Reflections on traveling home for the holidays: it’s not as easy as it seems

Car, plane, train, bus: it’s hard to figure out the best way to travel home for the holidays over a short break.

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and school break, I’ve found myself in much need of a break from school, but mildly stressed about how to travel 400 miles home for this shorter break. While I can make it home in a day, it poses a bit of a challenge trying to coordinate how exactly I will get home. And for some of my friends who live even farther away, the short break means it would be impossible to go home due to distance and coordinating travel plans. 

My first option: flights. 

As I didn’t book far enough in advance, not only are flights expensive, but often unreliable. With the uptick in the cancellation or delay of flights, this method of transportation home doesn’t seem to be my best option. 

Because Thanksgiving break is only half a week, I worry that if my departing or returning flight is delayed or canceled I either would miss out time at home or risk missing classes when I come back from break. 

My second option: the train or bus. 

I could always try to take the bus or train, but for me, the train ride would be over seven hours — taking away a whole two days of travel from my break. 

And while I realize this isn’t the biggest issue in the world, trying to plan it all causes me a little bit of stress during a break which is supposed to be relaxing. And for my friends who live too far to take a train or take a bus, this isn’t even an option. 

The only other option to get home: a seven-and-a-half hour car ride. 

The last option, and the one I take the most, is the seven-and-a-half-hour car ride home. And while I’m fortunate enough to have a family that is willing to drive up and back in one day, this isn’t an option for everyone.

I understand this lengthy car ride isn’t the most terrible option, but it does cause a lot of coordination and oftentimes a night in a hotel for my family who is picking me up.

 Fifteen hours of driving in one day is a bit much!

As a whole, I’m not saying that traveling home over Thanksgiving break is impossible for me unlike other people — but it definitely can create a stressful atmosphere among the already busy school life. 

Reflecting this Thanksgiving, I am definitely very thankful to have the ability to drive home. 

I also need to remind myself that traveling home can turn into a break from the stress of the school year, not a time to endure more stress. And for next year, I most definitely will be coordinating a flight well in advance!

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