As the holidays roll around, many of us at UR face long travels back home. Every airport and train station will be filled with joyful messages and festive decorations, as well as thousands of people all overflowing with romantic ideals of travels into wondrous worlds of colorful lights.

 Those people are insufferable.

 Maybe it’s just me who’s tired of listening to these idealistic holiday travelers who have clearly never experienced winter in New York City. Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like hordes of people scrambling around like ants, horses being abused by their coachmen, and Times Square covered with pitch black snow that serves as a constant reminder that our planet is dying a painful death. 

I should clarify that it’s not the holidays themselves that I hate. Believe me, the only thing that gets me through the end of the semester is the thought of spending an entire week with creepy uncle Joe in Grandma’s tiny living room, the one with the itchy brown couch and life-sized nativity scene. I hate the types of people one encounters while traveling during this time of year. So my gift to you this season, fellow students, is a guide to said travelers. That’s right, I took time out of my very, very busy schedule (in an attempt to avoid writing that final paper) to explain who these people are, how to spot them, and how to handle them. You’re welcome.


The Overly-Attached Couple
How to spot:

  • Shoving their tongues down each other’s throat in the middle of an airport or sharing one seat on the train.
  • Definitely did not check the weather report before packing.
  • Women: over-the-knee brown books, leggings, plaid shirts, big scarves, hat. Probably an Ashley.
  • Men: khakis that don’t fit quite right, Nikes, hoodies with something offensive written on it.
  • Oftentimes, these creatures congeal into one mass as a result of their inseparability.

How to handle:

  • If an encounter occurs, pretend it didn’t. It’s useless to attempt to stop them because, just like Ashley’s Instagram post said, “nothing will ever break [them] apart! Happy 3 weeks babe!”
    Consider bear spray, since they want to act like animals.


The “I Told My Parents I’m Doing Well in My Classes but How Do I Confess That I Lied and I Don’t Want to Be a Brain Surgeon, but the Owner of a Microbrewery in Oregon with My Bro Holden” Guy
How to spot:

  • Possibly browsing LinkedIn as if it were Instagram.
  • Lots of beard.
  • Maybe a crystal necklace.
  • Furiously typing on his MacBook Air.
  • Has gotten up from his window seat to use the bathroom at least five times.

How to handle:

  • Offer him some craft beer or a cortado. It may seem counterintuitive to give this guy caffeine, but trust me here.
  • Attempt to move your seat (last resort move – low rate of success).


The 25 Year Old Whose Life Is Spiraling out of Control but She Has to Prove That She Is So Much Happier Than Her Stupid Sister with Her Stupid Husband and Stupid Kids
How to spot:

  • Orders white wine off the Delta Airlines menu for an hour-long flight.
  • Probably wearing a peacoat.
  • Has ordered a second wine.
  • Watching ​Dirty Dancing​ and crying.
  • Has now ordered a vodka cran.

How to handle:

  • Honestly, she’s harmless until the sobbing starts, so you’re best off enjoying the spectacle and feeling a little better about yourself.


The Stupid Sister with her Stupid Husband and Stupid Kids
How to spot:

  • Matching outfits.
  • Stiletto heels.
  • North Face jackets.
  • Bought iPads to occupy the kids so they don’t have to.
  • Talking about their trip to Bermuda and “how funny it is that they ran into Will Smith in LAX” and “did you hear about that new singer Billie Eilish? She grew up right around the corner from our new house in LA! We’re basically neighbors, this one time we brought over some…”

How to handle:

  • Soundproof headphones and 90s alt rock.
  • Learn Latin and whisper hexes under your breath while rocking back and forth in your seat and foaming at the mouth.


The Entire Griswold Family, Dog Included
How to spot:

  • All drunk.
  • All in ugly sweaters, unironically.
  • Friends with the pilot/conductor.
  • New Balances.
  • Bob and bowl haircuts.
  • Very, very loud.
  • Already broke something 15 minutes into the flight.
  • So loud.

How to handle:

  • Glare and tweet about it.
  • Ask loudly if there’s any way you can change seats.
  • Talk over them and when they get louder, you get louder, and so on until they finally yield. Congrats, you are now the Alpha. Prove your power by forcing them to pay you taxes in the form of Flavor Blasted Goldfish for the duration of the trip.

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