If Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor ever had a love child, it would look a lot like Bound Round, an ingenious interactive travel guide that lets kids share their travel stories in order to inspire others to explore the world.
Intrepid adventurer Raffles has spent many an hour lost amongst its pages and pages of online travel guides, videos, and journals, searching for need to know travel info written by his peers and sharing his own travel tips and experiences.
Here, over a game of ping-pong, Raffles & Bound Round’s Janeece Keller – the company’s founder & CEO – wax philosophic about travel and doing it for the kids. Over to them…
Bound Round is written from a kid’s point of view. What gave you the genius idea to start a travel website for kids that’s made by kids?
I was travelling back to Sydney from the UK, and had three kids from Manchester sitting in the row beside me. They were quizzing their parents about what they would see and what they could do when they arrived in Sydney, but were getting frustrated because their parents couldn’t answer their questions. They didn’t want to know just the basic stuff, they really wanted to know what Sydney was going to be like – stuff that was interesting to them, not just their parents. They wanted to know what was going to be cool and fun when they arrived. By the time we got off the plane in Sydney they had no answers and thought Sydney was going to be boring and just wanted to go home. No one should arrive in Sydney and think it’s boring! I knew I had to find a solution.
And you did!
Why do you think travel is so important for kids?
Travelling opens your eyes to more than you otherwise normally get to see. The world is an amazing classroom and there is so much you can learn about places and people around the globe if you just get out there and explore. For kids, it’s a great way to learn that people are all the same, but also all different and that those similarities and differences are to be celebrated. This builds a great platform to becoming an accepting and empathetic adult and a great global citizen for the long term.
Travel definitely helps me to understand other cultures.
You’re an entrepreneur just like Richard Branson who is one of my all time heroes. Do you want to start your own airline next? I would if I were you.
Haha, no I don’t want to start my own airline, but funnily enough when I was a kid the one thing I wanted to be when I grew up was the CEO of QANTAS so I could go travelling for a living!
And now you are travelling for a living which is really cool, even if you don’t run the airline. When I’m stuck for an idea or something isn’t working out how I want it to, I ask myself “What would Richard do? Maybe I should be asking “What would Janeece do?”
You travel to so many cool places. Where’s the strangest place you’ve been?
The strangest place would have to be a little village outside Accra in Ghana, where specialist
artists and carpenters make coffins in just about any shape, size and colour you can imagine.
Funerals are one of the most important events in Ghana and they are seen as both an opportunity to mourn but also to celebrate. The elaborate coffins they make in this town are a wonderful celebration of something special about each person who has passed on.
That sounds creepy and cool.
Do you have a favourite country for food?
This is a really tough question! I love food and find it so hard to choose just one! But if I had to, it would be Italian. There’s nothing like pizza from Naples – yum!
Pizza anywhere is yum!
Is there a place that you haven’t been that you’re desperate to go to?
There are a ton of places I want to go. In fact I’ve set myself a goal – to visit every single country by the time I’m 60! I’m getting close to my target but the number one destination that I haven’t been to yet, but cannot wait to visit is Sri Lanka. I’ve heard amazing things. Closer to home though, I’m desperate to visit the Kimberly – that’s absolutely top of the list.
They both sound amazing, can I come with you?
Where are the three most fun places in the world that you think all kids should go to if they have the chance?
1 – London: It’s a big city with amazing history and monuments. It’s super easy to get around, and fun too – with the tube and double decker buses to ride.
2 – Disneyland: It doesn’t matter which one you go to, Disneyland never disappoints. Everyone needs to experience Disneyland at least once in his or her lifetime!
3 – Visit Santa in Lapland, Finland – you can meet Santa, see his reindeers and elves, go on a sleigh ride, or even try your hand at ice fishing. There’s so much to do and what could be better than literally meeting Santa at Christmas? I’m taking my niece and nephew when they’re a little older and I’m so excited!
It would be so cool to visit Santa. And I mean cool as in cold! Make sure you pack a warm coat.
Can you tell me how you came up with your kids’ board of advisors and why they’re so important to Bound Round?
I’m not a kid – obviously – and I don’t have kids myself, so I had to find a way to make sure Bound Round was actually delivering what kids want. Everything we do is passed by our Kids Board to make sure we get their perspective and keep them top of mind and the centre of our focus.
How can kids get involved in sharing their reviews about places they’ve been?
It’s simple – sign up to Bound Round! All you have to do is login and you can start sharing. It’s free to join and you can post photos, write reviews, give star ratings and begin earning points to win free stuff!
Cool. I’ve signed up and have started doing some reviews. I like that there’s a place I can share my stories.
Your travel videos all star kids! How does someone become a Bound Round Junior reporter?
Once you’ve signed up to Bound Round you start earning points straight away – by sharing photos, stories, rating and getting your friends involved. Once you’ve earned 1,000 points you can redeem them to become a Bound Round Junior Reporter and we’ll send you off to experience an activity or destination and create your very own review video to be shared on the website! You can sign up here.
Epic. So any kid can be a Bound Round star!
Thanks Janeece for talking with me and for being an awesome adult who is making travel even more fun for kids.