10 Minutes with BundleBeds Founder, Lucy Bartlett
As the founder of Bundle Beds, Lucy shares our passion for fun adventures, friendship, longevity, sustainable living, and a good night’s sleep!
She started her company, Bundle Beds after travelling the Australian outback and realising how comfortable the roll-out beds were out there. As an avid traveller, before and after having children, Lucy realised that campbeds in the UK were just not the same.
Lucy was keen to create something that was compact, easy to transport, comfortable, and long lasting that would stand the test of time, as well as children full of energy! And so Bundle Beds was born.
Now Lucy works with her brother on the brand, and still travels around the world with her husband, and two little ones, Arthur and Dougal.
As a fellow lover of adventure and letting kids be kids, we had to catch up with Lucy to find out more!
Lucy! It’s so lovely to catch up with you. We understand that you’ve just been on a mini adventure, travelling through Europe for 6 weeks? How was that?
It was amazing thanks. What an adventure! The kids are at the perfect age to be doing this – we have done a couple of trips around France over the last two Summers with them, but 5 & 7 years old seems to be the best age yet!
What was your favourite part of your trip?
We completely fell in love with the border between Montenegro & Bosnia, along the Tara river. We went rafting which was amazing – gorgeous water and the boys just couldn’t stop smiling. The whole landscape around there is stunning, and it’s on our list to go back and spend more time there as it was just beautiful.
How do you balance family life, going on adventures, while maintaining your business, especially while travelling?
Ha ha… do I do that?? We have actually found our groove this trip and it’s worked really well. On weekdays, I’ve got up early and worked from 8am – 12pm whilst Ben has entertained the kids. Then on weekends I’ve been really strict and not worked at all, and committed time to Ben & the kids.
Having long journeys has meant that I worked on my phone editing content etc, and then the whole family have been very patient whilst I’ve filmed and made content (especially Ben who has been very calm during set up and pack down when I’ve insisted on recording things!!).
And then Rob, my brother, has been amazing and made sure that I could have a proper week off emails etc to really enjoy a part of the trip when my sister came to join for a week.
What are your top tips for travelling with children?
Firstly, just do it! Parenting can be challenging wherever you are, so you might as well have a nice view doing it!
Secondly, it’s all about good sleep! I am a real believer in keeping to a similar bedtime routine to home, and being fairly strict with bedtimes – there are obviously the odd exceptions. But well rested kids are just so much happier and have so much more stamina for adventurous days that it’s well worth it. (Plus, our kids don’t know what a lie in is, and so whether they go to bed at 7 or 10, they’re still up at 7!)
Keeping things familiar to home – be it bringing their nightlight, cuddly toy, pillow case or an audiobook that they love and know, really helps them to calm down to sleep in a new place. Both my kids have a toddler Bundle Bed that they sleep in whenever they’re not in their own bed, and it just means that they know exactly what they’re sleeping on and settle so quickly. It’s like their own bed away from home.
And finally, I used to be happy to set off on a trip and book as I went, but I’ve really found that planning a route and booking accommodation makes life so much easier, and you’re able to tell the kids what’s coming next. I’ve found that if they know what’s coming then they’re much happier and ready to enjoy it. Plus, turning up in a new place and not being able to find somewhere to sleep is not ideal in the company of whining kids!!
If someone has never travelled with their children before, where would you recommend they start?
This might sound silly, but doing a trial night or two at a friend’s house, taking the things that the kids are used to at home (nightlight, teddy etc.) and getting them used to a sleepover works really well. It not only gives them confidence, but also you!
We’ve had a really lovely time travelling around France visiting Huttopia sites, that have all options, from grass camping pitches to safari tents and mobile homes, and most have a swimming pool and park. There are a whole host of them all around France, so looking at getting a ferry across and doing 3-4 nights at a couple of places is a great way to feel like you’re seeing a couple of different areas, but not making things too difficult, or the journey too long.
Top tip for the ferry – if you live in the South West, the Portsmouth to Roscoff ferry has a really good time to leave, at around 9pm. The crossing is around 7 hours, so booking a cabin and having that as your first night of accommodation is a good way to get an easy travel across, and save some cash on paying for a ferry and hotel / apartment.
As a keen traveller and explorer, you must be really good at packing light! What are your tips for keeping luggage to a minimum, while still keeping home comforts?
Remember that you can always wash clothes! We are completely in love with The Lab Co laundry sheets as they are great for the washing machine, but also dissolve in water for hand washing, so we’ve always got a zip lock bag of those handy.
If you’re prepared to wash and dry on the move, then you really don’t need many clothes. I love having a nice dress to pop on for the odd evening, but if you’re travelling around then it doesn’t matter if that’s the same one as you’ll always be with different people!
We always take a fleece and a waterproof and then a pair of tracksuit bottoms or jeans to cover colder weather, and then mainly live in shorts and t-shirts, or throw on dresses, and the boys LOVE their short Dotty Dungarees – we couldn’t get Dougal out of his this trip!
I always have a pair of the waterproof Birkenstocks and a pair of trainers as footwear, and then have crocs or waterproof sandals and a pair of trainers for the kids. And everything we pack, we roll up and pop into a soft bag each so it’s all kept separate and works well for the car parking jenga!
We LOVE swimming, be it in the sea, lakes or rivers, so we’ve always got a swim bag handy! We take a shorty wetsuit, two pairs of swimmers and a rash vest for each of the kids and then a rash vest and two sets of swimmers for us. The waterproof sandals double up as water shoes, and then we have a set of our Adventure Travel Towels that roll up really small and work as towels to lie on, change under or dry us!
What has been your favourite thing about building your company and brand, Bundle Beds?
My mission when I set Bundle Beds up was to help more people get out and about exploring, be it camping, sleepovers or travel adventures. Hearing that we have customers who had never camped but now do because of Bundle Beds, or families whose kids weren’t good with travelling but now love it because of their Bundle Beds – those are the best bits!
What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self when you first started this journey?
You don’t have to know it all or be good at everything. Asking for help from people who are better than you (and there is always someone!) is absolutely the best way to grow a business, so don’t be afraid to do it.
Anything exciting coming up for Bundle Beds, any sneak peeks you can let us in on!
Well, we’ve just launched our Adventure Travel Towels and have a few other travel friendly, non-bed related products up our sleeve… watch this space!
Lastly our quick fire questions!
Tea or Coffee? Rooibos Tea
Movie or Boxset? Movie
YouTube or Netflix? Netflix
Cosy night in, or Evening with friends? Evening with friends – ideally hosting and cooking!
Beach BBQ or Sunday Roast? Beach BBQ
Starter or Dessert? Starter
Summer holidays or Christmas? Summer holidays
Australia or UK? Can I choose 50/50 and chase the weather please?
Want to know more about Lucy? Take a look at her website, Bundle Beds to learn more about her company and brand.
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