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While I’m not one to celebrate every special day on the calendar, National Aviation Day (August 19th) is one that provides a great excuse to party. National Aviation Day celebrates both the history and development of aviation, which has undoubtedly come a long way- thanks first of all to the brilliant inventors, the Wright brothers. Orville Wright’s first flight ever was in 1903- and August 19th happens to be his birthday (Happy Birthday Orville)!

If you’re anything like me, you probably love air travel and would agree that we have a lot to be grateful for when it comes to the aviation industry. So let’s celebrate! There are no rules when it comes to having a party- but if you’d like some tips for a truly memorable day, read on.

Get Out! The perfect birthday turned National Aviation Day begins with a drive to your local airport. Yes, you read that right. I’m not sure how far you’ll get, but if you can sit in the arrivals hall that’s a start. Get yourself a coffee (support the airport shops) and relax as you take in the sights and sounds of the hustle and bustle (no need to rush to a flight!). Bring the kids along if there are some nice parks nearby and let them watch planes take off and land all day. If you can’t get to the airport (because then you’ll envy the passengers who really belong there), just make a paper airplane and have it fly around your garden (or your living room).

Educate Yourself! I can’t think of a better way to do that than to visit an Aviation Museum. Kids love airplanes (at least as much as we do) so it’s a great place to keep them busy, while you learn about this fascinating industry and discover how it all began. If you’re thirsting for more information, the Aviation History Newspaper Set is packed with great events in aviation and all the news that’s fit to print!

Show Appreciation! Whenever we traveled as a family back in the day, my parents always made sure to thank the pilot and flight attendants as we got off the plane. Yes, it’s true, we were always the last passengers leaving the aircraft and the pilot and crew were probably waiting impatiently for us to just get the ____ off (!)- but- my parents would still stop to say thanks. The cynics out there may say that the pilot doesn’t need my little thank you- but it’s not about that. When we take the time to show gratitude we are doing something firstly for ourselves- but also acknowledging that we realize that the work may not always be easy or fun, and we understand that. Make this day extra special for the aviation lover in your life, by gifting them with the History of Flight Stamp Collection.

National Aviation Day is certainly a day to celebrate and acknowledge all things aviation, to learn and educate ourselves about its rich history, and to appreciate how far we’ve come in the air travel industry- by saying thanks to the many people who play such a vital role (remember the baggage handler who needs to transfer your overweight luggage to the connecting flight). The ultimate way to pay homage to this day? Book a flight and pay attention to the details.