Traveling, for many people, is a stress-inducing activity that can raise blood pressure, frustrate even the most patient person, and cause one to forget that a trip is a release from stress, not a cause. I used to be someone who would fret over minute issues with a travel itinerary, though I have come to embrace my time in and out of airports for what it is, an escape from the day to day routines of my life. Now I know there are times where anger is nearly impossible to avoid, but more often than not, it’s a mindset that can be changed. Here’s a list of 5 triggers for travel anger and ways to combat these feelings.

Flight delay

This is a massively difficult pill to swallow when it happens, I’ll be the first to admit it. There are few things worse than looking forward to a trip for weeks, often times months, and then finding out at the airport that your flight is delayed or cancelled. When this occurs, it is absolutely vital that you look at the bright side. For instance, depending on the delay, many situations like this can actually benefit you financially if you advocate for yourself. Say a flight needed more fuel or the gate was too crowded, this is an opportunity for you to email the airline you are flying or respectfully talk to a gate agent and let them know your frustration. The last time I contacted Southwest about a 3 hour flight delay, I wound up with $250 credit, almost ¾ of my flight that day. If the flight is delayed due to weather, remember that you aren’t flying for your own safety, something easily forgotten when in this situation. 99 times out of 100, your vacation will still happen, just later than expected. Don’t let a hitch in the plans derail a positive mindset.

Security Lines

Ugh. This isn’t an easy one to deal with, even for the most seasoned traveler. Hate them? Go to your local airport when you’re not flying and go through the TSA precheck protocol in order to avoid this scenario. It’s annoying for one day, not every time you fly. Remember as well, these measures are put in place to protect travelers, not annoy them.  September 11 was a horrific day, and the precautions taken at airports are in order to keep events like that from happening, something we should all be able to appreciate.

Annoying Travelers

Everyone at some point or another has dealt with a situation where they are seated next to an obnoxious person. If you haven’t, odds are, you are the obnoxious person. Some examples of these people: the passenger who aggressively puts their feet against your seat; the huge snoring guy who falls asleep on your shoulder; the jerk who argues with anyone and everyone; the teen who blasts music without headphones; the family who has zero idea how to move quickly through a security line; the couple making out in their seats; the list goes on and on. This does not have to ruin your day, instead, find the humor in these experiences. Use these situations as a reminder that some people just don’t get it and that it’s important to be a respectful traveler. Also, you are going on a trip somewhere, likely a place you’ve always wanted to go. Don’t let a rude person take you away from that excitement. Misery loves company, and if you can avoid joining them, your experience will be decidedly more positive.

Being a Passenger on Your Own Trip

This happened to me once and I vowed for it never to happen again. It’s so easy to lose your say during a trip with friends or family. Often, there are many ideas about what an itinerary should look like, or how to enjoy a particular location. Do not let this change your mind about what you want. Use your voice. Don’t argue, but don’t back down either. Don’t want to leave the hammock by the beach? You shouldn’t have to. Not in the mood to check landmarks off a list instead of chilling in a small village? Don’t budge from the village. If you feel strongly enough about something that it’ll frustrate you, then you need to say so. If you’re traveling with people who won’t be open to these conversations, then it’s obvious that’s the problem. Choose your travel partners wisely. Make sure they are likeminded in their expectations for a trip, and if they are, then compromise shouldn’t be too hard to find. If all else fails, and you don’t have a close friend available for a trip who wants the same things, then go it alone. Solitary travel can be life-changing and should be considered over traveling with people who may just change your idea of the experience.

Bad Weather

It’s the middle of winter and you are dying for some fun in the sun. You arrive at the Caribbean and boom…six days of clouds and rain. It is impossible not to be frustrated by this, even if you’re the most positive person on the planet. My advice? Deal with this frustration at home, before your trip. Usually, weather can be seen in advance, so check out your location before your trip. If the situation looks troublesome, utilize the internet and find out alternative activities. Look for places to go or things to do that won’t be affected by storms. Find productive activities to fill in the time that would normally be spent on a beach or by the pool. Your trip is a chance to enjoy yourself, so let that happen, regardless of what Mother Nature has in store.

With all of these travel issues, the key is in one’s mindset. If you can stay positive, regardless of the slings and arrows being thrown your way, then you can enjoy yourself. You have to remember that, in the end, this is a vacation. Traveling is an amazing experience that transports you from one place on a map to another. If you let negatives creep in and bring you down, then you are wasting valuable time that could be rejuvenating as opposed to draining. Don’t sweat the small stuff…embrace the journey, even if it is flawed.

Post by Pete McKeown, Contributor and Globetrotter

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  1. We couldn’t agree more with your tips. A positive attitude, even when dealing with travel hiccups, will usually lead to positive results and friendlier responses from those around you.

  2. Completely agree with the one about being a passenger on your own trip! When travelling with people it can be so so hard to strike a compromise! I also think that the pressure it puts on people somehow exacerbates stress levels to make things even more difficult.

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