How Jews Do Summer Vacations
Jews don’t pack clothes. We just pack food.
We are still in the midst of summer which means Jews are still vacationing, Baruch Hashem. But keep in mind, when a religious Jewish family vacations that could mean 8 people. Or more. This kind of vacation is not happening in the Bahamas.
So based on my extensive research of religious Jews, here are some of the ways we like to vacation:
The Minivan Vacation
This is where we go on a long summer trip in a minivan, and then sleep at various motels along the way. Now you might ask, wouldn’t it be easier to rent a Winnebago? Short answer: for Jews, no. Do they even have room for eight to sleep in those things? And then to have to kasher the Winnebago? Not to mention cleaning it; at this point, you might as well build a house. When they start making Winnebagos with two sinks, one for dairy and one for meat, only then may some rabbis consider it permitted.
Three days in Wyoming can lead to starvation.
Jews don’t pack clothes. Just food. Full suitcases of tuna, Wacky Mac and salami. That is how good Jewish families pack. Also, it makes no difference how long the trip is. Trunkfulls of food is the tradition. Three days in Wyoming can lead to starvation.
When taking eight kids, an afternoon out in the city is a two-day trip. Just going potty is half a day so make sure to pack the food. You never know what can happen in the movie theater. The kids might get hungry and then you have to pay the concession stand prices. Nightmares do happen. A suitcase worth of food to the movie theater for an afternoon is how Jews vacation locally, along with the cans of Coke, so that the whole theater can hear you cracking it open.
There are some Jewish families that are so foolish that their vacation destination requires travel by plane. Here are just some of the many things that go wrong:
Security Check for a Good 75 Minutes
When you are late for your flight, you can thank the Jewish family in front of you at security.
Half hour to get the stroller through security check. The two oldest kids work as the roadies for the mom and dad. The demolition team makes sure the carriage is significantly dismantled so that it can go through the x-ray. Then the young Jewish family bonds on the renovation project of putting the carriage back together. This is an issue that even Ikea has not been able to figure out. No Allen Wrench can do this job. You would think that it should be an easy task to press the red button and flip the carriage open. No. It is not for the family in front of me at security.
Now it is time to find all the passports. That takes twelve minutes, because the passports are in the carriage that you just broke. By the time you figure out which passport belongs to which child, the people missed their flight. And that is how anti-Semitism was created.
Even though planes have lots of white noise, the Jewish family can pierce though it. That is what you do when you have six children. One kid is in a basinet, the other kid is in a stroller, the other one is crawling under the seat of the guy behind you, and the oldest is eating a gluten free meal that is treife because they got served first and she thought that the kosher meals come first. This all happens while you are still trying to figure out how to reconstruct the stroller.
Any good Jewish parent screams at their children a good thirty times over the course of a two-hour flight. First it is to stop moving, then to stop hitting the chair in front of them, then to find your kid wherever they are on the plane, and then it is to keep it down twenty times, and to stop throwing the ball. Why this family allowed their kids to bring a ball on the plane still baffles me.
Note to Parents: Yelling “keep it down” doesn’t always mitigate the volume your family brings onto the flight. I couldn’t sleep on my last flight because of the shushes.
Pull Out Dinner On The Plane
You ordered the kosher meals, but that does not satisfy the needs of any child who has a good Jewish appetite. Or a good Jewish mother. If they’re not serving corned beef, it’s not dinner.
The deli sandwich and pickle is a Jewish favorite. The rest of the passengers may hate you, but that chopped liver smear is the smell of Jewish goodness. You are doing them a favor, allowing the non-Jews to vacation as a Jew.
Wear a Baseball Hat
This way people can’t tell that we are Jewish. That is the last thing you want people to know about you on vacation. The incognito yarmulke can fool anybody, when there is a visor and New York Yankees logo on it.
Some people hide it wrong though. My dad, walking with his beard, baseball hat and a suit. They know my dad is Jewish. Nobody is showing up to business meetings with their baseball hat, just to show their love for the Yankees. And then vacationing at the motel, in the pool, swimming with your baseball hat on. True we are not fooling anyone but at least we are fulfilling the Jewish commandment of wearing baseball hats on vacation. It’s a mitzvah.
Still at the airport, before hitting the motel, stop at Duty Free for a minute and shpritz the perfume. It is free. I have never witnessed anybody purchase that overpriced stuff. Yet, it doesn’t cost to shpritz. The perfect Jewish travel shower.
Try To Find A Minyan
The Jewish man’s goal is to find a local shul so he can attend services and wake up at six in the morning every day of his three days of relaxation. This is why Jews don’t vacation in Bangladesh.
This is how you vacation with six kids. You don't stay in hotels... One room ain’t gonna cut it – you need four.
That is how Jewish families vacation. They spend all their money on motel rooms, but save on perfume. And then they enjoy the motel pool with their baseball hats, saving money on sunscreen. Yet, they never figure out how to put the stroller back together.