A few years back, O’Captain braved a meeting of POTATO (Partners of Travel Agents & Tourism Operators), a support group for partners of Travel Agents. Now he’s gone & spent a day with their kids.

Referring to them as SPUDS or Tater Tots, they’re a community devoted to supporting the children of Travel Agents & industry professionals.

Below he shares his experience with them:

I was lucky enough to be invited for a day of observation and engagement at the travel industry devoted Child Card Centre, ‘Excess Baggage’, which is located in the beautiful Brisbane bayside suburb on Wynnum.

Initially, I’m met with a bit of trepidation, I suppose I have a face that screams “stranger danger”, but as I would with their mothers and fathers, I’m able to win their trust and the attention with food, lots of drink and the promise of free sh#t.

It’s quite remarkable how easy it is to discern what the kid’s parents do or who they work for based on the behaviours of their children.

The Flight Centre kids are not surprisingly the youngest and most boisterous, the Helloworld kids are a bit older and look at the Flight Centre kids with either contempt or disdain… it’s funny, the two looks are so similar, I just can’t separate them.

The home-based Agent kids looked relieved just to be away from home, and the kids of BDM’s just don’t know when to STFU.

And what they wear tells an even greater story, the head office kids and corporate Travel Agent kids come in wearing caps from Emirates Golf Days, shirts from Emirates Race Days, and bags from Emirates Tennis Days, while the front line novice kids hold on tightly to their prized Avis Stress Ball, the lone gift from Santa in a tough end-of-year.

But rest assured, these kids are remarkable (except for the teenage girls who, like all teenage girls, are the worst humans ever).

Like their parent/s, the SPUDS are quick on their feet, sassy, confident and passionate.

They’re hysterical and the day was filled with laughter. You may remember from my last article, some of their comments were comic gems like, “My name is Billy, that’s spelt Bravo-Igloo-Lima-Lima-Yankee” and “Mummy says I’m her favourite novice”, and who can forget, “Mummy goes to work in the morning, and comes home late at night smelling of grapes.” 

Here are some more classic quotes from travel kids from the day, enjoy:

“Mummy works for a wholesaler. She reads to me every night, generally after I have to wait on hold for an hour.”

“And I was like, economy class, #$#$ that, I’m not sitting with those coach wankers.”

“Mum always books me as an unaccompanied minor, even when she’s travelling with me. She says it’s because I’d more likely get an upgrade to Business Class, but I think it’s because she doesn’t want to sit next to me.”

“Daddy is going to global! That means we’ll be moving out of our house again, and I’ll have another new mummy.”

“Mummy threw a Birthday Buzz Night for me.”

“Mummy goes to Japan, and I get a Kinder Surprise from the Duty-Free store. Mummy goes to Disneyland, and I get a Kinder Surprise from the Duty-Free store. Mummy goes to Paris, and I get a Kinder Surprise from the Duty-Free Store. Thanks for thinking of me, Mummy.”

“Even though I’m just 12, daddy allows me to drive him home from work functions.”

“I’m not sure who my daddy is, but if you’re a male that was on the Imaginative Traveller Syria and Jordan famil in 2006 and remember having lots of drinks with a National World Travel consultant named Indigo, let’s talk, contact me here: onenightwithindigo.”

“Wait, there’s an economy part of a plane.”

“My daddy works for a travel insurance company. When kids at school ask me what my dad does, I tell them he is deceased.”

“My daddy works for a cruise company, but not the one with the waterslides or the cartoon animals or the bumper cars or flying fox, no, daddy works for the boring cruise line.”

“My school uniform consists of a wool fedora hat, shirt, tie, sport coat, suit pant shorts, knee socks and black leather shoes. My mum works for STA, and wears jeans and t-shirt to work.”

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