I am a watcher of people when I travel. Too often I see people who are irritated, frustrated, angry, fighting with their loved ones and generally in a state of unhappiness. But wait! These people are on vacation. They have paid a lot of money to take a break from their stressful life. Aren’t they suppose to be happy, full of smiles and rekindling the love they have with their spouse or family? Yes! Yes, they are! So what is the problem?

They forgot to pack the #1 items for their trip. What is this most important thing, you ask? Your patience. Yes, please pack your patience when you go on vacation. It will make your vacation a wonderful experience. My friend will likely want to shoot me for including this photo from a trip back in 2007 in a blog.  I can’t resist.  It is just so perfect for this post AND it is one of my favorite photos of all time.  Can you tell who is the impatient one and who is going with the flow?


Today’s travel experience is not always smooth, no matter how hard your travel advisor tries to make it so. With heightened security around the world and the sheer number of people traveling, a trip without your patience can become a nightmare.

You should always expect long lines at the airport. Get there 2 hours early for a domestic flight and 3 hours early for an international flight. Does that seem way to early? Could you arrive and slip through security faster than you can get a cup of coffee at Starbucks? Perhaps. However, you could just as likely have to wait in extremely long lines at the ticket counter or security.

In addition to the lines, early arrival at the airport means that you have time to do many things. Such as:

  • Go back to your car when you forget your phone charger or sunglasses
  • Wait in line behind the band who hasn’t slept (or bathed) for 24 hours and is traveling with all of their gear or the family
  • Go back to security checkpoint to pick up the belt you left behind
  • Spend time on the free airport wi-fi catching up on emails or connecting with friends on social media

And don’t expect that once you are on your flight to your destination your patience gets to take a break. Wherever you are in the course of vacation, you will be dealing with humankind. You will be in locations that are not the normal daily domain over which you reign supreme. You will not always be in control. You may have hospitality staff who have had a trying day. You will have other people around who may be unhappy. You can’t let those people who have left their patience behind upset your vacation days.

So, next time you pack for your trip. Take the one thing that will surely make your vacation a success. Your patience! And best of all….it doesn’t add weight to your luggage.

Happy travels!