Are you flying this holiday season? Here’s how to keep the crowds, weather delays, and crammed overhead bins from turning you into a Scrooge. This comes from MSNBC and veteran flight attendant and travel writer, James Wysong:
- Adjust your attitude. If you expect your flight to be a nonstop annoyance, it probably will be. However, if you approach it as an adventure with interesting ups and downs, you might actually enjoy yourself. Or get caught up in the holiday excitement in the air.
- Do a good deed. Studies show that the more good deeds you do for others, the better it makes you feel. So, help an elderly lady with her luggage. Thank a passing soldier for their service to our country. Or lend a hand to the woman traveling alone with a baby.
- Don't fly off the handle. The possibilities for airport irritation are endless. Canceled flights, missed connections, lost luggage, closed airports, and so on. How you react will set the tone for your whole holiday. So, do whatever it takes to avoid a scene or an outburst. Whether you stop and count to 10, put yourself in someone else's shoes, or breathe deeply to slow your heart rate. It’ll help preserve your health, your holiday cheer, and the sanity of the passengers around you.
- Be politically incorrect. Mr. Wysong recommends avoiding generic holiday greetings, and say "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukah," or the Kwanzaa greeting "Habari Gani" – which is Swahili for “What’s the news?” It doesn’t matter which holiday you celebrate, as long as your comment is heartfelt.
- Don't put off traveling just because of the hassles involved. If you have someone to enjoy the holidays with, go. Two years ago, Mr. Wysong’s favorite uncle invited him to a big family dinner. He declined because of the hassle of flying standby during the holidays. After his uncle passed away a few months later, he says he’d give anything to have made it to that dinner.