Christmas is a time not to be spent alone. Sharing gifts and spending time with loved ones is what the festive season is all about. As a result, this means visiting friends and family wherever they may be.
However, with millions of others across the country doing just the same, travelling at Christmas can be quite a stressful experience. Here at Motors.co.uk, the team has discussed some of the ways in which we prepare to travel at Christmas.
We're also offering you the chance to drive home for Christmas on us! All you have to do is share your opinions in our brief survey and tell us which car you'd like to wake up to on Christmas day. Take the survey now for the chance to win and read below for a few tips that can help you avoid a stressful journey when travelling over the festive period.
Although this may mean having to give up a few hours of sleep in the morning, the alternative is spending much of your Christmas holiday stuck in traffic. By leaving early, either in the morning or evening, you are likely to miss the rush of other commuters who will be travelling at peak times in the middle of the day. Public transport can be very unreliable, therefore choosing an early time will allow for any delays or disruptions that may occur on your journey.
This will also give you longer to spend with your friends and family and make the most of your time with them. This may, after all, be the only time you see them during the year.
Plan your journey
Your planning will differ greatly depending on how you are travelling and where to. However, it can be extremely difficult to predict what may happen with transport during the Christmas rush, or bad weather. It is a good idea to have more than one route planned to your destination in case of any disruptions. If you’re using public transport, make sure the bus/train/coach you want to use is operating on the date you are travelling and at suitable times. Timetables can change significantly for public transport over Christmas and you cannot rely on their usual schedule.
Additionally, for those driving, choose a designated driver or book a place to stay overnight; you don’t want to have an argument about who will be the one driving home.
It is likely that you will have gifts to take with you when you are travelling, and also bring back. For that reason, you will want to travel light and not take too many belongings with you. This will help to save room in your car or luggage. The more stuff you have, the more awkward it will be to fit it all into your car or take aboard the bus/train/coach as you move through the sea of people. What’s more, other people on public transport will be in a similar position to yourself as well, so space could be very limited. It is unlikely there will be a spare seat next to you to dump it on, as can be done at other times of the year.
Travel with someone
No one should be alone at Christmas, and this includes when travelling. If you have a long journey to make, this can severely dampen your Christmas spirit. Try and travel with either a friend or relative going to the same place or to a nearby destination. This will mean you won’t have to sit alone while stuck in traffic or waiting for the delayed train to arrive. If you are travelling by car, it could help to reduce the traffic on the road and the journey time for others.
Check the weather
The weather can be a real inconvenience for travelling, particularly over Christmas when people have made plans. It is important to check forecasts and know what days are predicted to have bad weather in order to avoid travelling on them. Bad weather can lead to buses/trains/coaches and even flights being cancelled and scuppering any plans you have made. Driving can also be difficult in conditions such as snow and ice. The weather doesn’t have to ruin your plans though; check the forecasts and avoid the days predicted to have bad weather.