12 Struggles Of Traveling During The Holiday Season

12 Struggles Of Flying Home During The Holidays

It's true, for the holidays you can't beat home sweet home, but it sure is a struggle to get back home.

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There's nothing better than being back from for the holidays, but if you have to fly to get there you know what a struggle it can be.

Here are 12 struggles all travellers can relate to when they have to fly during the holiday season:

1. Airline prices

If you're flying around Thanksgiving or pretty much anytime in December you can expect airline prices to be through the roof. Everyone is trying to get home for the holidays so airlines can charge as much as they want and people are still going to fly.

Pro tip from a frequent flyer: Unless you know well in advance what dates you'll need to fly, always book your flight three weeks out and on a Tuesday. Airline prices are always at their cheapest on Tuesdays and when there are only three weeks left. So remember when you're looking to book to wait for three weeks 'til and on a Tuesday!

2. Security lines

Airports, in general, are usually madhouses, but security lines are at their ultimate worst during the holidays. I've missed more flights then I would like to admit in my lifetime and most of them have happened because of the crazy-long security lines.

Airport security is so important for everyone's safety, but this means that it's gonna take some time to get through those lines.

Give yourself at least two hours from the time you get to the airport to the time your flight takes off, so you won't be stressing over making your flight. If you have extra time, grab some snacks and browse the airport shops, some of them are pretty cool depending on what airport you're in!

3. Rude airport employees 

There are certain airports where everyone is so nice no matter what time of day it is (shoutout RWS), and then there are those airports where every employee seems to hate their life (cough cough, BWI).

Some people have severe anxiety about flying, while other's love it and are so excited to get to their destination, either way, airline employees should do what they can to make flying as great of an experience for flyers as possible.

4. Rude flyers

After you've checked in you can avoid the rude airport employees, but you can't always avoid the rude people waiting to fly.

Tensions are high around the holidays, especially when families are flying with their young children.

We should all keep in mind the spirit of the season is about giving, so show a little kindness to strangers at the airport instead of being rude.

5. Flight delays

Flight delays are so annoying because they're usually a chain reaction, if your flight is delayed then the flight after you is going to be delayed too.

There's nothing worse than the panic you feel when you have to run through the airport trying to catch your layover before the plane leaves after your initial plane was seriously delayed.

With so many people are flying around the holidays and the inclement weather that comes with the winter months, flying at this time of year is asking for some delays.

6. Young kids on planes

I know I already mentioned how it's all of our responsibilities to show some kindness when traveling this time of year, but sitting next to a crying baby for hours does take a toll on your sanity.

7. The germs

Everyone is sick this time of year and I know every time I fly I end up sick too.

Just the thought of being stuck in a plane with the same germ-filled air recirculating the entire flight makes me nauseous.

8. Flight attendants stressing passengers out

I was always told to follow the flight attendant, if the flight attendants are calm, you should be calm, if they're freaking out, you have reason to freak out.

The past few times I've flown during the holiday season there's been a few flight attendants that have royally stressed their passengers out for nothing we can control.

When they come over the intercom rushing passengers to get to their seat because we're already 25 minutes late, but when we're already that late and we still have a full plane to board they're only stressing people out more who are already worried they're going to miss their connecting flight.

A little sense of urgency might do some good, but repeating it over and over again will only cause premature worry to passengers.

9. Being stuck on the runway when there's no room at your gate

When flights come in early, or get delayed many of them don't have a spot at the gate to let passengers off.

This is the worst when you've been stuck in the middle seat between two strangers all flight and just want to get off so you can get some personal space back

10. People taking forever to exit the plane

Please people, check your bags in!

11. Waiting at baggage claim

But when you do check them in you have to wait at baggage claim and try to grab yours before it passes by.

12. Trying to get picked up from the airport

Airport pickups during the holidays mean you're stuck on the side of the road waiting for everyone to finish hugging their loved ones so yours can pull up and get you.

Most of the time you're waiting in the freezing cold.

But, all the airport chaos is worth it to be back home with your friends and family this holiday season.

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12 Struggles Only Portuguese Girls Can Relate To

It's like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" but Portuguese edition.
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As mentioned before in my "8 Ways You Know You're Portuguese" article, I'm 100% European Portuguese. Which means that if you're reading this, you're probably somehow related to me (see #5). You know these 12 things to be true if you grew up in a Portuguese household:

1. You're pressured to marry a Pork Chop.

A Pork Chop is a Portuguese person. The older generation feels that this term is derogatory, but Portuguese Americans self identify as 'Pork Chops.' Some families will probably disown you if you don't marry a Portuguese guy, but I lucked out and my family is pretty open minded. Let me put it this way, if you're not married by the time you're 28, your grandma and your mother are going to take you to the Portuguese club to find a nice Pork Chop to settle down with. You may not be forced into a Portuguese marriage, but it's highly preferred that you marry within the culture.

2. You're always too fat, even if you're skinny.

Portuguese people are a feminist's worst nightmare. They will body shame the hell out of you and feel no remorse. You could lose 20 pounds and look/feel amazing and a Portuguese person will still say "well, you could stand to lose a few more pounds."

3. You must remember your Portuguese classes that you took when you were five years old.

It is a crime against humanity to a Portuguese person if you don't at least understand the language. If you can speak it, read it, and understand it, you've automatically earned yourself the "golden child" title. Every time I move to a different state, my Grandma's only warning is "don't forget your Portuguese," because someone's got to carry on the culture.

4. Am I white? Mixed? Hispanic? Unclear.

I grew up thinking I was some kind of Latina just because the Portuguese language is so similar to Spanish. You probably feel comfortable in Hispanic communities because of your Portuguese background. I eventually realized that I'm white, but I still get told that I look racially ambiguous. Whenever someone asks what nationality I am, I give them three guesses. It's rare that people ever guess Portuguese, but upon finding out that I am, I suddenly become "exotic."

5. You have 55 first cousins.

This is not an exaggeration. My dad actually has 50 first cousins. I have 13, but I have way more cousins in Portugal that I've either never met, or I've met them, but wouldn't be able to pick them out of a line up. If you go to Portugal and visit all of your relatives, the faces and names start to blur together and it's safe to call every man "Joao" and every woman "Maria" or "Ana Maria" and they'll be delighted that you remembered their names.

6. You have to make sure you don't marry your own cousin.

Portugal is such a small country that if you meet a fellow Pork Chop in America, chances are, you're somehow related or your families are friends. I suggest drawing an extensive family tree before shacking up with a Pork Chop.

7. Somebody is always praying for you.

Portuguese people are devoutly Catholic, so it doesn't matter if you're temporarily down on your luck or a self made millionaire, you have a tia (an aunt) that you probably only see when someone in the family passes away, who prays on the rosary every night for you.

8. You must have a name that can be pronounced in Portuguese.

There are two criteria for naming a Portuguese baby: is it the name of a saint, and can it be pronounced in Portuguese? If your uncle twice removed that you see every six years when you go to Portugal can't say your baby's name, you need to pick a new one. Names like "Riley" and "Jackson" won't get Grandma's approval.

9. You're considered adventurous if you move out of your parents house before you're married.

It's rare that Portuguese women don't live with their mothers until they find a spouse, and even once they do get married, it's not uncommon for their mother to move in with her daughter and her (hopefully Portuguese) husband.

10. You've been given something with Our Lady of Fatima on it.

Fatima is Portugal's claim to fame. It's the city in Portugal where three kids claimed they saw the Virgin Mary in 1917 and it's now a popular, religious tourist destination. Your grandma has probably given you something with the Blessed Mary on it to put in your car or in your bedroom so that you stay '#blessed' all the time.

11. You're not allowed to be a vegetarian.

Portuguese people are fishermen and their specialty is codfish, so it's nearly impossible to maintain a vegetarian diet in a Portuguese household. You can be pescatarian though!

12. You have to warn people before you introduce them to your family.

Have you ever seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding?" That's what it's like to bring a non-Portuguese boyfriend to a Portuguese family gathering. Good luck.

Cover Image Credit: CDMPHY / Flickr

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

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Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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