Going Home For Christmas? Here's Our 6 Travel Tips For Students

With the Christmas holidays coming up, some of you will be temporarily leaving your student accommodation in favour of being home with your family – the best place to be!

Although, December is a busy month with Christmas and New Year preparations and a lot of people will be planning to travel over this period.

Which means roads, trains, and buses will be packed full of commuters so delays and long wait times are to be expected.

Have you made any travel plans yet? If not, we recommend preparing soon before everything is too busy.

Don’t worry there are ways that can help you avoid problems this festive season. 

Read on for 6 Christmas travel tips to bear in mind when planning your journey home for Christmas. 

christmas travel tips

1. Planning & Booking In Advance

There is no better way to be prepared than to plan your journey in advance taking into account all issues that could be encountered.

If you plan to travel by car – decide what route to take and find alternatives in case things change on the day.

This will save you a lot of time and means you are less likely to get lost.

However, if you get the train or coach make sure you know what train or bus to get and whether you need to change lines at some point on the journey. 

You should also think about how to get tickets, the times they are arriving at your station/stop and prepare for any last minute changes that could occur.

Another thing to help on your travels is booking any tickets required in advance to ensure you get a seat. 

There’s nothing worse than lugging your belongings around only to find there is no space left for you to get on. 

So, definitely reserve your spot as early as possible!

booking a train in advance

2. Avoid The Peak Days & Times

Next on our list of Christmas travel tips is to avoid travelling at the busiest peak times – the earlier the better if you want to ditch the chaos.

Usually the peak days for driving are the weekend and week before Christmas so be sure to think about that when you are planning your journey home.

Avoiding travel in peak times is also the best plan of action this Christmas. 

You’ll miss the lengthy cues, backlogs and crowds by planning to commute when others most likely won’t be. 

This includes the morning and evening rush hours when people are heading to and from work.

Avoiding peak travel dates

3. Leave As Early As Possible

With December being a busy time for travelling there is always going to be the possibility of unexpected changes that even the best plan may not account for.

By leaving early you give yourself more time to get to your destination to counteract any issues that may arise whilst on the move.

This is especially needed due to the fact that Christmas happens to be in winter when the weather is cold and conditions are not great.

Snow, ice and rain can easily cause delays across the board, from train cancellations to slippery roads making the journey a much slower and longer one.

Plus winter brings shorter days so leaving earlier will help reduce the time spent travelling in the dark.

If you’re driving by car, it’s worth remembering that your journey will take longer if there are adverse weather conditions.

Travelling by car adverse weather

4. Check Travel Updates

No matter how much you plan and prepare for the journey home this Christmas, something is bound to change between then and the actual day of travelling.

One thing to do is to check for any travel changes leading up to the day and on the day so you can prepare as best as you can for any possible issues that could cause you to be delayed.

Planning to travel by car? Check out the RAC or National Highways for travel updates so you don’t get caught out.

If train is your mode of transport then check out National Rail or Trainline for any issues that could affect you this Christmas period.

Another thing to do is have a back up plan to fall back on if your main choice of transport suddenly stops being a viable option.

check travel updates

5. Be Aware Of Train Strikes

This year has been a difficult year with national strikes and this Christmas is no different.

Rail workers are currently striking from the 24th December up until the 27th December. This will affect everyone’s Christmas plans so it is best to plan accordingly.

There’s also strikes on the 13th to the 14th December, 16th to the 17th December, 3rd to the 4th January and 6th to the 7th January. 

Of course, these dates could change and there could be cancellations taking place on other dates. 

So, if you need to get the train home this Christmas book and plan to travel around the dates so you can make it home in plenty of time. 

You should also regularly check online to keep up to date with any cancelled or affected services. 

For more information on the train strikes check out National Rail – check updates frequently so you don’t miss them!

train strikes

6. Pack Accordingly

Make sure to pack in accordance with how you are travelling home this December – it may make your journey less stressful.

If a car is the transport of choice then most likely you will be able to pack more and even have room for all your presents to give your family for Christmas.

It will certainly save you from carrying them around.

Vice versa, if you travel by train, then you will need to limit what you can take.

Packing only the essential items and keep in mind that any presents will have to be carried to and from the train station. 

Plus space is limited on a train – so pack only what you know you can fit on the train, the lighter the better!

packing accordingly christmas travel tips

International Students 

If you’re an international student travelling home for the holidays or someone who’s visiting friends and family abroad for Christmas, we also have a few travel tips for you below:

  • Plan your trip in advance 
  • Pre-select your seats on the plane in advance 
  • Avoid peak travel dates 
  • Check your flight details 
  • Bare in mind how you’re going to travel to the airport 
  • Check delays and cancellations 

international students christmas travel tips

We hope these Christmas travel tips help you whilst going home to your family during this busy time – stay safe on your travels. 

Remember, it’s best to stay updated with the news to find out if your travel plans are affected as things could change. 

Have a very Merry Christmas and we wish you a Happy New Year! We hope it’s a good one.

No Christmas party is complete without some festive tunes. Check out our blog on How To Create The Ultimate Christmas Party Playlist and get your dancing shoes on to party the night away, it is going to be fun, fun, fun!