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Whether we’re traveling home or to another loved one’s house, everyone will be traveling in some way, shape, or form this holiday season.

However, as rewarding as being around loved ones for the holidays can be, traveling comes with a few not-so-festive perks all of its own. From overbooked flights and trains, to getting your feet run over by suitcases, traveling home for the holidays can be an unpleasant adventure.


You would think that packing to go home would be the easiest of tasks. It’s your family- no need to stress about what to bring or wear, right? Wrong. You’ve picked up some gifts for loved ones before heading home, or decided that bringing a month’s worth of laundry is an excellent idea. Either way, you’ll probably find yourself shoving your suitcase full of random presents and items from your closet that you want at your side this holiday season. Don’t worry, we’re all victims of over-packing.

Being on time.

There is nothing more stressful than the possibility of missing an overbooked flight or train. The task of getting to Union Station, Reagan, or Dulles airports with enough time to catch your ride home is one of the most stressful events of the holiday season. To make matters worse, everyone else in the District is feeling the exact same way as you are, and has decided to leave for the airport or train station at the same time as you. Traffic builds up quickly, Uber is surging and your heart begins to race in fear that you’ll miss your flight or train. Not to worry, though. There’s always a Plan B, even if it means catching that super late flight out of the city.

Crowded airports and train stations.  

Whether you choose to take flight or go the locomotive route, airports and train stations are crawling with more people than usual this time of year. Yes, on any given Friday evening these places are usually overcrowded, but nothing beats the days leading up to a holiday. People can be found in every corner and coffee shop, and insanely long lines outside of every bathroom (yes, even the men’s bathroom). There is barely any room to breathe, let alone stand. Your feet are constantly getting run over by rogue suitcases and all you want to do is turn around and spend the holiday season on your couch instead. But you suck it up and pull through anyway, because you know as soon as you get to where you’re going you’ll get to take a well deserved break (and so will your newly flattened toes).

Finding a seat.

Now, if you’re flying this holiday season, you may not feel the stress of having to find a seat. However, if you’re like the many people who choose to take the train home, then you’ll know that finding a seat is the age old struggle for many train riders. Yes, buying a ticket does secure you a seat on the train, but it does not guarantee which seat that will be. With people trying to reserve a whole row for themselves by placing their bag in the seat next to them, it can be difficult to find an open spot. Walking between the train cars searching for a seat seems like an OK idea until you’ve made it to your fifth round and all you want to do is ditch the baggage and get off at the next stop.

But of course, once you make it home and are surrounding by family, all stresses are forgotten and there is nothing but peace and harmony. Because families are never stressful… ever.