By Susanne Kerns
Thank you for contacting IDLE Travel Agency.
It’s summer vacation planning time again! Parents across America are caving in to the social media pressure to plan an Instagram-worthy vacation that rivals all their friends’ European Extravaganzas last summer.
We here at the IDLE Travel Agency know that planning engaging, international travel with children can be a challenge, especially when your kids have never seen a building that’s over fifty years old and think that quesadillas are foreign cuisine.
Our IDLE Travel Planners are here to ease your kiddos into their European experience with a selection of tours that are designed with the IDLE American in mind (not to be confused with American Idol, per pending litigation).
Here’s just a sample of the tours available in our “Animal Lovers” category.
Holy Shit, There’s a Duck!
Sure, you’ve flown thousands of miles to experience new cultures and broaden your children’s perspective of the world, but “Holy shit! There’s a duck!” Chances are that the city you just spent five grand to leave also has ducks, but by repeatedly pointing out to your children that “those are just like the goddamn ducks we have back in Cincinnati!” you’re teaching your kids a valuable lesson in global empathy: we’re all more alike than different – even ducks.
Is this tour the first step toward world peace? Probably.
And it’s also the first step toward accepting the fact that generic park animals are the only thing that your kids will be excited to see during your next two weeks in Europe!
The tour starts on the west side of a fountain and ends just slightly south-west of the west side of the same fountain. You guessed it, we’re just going to stand right here in the same spot while your kids lose their fucking minds over some stupid ducks.
Kids’ reviews include, “OMG! That baby duck is so fuzzy!” and “Can we skip Versailles and just do the duck-tour again tomorrow?”
Available add-on package: There’s a Squirrel in That Tree!
Art-imals Scavenger Hunt
For kids who love the duck package but whose parents have threatened to throw their Nintendo Switch in the Seine if they don’t physically enter an actual museum, the Art-imal package blends the best of both worlds: Art + Animals= Art-imals. Ha ha! See how much fun we’re having already?!
When you ask your kids what their favorite part of the Louvre was, without a doubt their answer will be chasing the disease-laden pigeons which almost decapitated you during your wait in line since little Timmy kept feeding them chunks of your seven-Euro croissant.
Well, what if we could bring all that pigeon fun inside the museum? (Not literally, per another pending lawsuit).
Whereas most museum guides break down their collections by useless categories like “Impressionist” or “Contemporary,” our IDLE Museum Guides are arranged by the most popular categories for kids: Cats, Dogs, Horses, Bears, Camels, Zebras, Monkeys, Birds, Rodents, Fish, and of course, Menagerie.
New for 2019: Our patented, “Hands Over Eyes” labeling system which indicates cannot-be-unseen paintings, such as Joachim Beuckelaer’s “Kitchen Scene,” which has been known to require some panicked answers to questions like, “Why is that cute ducky sleeping with his neck like that?” For kids who aren’t total pussies, there’s nothing like having them remark, “That hyena disemboweling an antelope looks just like Daisy!” to remind you that you forgot to leave a key out for the pet sitter.
Honestly, which museum experience would your kids prefer: standing in line for an hour with their faces pressed up against a sea of sweaty tourist ass to see the Mona Lisa from twenty feet away, or marching right up to Frans Snyder’s “Fruit and Vegetables with a Monkey, a Parrot, and a Squirrel”? Three animals! It’s like the Art-imal Trifecta! If the Louvre had a money shot, this would be it.
The universal truth of parenting is that whether your trip is one week or one month, by the second day of together time, you’ll be considering abandoning your offspring in the dungeon of a castle in the remote French countryside. Take it from us, international arrest is no picnic and only partly worth the risk. Avoid criminal prosecution by abandoning your children with us instead!
For a fraction of the cost of hiring an international lawyer, you can sign your children up for our Wi-Fi Tour. To you it may feel like child neglect, but in their eyes, you’re giving them the gift of a day with the only thing they love more than French baby ducks: Wi-Fi.
Our Wi-Fi tour will give you and your partner the chance to enjoy all the magnificent attractions of Europe while giving your kids the gift of their own perfect day: sitting in a dark room with Wi-Fi and charging stations.
Does the room have a view? No.
Does it even have windows? Does it really matter?
All that matters is that for the first time since disembarking your plane, you and your spouse can walk at a normal human pace, enjoy a restaurant with “gross stuff” on the menu and take in the sights with the thousand-yard stare that can only come from traveling with your family.
All of us at IDLE Travel look forward to helping you plan a dream vacation that you can embellish with heavily edited stories and photos for years to come!
Bon Vacances! Bonne Chance! And Bon Debarras!
About the Author
Susanne is a humor writer whose work has been featured in Scary Mommy, Redbook, Today Parents and several parenting anthologies. She’s currently writing her first non-fiction book. She also runs, “Informed Parents of Austin,” which she founded to advocate for LGBTQ students and comprehensive sex ed in schools. Follow her on Facebook to see why she’s frequently featured on Today Parents’ “Funniest Parents on Facebook” round-up. She’s also on Instagram, where she posts her tasteful nudes.* (*Mostly photos of poorly lit food, and animals, all nude.) You can also find her on Twitter whenever she accidentally opens the wrong app on her phone.