to bring their innovative products to the US.
Since 2016, we’ve talked to hundreds of moms and dads across the globe. We asked what is hard about travel. We also asked why they travel. Families told us that it’s not just to relax, have fun or connect. Parents travel because they want to connect their kids to the world: to give them awareness of people and places that make our planet so incredible.
Over the last year, our vision has grown – and come into focus.
We want to do more than simply make getting there fun for kids and relaxing for grown-ups. To empower families to go on life-changing adventures, we’re building technology to redesign the travel experience.
This means growing from a store to a travel technology startup!
With this goal in mind, we applied and were accepted into two startup incubators in Austin: DivInc and Founder Institute. Both programs offered three months of intensive workshops and mentoring.
Before launching Penguino, Mark and I traveled to over 40 countries. These experiences have inspired us to do business in a purposeful way. From day one, we’ve been committed to social and environmental responsibility.
This commitment came into sharper focus this fall when we attended the Travel for Social Good Summit in New York. At the summit, we connected with innovators and advocates from across the industry.
Travel sustains 1 in 11 jobs across the globe. And for many developing countries, tourism is an important source of economic growth.
But only $5 of every $100 spent by tourists remains in the local economy.
Most of the money spent by travelers on hotels, cruises, flights, car rentals, tours and more ends up back in North America and Europe, where big travel companies are based.
Travel can do more to make a positive impact in communities around the world. Travel has the power to create good jobs and empower women while preserving places of cultural significance and protecting the environment.
We want to be a part of the solution.
Last fall, we joined 1% for the Planet and made a commitment to giving back to protect the environment. Just last week, we officially became a Public Benefit Corporation. By empowering families to travel, we will create global awareness. But we will also do more. Our business will positively impact communities around the world while promoting socially responsible and environmentally sustainable travel.
So where are we going in 2018?
In just a few weeks, we will launch a pilot of the new Penguino Travel: a peer-to-peer platform that connects families across the globe.
Wondering how it works?
The idea is really simple. If you are planning a trip to a new place, Penguino will connect you to a local parent. This local parent will put together a personalized itinerary full of all the information you need to have an incredible trip.
If you love where you live and you want to help other families discover your favorite places, you can become a guide on our platform. Guides will get paid to create travel itineraries for families.
And don’t worry! The launch of our new platform does not mean the end of our store! We will continue to create the world’s best travel activity kits to curate life-changing products for family adventures.