Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sex and Suburbia, Vacation Vixens

Sex and Suburbia, Vacation Vixens
By Julie Stankowski

I’m all about cruising. Cruise ship cruising. From L.A. (where I live) to anywhere. Don’t care where the ship goes, as long as I don’t have to fly to get there. I will no longer have to deal with airports and airplanes and mean people taking a small snow globe out of my bag and throwing away my little present for my daughter because it probably contained more than 3 ounces of fluid, which I might use to commit a terrorist attack on my airplane home from Mexico. I will no longer spend 3 hours on the telephone with American Airlines trying to use the millions of frequent flier miles we have accumulated because regardless of how far in advance I call, there are never any frequent flier seats available to wherever the hell I’m going. I will no longer spend an entire day getting four overstuffed suit cases and four ultra-heavy carry-ons to and from my destination (which is typically only a two-hour flight away). I will no longer have to perform a strip-tease act taking off my shoes, my belt, my jacket and my jewelry just to get to my gate. Yes, I have had enough with air travel. Boat travel, here I come.

Nevertheless, whether traveling by boat or by air, I would like to introduce my fantastic idea for a new business: The Vacation Vixens. I think I have come up with a great business plan for some entrepreneurial mom out there (definitely not me, but my mom could run the business with her eyes closed). No need to go to law school, get an MBA or even have a college degree for this profession. A Vacation Vixen knows her craft inherently. As if she was born with the knowledge and sense to succeed at this career. Vacation Vixens are travel experts who know how to pack properly, organize appropriately and happily stroll through an airport as if it were an easy-breezy Cover Girl day. Vacation Vixens can handle all of their clients’ needs in creating a stress-free vacation, from planning and preparation to getting there to returning home. They greatly reduce the need for the traveling mom to indulge in too much alcohol and Ativan before, during and after the trip. Yes, I think the market is wide open for Vacation Vixens to become wealthy, wealthy people. I would hire one.

The target demographic: disorganized moms who, after 40+ years of living, breathing and traveling, still cannot figure out how to appropriately plan and pack for a family vacation. Why is this phenomenon so difficult to master? Well, apparently, an educated, generally got-it-together mom like myself cannot, despite sincere efforts, figure out how to go on a damn vacation without over packing, fumbling through the airport trying to find the passports in her humumgo bag with 5 million things to keep the kids occupied and having to do at least ten loads of laundry when arriving home because she packed two outfits a day for everyone, which were never worn, but nonetheless need to be washed because of the tropical suntan lotion smell that seems to have permeated all the suitcases.

Having just returned from celebrating the 12th anniversary of my 29th birthday in Mexico with my husband, kids and parents, I am awestruck by my mother’s ability to travel successfully. She typically has only one suitcase which is never over the airline weight limit (mine is over every time and I have to juggle clothes and shoes from suitcase to suitcase until we get it right and don’t have to pay a $1,000 fine for an extra 3 pounds of clothing). She has a small rolling carry-on bag which appears as easy to maneuver as her own arm. She wears a necklace-type thing on her neck which houses her passport, airline ticket and a pen for her to fill out customs forms etc. I used to make fun of her for this - - didn’t think it was very cool or Carrie Bradshaw-ish. I now eat my words. On this last trip, I was so jealous of her un-cool, un-Carrie-like necklace (which I had previously told her only old people use) that I really wished I had one! And another thing, as light as my mom traveled, she magically pulled out any strange thing anyone needed at any given time. My daughter said her stomach hurt and my mom just whipped out a special chewing gum made to ease stomach pain (I didn’t even know that existed!). Someone had a ripped nail, my mom pulled out a clipper. I spilled red wine on my shirt, out came the Tide-To-Go Pen. Where does she stash all of this stuff? I have a gazillion bags that are ridiculously heavy and I can never find a goddamn thing that would benefit anyone. Well, I take that back. The marshmallow peeps always seemed to be at my fingertips and would always placate one kid or the other. But, still . . . .

Unless I am the only loser who has yet to figure out how to travel practically, I recommend hiring a Vacation Vixen. (And by the way, Mom, I think you should start this business!) The Vacation Vixen will assist you from the get-go. She will magically get the airlines to accept your frequent flier mileage, saving you thousands of dollars right off the bat. She will also make sure you have the best seats on the plane, with the most leg-room and in close vicinity to exit doors in the event of an emergency. Or, if you prefer and have the funds, she will arrange for a private jet. She will assist you in canceling the mail, the newspaper and any other services you will not need while on vacation. She will make arrangements for Fido and make sure he/she is enjoying a pet Shangri-La while you are gone. Fido will be picked up and dropped off exactly when you request and will be fully cleaned and groomed when she gets home.

The Vacation Vixen will pack your entire family’s suitcases and carry-ons, weeks in advance so you need not stress. She will arrange for your bags to be at your destination prior to your arrival via FedEx (or something like that) so that you need not worry about losing luggage and you need not haul what seems like an army platoon’s bags along with you through airports, security, shuttles, etc. She will make sure that your luggage contains every possible thingy or gadget you may need in the event of an emergency or a child throwing a temper tantrum, or simply throwing up. She will also ensure that your lipstick, gum and passports are easily found. She will arrange limousine transportation on all ends where there will always be a tuxedoed man holding a card with your family name. She will arrange for the resort at which you are staying to wash and dry clean all clothes just prior to your departure. Those same folks will pack those clothes for you in such a manner that when you arrive at your home via your personal limousine, your baggage will be awaiting you at your front door and will be ready to open with clothes that go right into the closet and right into the drawers, no washing machine required.

And the Vacation Vixen will also have hired and supervised an out-of-this-world cleaning crew to make sure your house is in tip-top shape when you get home. They also will have cleaned out your refrigerator and cabinets and stocked the same with fresh milk, bagels and cream cheese and produce so that you are completely set to get on with your life, as if you had never been gone in the first place.

There are only a few things the Vacation Vixen won’t do: foot the bill; give you a massage when you get home and redo your manicure/pedicure that got thrashed on the beach during vacation. But, you know how you always need a vacation from your vacation? Well, the Vacation Vixen has an “in” at all of the Adults-Only Four Seasons, One and Onlys and Ritz Carltons out there and will hook you up! Worth it, huh? Well, I just want to say to my mom, “Mom, if you do start this business, which clearly I believe will bring in loads of moolah landing you a spot on the Forbes top ten most successful female entrepreneurs, please leave it to me in your will. Although I am completely incapable of independently acting as a Vacation Vixen, I am quite capable of making sure I hire the right people to carry on your legacy!”

1 comment:

JS said...

Very cute! Would love a Vacation Vixen! Just have to figure out how to afford the damn vacation first!