It's not a secret that travel can be stressful, especially when children are involved. But if you add in children, security checkpoints, long airplane flights, and a ton of holiday travelers it can make for pure craziness. There are long lines at security, people are in a hurry, and there are just more people traveling -- often people who don't travel very much. I usually find myself extra frustrated when I'm traveling during this season, but one way that I've found to combat my attitude is to focus on gratitude.
I'll admit, gratitude isn't always easy when you are traveling. For example, I'm not usually grateful when TSA makes me unwrap my Christmas presents or wants to do an extra search of my backpack or sippy cups. And I'm not always nice. But, last year we did an experiment with our kids that involved kindness and gratitude while traveling that really worked and improved our perspective too.
On one of our travel days last year we decided that we were going to help make people's day better. As we arrived at the airport we started with smiling at everyone and thanking the baggage handlers and Delta counter workers as they took care of our suitcases and printed our tickets. Next, we made sure to be gracious and thankful towards our friends at TSA. While we wandered the airport waiting to board, we looked for opportunities to open doors for people and to make friendly comments.
As we boarded the plane to get ready for our journey we went out of our way to be kind towards the flight attendants and to let them know how grateful we are for what they do. We also looked around for other families on the plane and gave them encouragement and looks of sympathy when they had children cry or act out. We had decided that on our travel day we were going to be the passengers that made everyone's day better, not worse. And, not surprisingly, in return we had a better overall travel experience.
When you spend your time focused on the negative things around you it can be hard to see anything positive. But, when you look for things to be grateful for AND you take the time to let people know that you are grateful for them it can be life changing -- for everyone.
So, as you travel this holiday season, I hope you'll look for ways to show gratitude. There are opportunities all around us.