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Thanksgiving Travel: Pack Your Patience and Gratitude

I was dismayed when I read yet another story about a flight attendant getting injured or verbally abused by a disgruntled passenger who was not in control of their own emotions. The holiday season means longer lines, traffic jams, crowded airports, and travel disruptions. Traveling is stressful, especially during the holiday season, but taking your anger out on anyone within arm’s reach is not okay. Implementing the travel tips below can minimize stress and help you maintain self-control.

  1. Arrive at the airport early. Thanksgiving is one of the most hectic of all holidays to travel. Plan to arrive early and be emotionally prepared for changes. Pack toiletries in your carry-on in the event your flight gets delayed or you don’t receive your bag upon arrival. Your patience is the greatest gift you can give your family and fellow travelers.

  2. f you don’t stay with family, have hotel rooms booked. The possibility of you getting a room or place to stay last minute is not a good option. Make sure you have lodging in place prior to leaving home. If your family is chaotic or unsafe, you should have an exit strategy in place and be prepared to leave when necessary.

  3. Have masks available and put them on when required. The Thanksgiving holiday is not a time to make a scene when asked to wear a mask. Rules are rules and each place has a different rule. Respect the rules of where you are. Your children are watching; be an example of respecting authority or else don’t expect them to respect your authority.

  4. Pack snacks. One of the major stressors is feeling hungry. It can lead to outburst of anger and irritability. Relying on restaurants along the way or time between flights to grab a snack is risky. Take the time to pack extra nutritional snacks.

  5. Gratitude for those you share the journey with. Traveling with your family can be stressful, but don’t let the stress keep you from expressing gratitude. Remind them how grateful you are that you can share this experience with them and be together. Stressful traffic, unexpected weather, lost baggage, and other hardships can be remembered fondly with humor and grace when you keep your focus on family.

Making memoires and sharing the experience despite the stress reminds your children they are part of something bigger than just themselves. This Thanksgiving let’s focus on arriving safely to our destination and leaving each other better for our visit.


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