The first crowd-sourced city guide for traveling parents has been published on Amazon. "Traveling to Tokyo with Toddlers: The Bebe Voyage Travel Guide" helps parents visiting the capital of Japan get the most out of their trip. Starting with how they should clear the airport with ease, the guide provides a host of relevant resources on how to do things in Tokyo, from paying for diapers with your subway card to when to visit the Sky Tree. All the tips in the book have been vetted by visiting and local parents.
One of the biggest time wasters for traveling parents is where to find resources that help them care for their children, and "Traveling to Tokyo with Toddlers: The Bebe Voyage Travel Guide" has it covered. From tips on how to find changing rooms to information about which restaurants has the best kids menu, this book is created by parents for parents. Traveling parents. Produced by Bebe Voyage, a community of parents who like to take their children on trips to interesting destinations, the book was crowdsourced from the community over several months of intense planning and preparation.
"The community has really been a fantastic resource", says lead author Wisterian Watertree, a Tokyo resident for 10 years and father of toddler triplets (two girls, one boy). "We have been able to complement a lot of our own experiences with those of other parents, both first-time visitors and those who have lived in Tokyo".
Bebe Voyage is a community which has grown explosively since it was founded in 2015. A lot of parents are interested in bringing their kids to see something different, but many never get going because there seem to be so many issues. You do not have to be very intrepid to take the step, though. At over 10 000 strong, Club Bebe Voyage is full of parents taking their children to destinations much harder to navigate and reach than Tokyo.
"It has been an incredible journey - pun intended!” says Marianne Perez de Fransius, co-founder and CEO of Bebe Voyage which she and her co-founder set up as a community of globetrotting parents providing collectively-sourced, local knowledge and practical advice on traveling with a baby. "There is so much information on the Internet, some of it wrong, most of it overwhelming. When you travel with your children, you need to get all the information you need from a trusted source so you can get the best experience out of the trip."
By using "Traveling to Tokyo with Toddlers: The Bebe Voyage Travel Guide," Marianne and Wisterian’s hope is that parents will have an easier time to get around the amazing sights that Tokyo offers, because sometimes they can be hard to access. "Even though Japan is an ageing country, it is surprisingly welcoming to children. But there are hurdles, so we wanted to help people identify them before they bump into them. Sometimes literally."
With the contributions from community members on the website and through their input in the Facebook group, "Traveling to Tokyo with Toddlers: The Bebe Voyage Travel Guide" has become a resource which is central to parents planning a Japan visit. Or actually, two resources.
"Since the original version of the guide has so many pictures and maps, and some content which does not work well in ebook format, we decided to make a more complete version available on our website as well," says Marianne.
"The Kindle format is a bit constraining since the royalty structure of Amazon makes it expensive to provide a book with lots of pictures and maps" says Wisterian. "The Kindle version will help you plan your trip, but the full version on the website is easier to use when navigating the city.”
As this is the first travel guide that Bebe Voyage has put out on Kindle, Marianne sees this as a bit of an experiment. “We already have Paris, London, Chicago, and Sydney travel guides on our website. If it goes well with the Kindle version of the Tokyo travel guide, then we’ll also make versions of our current offerings available on Amazon, as well as the travel guides we currently have in production: New York, Reykjavik, and Stockholm!”