Berkshire Mum, Laura Dean created Little People Big Adventures to help families who want to experience something a little different from their holidays. Planning a family holiday to suit everyone’s needs can be quite daunting but Laura is here to help every step of the way. Berkshire Mummies spoke to her to find out more.
Tell us briefly about your business?
We design adventurous holidays for those families that want to experience something beyond the guidebook. Whatever you are planning for your next holiday, whether it is to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat, camping under the stars in Oman, or spotting the Big 5 on an African safari, all of our holidays are designed to keep little ones interested and most importantly to be safe and fun. We believe that children are naturally curious and want to explore. So all of the holidays we design can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Tell us briefly about yourself and your family?
I live in West Berkshire with my husband and 2 little boys, George 3 and Theo who is 5 years old. We love to explore new places and when we are not planning our next holiday you will find us running around after the boys.
When did you set up your business and why?
I have had a Luxury Travel company, The Travel Design Company since 2015. Little People Big Adventures was born when our children came along and everyone said to us “there will not be as many holidays now”. We were determined that that wouldn’t be the case, because it is really important to us to show our little boys the world and expose them to cultures and experiences that will broaden their horizons. So we launched Little People Big Adventures in June 2020 to help other families have adventurous holidays.
What do you see as the benefits of being self-employed?
I knew that I always wanted to leave behind the corporate world and start my own business. My job in Aviation Operations was really demanding and I worked quite long hours, which would have been too erratic to fit in with my home life after having Theo. It means I can always be there for both my children and my husband. I wanted the freedom to be able to know that I could be there whenever they needed me. My husband Adrian also works in London so knowing I can be really flexible takes the pressure off him as well with being home at certain times.
How do you manage to run your business and look after your family?
I am lucky that I can be really flexible in the times that I work. The boys go to school and nursery, so I try to be really productive during this time. I then work before they get up and when they are in bed. I have learnt to block time in my diary and schedule the things I need to do to make sure I get everything done. I make sure that I get a good balance between work and home life.
What are your top tips to other parents considering setting up their own business?
Do something you love and are really passionate about. It can be difficult at times when you run your own business, but if you are doing something you enjoy it will help you to stay motivated and keep going. Build your network, this is something that I didn’t do well enough at the beginning but has since proved so valuable to me. These are the people that will be your best supporters, it gives you like minded people to talk to, bounce ideas off and who are also the most likely to recommend you. This is linked to the tip above, don’t be the best kept secret. It can be so hard to shout about what you do, but you will know your area of expertise better than others, so push yourself out of your comfort zone and shout about it, on social media, through your website, to anyone who will listen! You will feel so much better for it.
What’s next for your business?
We are just about to launch a travel game to help keep children entertained and engaged with travel experiences. It is a pack of cards with activity prompts that can be used during the day or at mealtimes. We are also adding some more exciting destinations to the website, so watch this space.
Finally, what are your top three things to do as a family in Berkshire?
The Changing of the Guard in Windsor is the boys absolute favourite and we are so pleased to see it back again after it stopping during the pandemic.
We are big fans of a walk around Snelsmore Common. The ever changing landscape changes the dynamic of the walk each time you go, the den building and spotting wild ponies is also a big draw for the boys.
We are lucky enough to live alongside the Kennet and Avon Canal, so we often cycle along the towpath and stop off for a picnic before coming home.
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