Summer is a time of year when people love to travel. Kids are off school, and parents often make plans to take fun family adventures.
This year there are even more people traveling than in previous years.
The TSA announced on July 1st that they had the highest-ever number of passengers screened in a single day—2,883,595 people.
Because of this, the airports are crazy busy, and travel seems more difficult than ever before.
This doesn’t even take into account all of the cancellations because of weather, worker strikes, and simply not having enough employees to man the airlines.
We are heading to Sweden in two weeks, and I am surprised by all the airline strikes taking place across Europe.
There are so many places already canceling flights for the months of July and August because of these strikes.
Watching from the sidelines, it’s easy to see why so many are frustrated and on edge because of how all these challenges affect travel.
I love to travel.
Although I love to travel, I don’t really love the traveling part of travel as much as I love the destination.
Traveling is the complicated part where you have to make sure that if your flight is delayed, you’ll still make your next flight.
There is so much frustration that comes along with this.
So I’ve really tried this summer not to make things too complicated.
I’m trying to be mindful of the employees and show kindness to other travelers along the way.
I know it’s hard not to get frustrated when your flight gets canceled or when you get delayed and then miss your next flight.
But sometimes, there isn’t anything you can do about it. And getting frustrated about it isn’t going to fix the problem.
We need to be better when we travel.
My husband was on a flight recently, and the woman across the aisle from him decided that she wanted to put her bag in the middle seat.
When the passenger who was supposed to sit there came along, the lady said, “You can’t have the seat. That’s where my bag is going to go.” She would not give up the seat!
So, of course, the flight attendant had to get involved. She had to explain to the lady multiple times that her bag couldn’t have the seat.
“You didn’t buy the seat, so your bag has to go underneath your feet.”
The woman was completely enraged by the situation. She couldn’t understand why her bag couldn’t have the seat.
I can’t even imagine how the poor flight attendant stayed cool and calm while having this completely irrational conversation with someone who was being belligerent.
Eventually, the lady finally did move but proceeded to complain the entire flight about how bad the service was.
I believe we’re better than this.
We have to give other people the respect they deserve and focus on our values.
Even when we’re frustrated, we need to remind ourselves that when situations get tough, especially during travel, one of the best things any of us can do is to practice patience.
Patience is the ultimate traveling companion.
When flight delays come, or unforeseen setbacks happen, patience can help us to stay calm and composed.
With patience, we can let go of frustrations and learn to accept and adapt to challenging situations.
Patience helps us to approach problems with a clear mind and consider multiple perspectives. It also helps us to find positive solutions more quickly.
Ultimately, patience allows us to show compassion and empathy for those around us, especially for those who are working tirelessly to help us get to where we are hoping to go.
If we all used patience as our travel companion, there would be a lot more happy travelers—even when there are delays.
Here are some helpful ways we can practice patience while traveling.
Have a friendly attitude to those around you.
Being friendly isn’t just for other travelers—it’s for employees as well.
Airport staff deal with many different travelers on a daily basis. And each one of these travelers has their own set of needs and concerns.
There are far too many disgruntled passengers these days with all of the changes and delays. I’m sure employees are exhausted just trying to keep up with it all.
I’ve seen signs at the airport asking people to please be kind.
A lot of times, the employees have no control over what is happening. They definitely don’t have any control over the weather and flight cancellations that come because of it.
Approaching others with a smile and a friendly attitude can go a long way in helping them feel at ease. No one works well under pressure, so give them a positive space to work from.
Understand that airport staff and travel industry professionals face a variety of challenges, including long working hours, demanding schedules, and disgruntled passengers.
Put yourself in their shoes and try to empathize with their position.
Rather than venting frustration, try to approach any issues or concerns with empathy and understanding.
One of the craziest things I’ve seen is passengers on flights hitting the flight attendants—physically harming them. I just can’t understand this.
We can’t ever get to a point where we are so frustrated with a situation that we become violent.
Physically harming someone isn’t helpful and is a terrible solution.
We need to communicate calmly and constructively, seeking positive solutions together.
A simple “thank you” can go a long way in acknowledging the efforts of those working in the travel industry.
Whether it’s the flight attendants, gate agents, baggage handlers, or customer service representatives, expressing gratitude for their hard work and assistance can brighten their day and contribute to a more positive travel experience for everyone.
Showing appreciation for their assistance and acknowledging their hard work can help employees to overcome their own frustrations and more easily resolve the concerns of others.
Positivity brings more positivity.
We can all do more to be that positive source for others to draw from.
Allow Extra Time.
Time is a precious commodity during travel, and rushing only amplifies stress levels.
I really try to book my flights so that I have a decent amount of time in case we are delayed.
With my Sweden flight, I didn’t allow extra time this time. So if we miss it, it’s going to be a big pain to try to rebook the flight.
But that’s how life goes. Sometimes you won’t be able to allow extra time. But if you can, I promise it will make your travels so much easier.
I have found that giving myself ample time to reach my destinations, catch flights, or visit attractions not only eases the pressure but also grants me the luxury of patience.
Patience and resilience go hand in hand.
In the face of unexpected challenges, patience helps us remain resilient, adaptable, and optimistic.
Patience also allows us to bounce back from setbacks, learn from difficult situations, reduce stress, and maintain a positive outlook.
With patience by our side, we will have the ability to remain calm and composed in the face of any challenge.
Above all, I am certain that with patience as your companion, you will have a greater sense of peace as you set out on your traveling adventures this summer.
And in today’s world, peace is one thing we can all use a little more of.