Saturday, 3 December 2016

Tips For Travelling Home For Christmas


A lot of people will travel home from uni for a break over the Christmas holidays which makes it a very busy time. I did it while I was away and have found a few things that will make the journey a little bit easier and more bearable.

Booking Tickets
One of the best things to do with these is to book them well in advance. Often you will get your term dates early on which will make it easier to decide when you will be going back and give you chance to get cheaper tickets. You never know if you get lucky they might have some first class seats really cheap if you look early which would make that often long train journey a bit more comfortable. Getting a railcard can also save you a lot of money if you take a few trains over the year so it's well worth doing this. It's also good to look at the different train times as they will vary across the day and can be another way to save a fair amount. 

Table Seat
It can be so much better if you get a table seat on a train as you often get more legroom plus having someone to lean on. If you still have exam prep or other work to do it can be much easier to do this will a table as you might as well get some work done while sitting on the train for what is sometimes a few hours. 

Packing
This might depend on how organised you like to be but leaving it until the very last minute will often just cause you more stress. You will probably be surprised how long it will take to try and get everything sorted, especially if you have to carry additional presents for people. Another thing to think about it what bags you actually pack. There's no point filling a big case that you will struggle to life onto a train or bus so be sure to plan this out with what items you have to take home. 

Timing
Arrive 15-20 minutes early for your train/bus so that you have chance to find which platform or stop it will be going from. If you do get a train they sometimes come in early so it can be so much easier to get on and have your luggage put away before it fills up. The last thing you want to be doing is awkwardly bumping into people while you try to get to your seat or the luggage rack. 

Food & Drink
There should be a Costa or Starbucks not too far away so you might as well grab something for the journey before you set off. They also tend to have seasonal themed drinks in most of their stores so it will give you something to help you get into the Christmas spirit. You'll be thanking yourself for getting something nice to eat when the only thing you can get from the train trolley would be a bag of crisps or some rather plain biscuits. 

Download In Advance
If doing work on your journey home then be sure to get something to stop you being bored all the way back. You can often download your favourite shows to watch offline which will be a godsend when you keep losing signal on the journey. Alternatively you may prefer to download some of your favourite tracks so you can stick you headphones on and zone out. 

National Rail App
If you will be getting the train then this app can come in so handy. You can track your train to see if there are any delays and keep an eye on the expected time it will come into the different stations which is ideal if you are arranging to be picked up or booking a taxi. This can be great as the driver/conductor won't always inform you if there is a delay. You can also check which platforms the trains are due in at which makes it much easier when making changes to save you wandering around trying to find where you are supposed to go. 

Cheaper Alternatives
I know money can be really tight when you are in uni and trains always cheap by any means. Depending where you are, there will be cheaper options to get home such as National Express coaches or the Megabus. I got the Megabus from Newcastle to Sheffield and it cost my lesser than £10. It might not be as comfortable or quick as a train but if you need a cheap way to get back then it's always an option. 


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