Often, some of the best travel experiences come from the people we meet along the way. That’s especially the case when those people offer a small act of kindness that turns a potentially bad experience into a good one. These gestures, while small, can make all the difference to someone, and they often take just moments to carry out. So, the next time you’re travelling, why not consider what simple things you could do to make a fellow traveller’s day? Here are some of the easiest and most effective.
Help with luggage
Every traveller has struggled with their luggage at some point, whether hauling it onto the bus from the car park to the airport terminal or wrestling it on to public transport in an unfamiliar destination. Keeping an eye out for someone who’s struggling with an unwieldy case and offering to help is one of the simplest ways to make someone’s day better. Even if it turns out they don’t need any help, your kindness will still be appreciated.
While single travellers often struggle with luggage, having no-one to help them, you’ll likely notice families having similar issues – especially those with young children, as they’ll probably be balancing a large load of luggage with carry cots and other essentials, so don’t only offer to help those travelling alone.
Return lost items
It’s so easy to lose things at the airport, especially if you’re carrying lots of luggage. It can also be particularly distressing to misplace something when you don’t have time to search for it, or you may not even realise it’s gone until you’re in another country. So, if you notice someone leave something behind, stop them and let them know – even if it’s only something small like a jumper, it’s still likely to make their day. And as for those bits of lost property you come across, giving them to a member of staff will help ensure they are reunited with their owners.
An individual looking lost is a common sight at all stages of travel, from navigating around the airport to trying to get to grips with public transport systems in other countries. There are few things worse than being well and truly lost, especially if you have a flight to catch, don’t speak the language, or are travelling alone, so always offer to lend a hand. Of course, it may well be that you don’t know the way yourself, but even so, taking the time to help work it out together will be hugely appreciated. And if you do know the way, so much the better!
Help break the language barrier
One of the biggest challenges travellers face overseas is getting to grips with the local language. Whether it’s at your hotel, at an attraction, or on a bus, if you notice someone struggling and think you can help, give it a go. Even if you only know the basics of the language, or are relying on an app to guide you through the essentials, your help could make all the difference, not only in terms of helping someone make themselves understood, but also by improving their overall experience of that situation.
Logically, patience should be a natural attribute when you’re on holiday, as you should be more relaxed. However, that’s not always the case – especially if you’re in the process of getting from A to B, and the same is true for your fellow travellers. So, make a conscious effort to stay patient, and you may well improve people’s days without even realising it. You’ll seem friendlier, you’ll be less likely to be short with staff and other travellers, and you’ll probably to feel less stressed yourself as a result.
Be happy to talk
Part of the pleasure of travel is the kindness of strangers. So, be ready to exchange a few words with new people over the course of your journey. Doing so is a great way of getting into the holiday spirit and sharing the light-hearted mood of exploring the world, and it can also be a great way of making people feel better. It might be that the person sitting next to you on the plane is afraid of flying, for instance, and a casual chat helps to calm their nerves. Either way, being friendly improves everyone’s travel experience.
After all, a little act of kindess can go a long way!
Keen to start planning your next trip? Browse our flights and holidays.