Mark Dadswell/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Does A Government Shutdown Affect Travel? Here’s What To Know About Making Plans

Ad failed to load

In comments made earlier on Wednesday, Dec. 6, President Donald Trump said the country could expect a government shutdown as soon as Saturday, Dec. 9, due to the Democrats' stance on immigration. A shutdown could have wide-reaching effects, not just on federal employees and programs, but also for regular citizens — unwelcome news at any time of year, but especially ahead of the holidays. After all, a government shutdown could affect travel in myriad ways.

But what does the government not passing a spending bill have to do with my travel plans? you might be wondering.

Well, a lot.

Ad failed to load

Everything from obtaining important travel documents to dealing with airport security and even taking the train could feel the reach of a government shutdown, especially depending on how long it lasts.

Based on past shutdowns, here's what to know when making travel plans during a government shutdown.

Airport security, ugh.

Ad failed to load

According to ABC News, the last time the government shut down, for 16 days in Oct. 2013, approximately 800,000 federal employees were furloughed. While the New Statesman says that airports didn't anticipate longer waits for travelers in 2013, according to USA Today, a shutdown now means your airport plans could change: air travel could be affected by a shutdown. Your security wait time could expand, thanks to furloughs for TSA agents, who are federal employees.

Riding the rails.

U.S. rail system Amtrak, while technically a private company, relies heavily on government subsidies. In fact, according to Slate, Amtrak has never turned a profit. So while the rail company vowed to operate normally during the 2013 shutdown — which lasted for just over two weeks — that might not be the case this time around. If the shutdown lasts, say, a month, Amtrak is in trouble, and may have to cut services.

Ad failed to load

Need to get your passport in order? Do it soon.

The State Department's passport department is partially funded by fees, according to the New Statesman, so while it's not completely dependent upon federal money, you should act soon if you need to update an old passport or apply for one for the first time. We're serious: during a 1996 government shutdown, the State Department stopped processing applications, affecting hundreds of thousands of applicants.

Why is this happening?

The government has avoided shutdowns at least twice already this year: first in April, with a keep-the-lights-on temporary stop-gap measure. Then again in August when Trump threatened to shut down the government over funding for his border wall between Mexico and the United States.

Ad failed to load

But this time, the threat seems more serious than ever, given the bitter partisan debate over immigration reform. In fact, The Hill reports that the White House Office of Management and Budget has been preparing federal agencies for an impending shutdown.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Congress has long known that they have until midnight on Dec. 8 to pass a budget before funding expires, or else the government will shut down.

Ad failed to load

But there are a few flies in the ointment, not least of which is the fact that Trump announced in September that he would be ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented individuals who arrived in the U.S. as children (also known as Dreamers) to go to school and work without fear of deportation. When the administration made this announcement, myriad Democrats announced that immigration reform and a permanent Dream Act — legislation to protect Dreamers —would have to be part of the deal in order for them to vote for a budget.

But Trump has signaled several times this fall that he doesn't want a bipartisan solution to DACA — which he echoed in Dec. 6 comments to reporters before a cabinet meeting.

According to Politico, Trump told reporters on Dec. 6, "[A shutdown] could happen. The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country. They are looking at shutting down. They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country." Trump then clarified that he believes these immigrants would bring crime, which would be unacceptable. He said, "We don’t want to have that. We want to have a great, beautiful, crime-free country."

Ad failed to load

Though Trump preemptively blamed the Democrats, Republicans control both the House and the Senate and only need eight Democratic senators to pass a spending bill, according to Politico. Not to mention, according to The Hill, the 34 Republican House members demanded action on DACA by the end of this year — and at least one congressman, Florida's Carlos Curbelo, has joined Democrats in threatening not to vote for a budget fix.

But, sure. And hey, isn't it more fun to tweet about "Chuck and Nancy"?

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

3 Important Red Flags To Watch Out For When You're Dating Someone Older Than You

My first serious relationship was with someone almost ten years my senior. We got together during my first semester of college (after meeting through mutual friends) and I'd be lying if I said our breakup didn't have anything to do with our significa…
By Sydnee Lyons

These "Millennial Cruises" Will Make Your Next Friend Group Vacation So Lit

If you're a millennial right now, consider yourself lucky. If you're a millennial with the travel bug, consider yourself luckier. I know, you might be thinking, "But... money!" Trust me, I get it. Plane tickets and hotels can get expensive as you cou…
By Amanda Fama

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

5 Social Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely If You’re Single

Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single fo…
By Veronica Lopez

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas