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5 Hidden virtues of taking a plane for families or nervous passengers

Back view of parents holding the hands of the child and going with suitcases to board the plane

Yaroslav Astakhov | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/28/23

If you're dreading taking that next flight, here are some thoughts that might help you see how valuable flying can be.

As summer draws to a close, many people will be flying back home to return to some level of normality. However, catching those flights can be a huge source of stress for those with kids or a fear of flying.

Yet on a recent plane journeyI was reminded of how important the actual traveling part of our vacations can be. Thanks to my airline adventures, I have discovered that there are many benefits that come from going through the stresses and tears of getting from A to B, particularly by plane.

1to Develop compassion

Airports are a stressful place. It’s easy to spot nervous travelers, those who are running late, harried parents trying to rally their kids, or even unfortunate souls who might be traveling home for a sad event. By looking around and acknowledging the vulnerabilities of others, we grow in compassion.

2to give A lesson in patience

This one almost goes without saying. Between the long lines, inexorable delays, and coping with thoughtless fellow passengers, flying can be a true test of patience. But if you alter your expectations, sit back, take a deep breath, and accept that you may have to wait around a while, then the journey won’t feel quite so stressful.

For those traveling with kids, it’s important to prepare your children for the possibility that flights might be delayed, or that luggage may take some time to show up on the carousel. (Make sure you’ve got a few distractions up your sleeve to help ease the boredom.)

3to Instill gratitude

Gratitude comes in many forms when traveling — from the relief of having that plane safely land (even for the hardiest travelers among us, it’s always great to hear those wheels touch the tarmac) to the gratitude we feel for being able to travel far and wide in such little time.

But it is important to voice that wonder and gratitude to our children. We shouldn’t take travel for granted, or the opportunities it affords us. You can talk to your kids about how difficult travel was in the past to give them an idea of how far we’ve come.

4to Give perspective

There’s nothing quite like ascending into the clouds and watching buildings shrink into little tiny dots until they blur together and become pieces of a much bigger picture. The experience can be a reminder of our place on earth, too. We’re all tiny parts of God’s creation, which is infinitely bigger than what we are able to visualize in our daily lives.

5to Embrace fears

Airline travel means entrusting our lives to just a few people as a man-made flying machine takes us to scary heights. (For anxious travelers and scared kids, try to remember that flying is the safest means of transport — and just think of that turbulence as potholes in the sky!)

However, millions of people take a leap of faith each day to get on a plane. And that is a great reminder of just how necessary it is to always live in faith!

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Catholic LifestyleFamilyTravel
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