Crowded roadways. Packed TSA checkpoints. Long airplane flights. Family travel during the holidays brings new meaning to the word “stressful.” In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year. Yikes!
Ironically, this can leave you and your family feeling anything but appreciative right before Thanksgiving, a celebration of gratitude. So, how do you foster thankfulness during this hectic season? Here are some ways to stay focused on love and gratitude when you’d rather throw your hands up and scream.
Put Others First
Put thankfulness back in your holiday travels by committing as a family to express gratefulness and appreciation towards others. When it comes to travel, there are so many things that we take for granted. But it’s important to remember that if holiday travel’s rough on you, it’s even crazier for those who are working.
So, let people know that you are grateful for their hard work. This can be as simple as smiling at your baggage handlers, thanking your flight attendants and pilots, or remaining pleasant with TSA personnel.
If you’re on a road trip, treat gas attendants, convenience store clerks, and toll bridge workers with extra thoughtfulness. It doesn’t take much to make somebody’s day a little better. What’s more, kindness is contagious. You and your family will enjoy a better travel experience when you remain focused on the positive.
Talk About Gratitude
When you appreciate and acknowledge other people, it makes you more thankful in return. Take time as a family to discuss what each one of you is thankful for. While this is usually an exercise reserved for the Thanksgiving dinner table, you probably need it even more while in the midst of holiday travels.
Why? Thinking positively and being thankful are like muscles. The more you exercise them, the stronger they get.
If you and your kids can maintain feelings of gratitude and appreciation on the busiest travel day of the year, then you’ll build some major gratitude muscles. When you focus on the positive, even in a sea of mishaps, it’ll shift your perspective for the better.
Traveling with Gratitude
It’s also easy to take the act of travel for granted. And while I admit it can prove really hard to appreciate it when you’re in the midst of a TSA stroller check or gridlock traffic, travel is still an amazing privilege.
Ironically, some of the greatest things about travel stem directly from its toughest challenges. Travel takes us out of our comfort zone. It forces us to get creative and become problem solvers. It enhances our self-awareness. It opens our mind to new experiences and our hearts to new people. Travel makes us brave. It forces us to see the world in fresh ways. It challenges us to cultivate gratitude and to become our best selves. And it makes us appreciate what we have at home, too.
Family Travel and Thankfulness
Fostering gratitude comes with lifelong benefits for you and your family. How will you incorporate thankfulness into your family travel this year? We’d love to hear about how you keep the gratitude flowing while traveling in the comments below.
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its people, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.