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#1 Item to pack for your trip: Kindness

Beginning my day of work on the airplane I check emergency equipment, prepare the carts for service in flight and get ready to welcome passengers on board. As a flight attendant, I welcome passengers with a smile and genuine words to their flight.

As people begin to board there are all types of personalities coming on board the plane; some passengers are traveling for fun, others for business, maybe some are traveling for a funeral. There are all types of emotions and energy on the plane as strangers prepare to sit next to one another for the next couple of hours. And in my experience kindness can go a long way to better everyone’s flight and day in general.

Growing up I learned a lot about etiquette and manners. I learned how to shake someone’s hand and introduce myself, the importance of table manners, and most importantly how etiquette is based on making others comfortable and welcome. And I think that is where etiquette comes into daily life, and into travel the most.

My job allows me to have new experiences every day in new cities, and with that comes travel experience. So when others ask me for traveling tips, such as what to bring in their carry on I give tips on bringing a book, a snack to munch on, the correct size bag for the overhead bin; basically all the little essentials that make traveling a better experience. But most importantly I believe we should all be packing Kindness.

In my experience I have seen kindness change someone’s day for the better, whether it is coming from me as the flight attendant or from the other passengers around them. When a family comes on the flight and the young children are not seated next to their parents, it’s the kindness of a stranger that switches seats with the child and ends up with a middle seat that changes that family’s day for the better. When someone is traveling home to mourn the death of a loved one, it’s the stranger’s smile next to them on the flight that helps them get through their travels. When a passenger is excited about visiting a friend, it’s the listening ear of a stranger that encourages them in their happiness.

I see kindness change individual’s lives every day at work, and this positive change is encouraging to all those who are able to witness it.

So on your next trip don’t forget to pack all your essentials for entertainment in long waits, snacks to munch on, books to read, and at the top of your list pack kindness to use etiquette in your daily life to better those around you and yourself.

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