Festive folk set to travel more than 700 miles this Christmas period

UK adults are each set to travel a whopping 703 miles on average in the UK alone during the Christmas period, according to new research from great value coach operator, megabus.

A poll of 2,000 adults who celebrate Christmas found the festive mileage is made up of visits to see family, Santa’s grotto visits, pantomime trips and present shopping, with a fifth (19%) travelling the UK more in December than the rest of the year combined.

Christmas hotspot destinations include London, Glasgow and Bristol* with megabus also seeing notable spikes in travel to/from Heathrow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham airports during the festive build-up.

The most popular day to travel is actually Christmas Eve as almost a fifth (17%) make their journeys just before the ‘big day’ itself.

The average person will rack up over 50 hours seeing extended family and friends – covering a total distance of 120 miles over the course of the month. It seems we’re also a generous bunch when it comes to investing our time at Christmas too, as 31% will spend an average of 17 hours volunteering. Other popular reasons for Christmas travel include trips to see the Christmas lights (66%), going to Christmas markets (52%) and trips to the theatre (49%).

With two thirds (64%) of us travelling with partners or children (44%), it’s not surprising that almost a quarter (23%) of festive car journeys lead to squabbles with fellow passengers. As a result, one in 10 (12%) prefer to travel on public transport during the festive season with a fifth (20%) saying that passengers are noticeably more friendly than at any other time. 13% even create festive playlists for their journeys to help them get into the festive spirit.

Tony Simmons, Regional Director of megabus, which commissioned the research to celebrate the launch of its ‘Coaching Home for Christmas’ campaign, said: “It’s fascinating to see how much road we cover as a nation over the Christmas period, especially when more than 1 million miles are travelled across the megabus network in the month of December alone. We’re delighted to play a role in connecting people across the UK by making their journeys part of their Christmas activities, whatever their reasons to travel this festive season”.

“And, when it comes to the environmental impact, coaches can’t be rivalled, as travelling by this mode of transport emits 33.8g of CO2 per person per kilometre – the least of any major transport option and a 16% decrease over a diesel car**. So, passengers can be safe in the knowledge that they’re lessening the impact on the environment whilst enjoying their festive journeys this Christmas.”

Megabus coaches are set to travel more than 1 million miles in December 2023, with predictions made for the 22nd, 24th and 26th December to be the busiest days across the network*

With data revealing 60% of bookings are left until the week of departure*, megabus is encouraging those looking to get ahead of the last-minute Christmas rush to visit its website for the latest ticketing deals – whatever their reason to travel this festive season.

To find out more, visit https://uk.megabus.com

 Top 10 Festive treats to enjoy on the road

  1. Chocolate selection boxes (31%)
  2. Hot chocolate (29%)
  3. Mince pies (28%)
  4. Festive bakes e.g. sausage rolls (27%)
  5. Mini pigs in blankets (24%)
  6. Chocolate coins (24%)
  7. Christmas dinner leftover sandwich (23%)
  8. Turkey and stuffing sandwich (21%)
  9. Chocolate yule log  (19%)
  10. Gingerbread person (16%)