Brits will travel over 100 miles – just to get home for Christmas, study finds

Brits will typically travel over 100 miles this festive season – just to get home for Christmas, according to research. Other seasonal trips that will rack up the mileage include a collective 121 miles travelled to catch up with friends or family before the “big day”.

And half (49%) are planning a festive theatre trip during the months of November and December, travelling a total of 61 miles to get there, while 66% hope to see some Christmas lights during this period – adding up to 50 miles journeyed to tick this off their to-do list.

The survey of 2,000 adults, who celebrate the December holiday, also revealed the top snacks they tuck into on their festive travels – with mince pies, and chocolate selection boxes, topping the list.

As a result, a fifth of those polled (19%) reckon they cover more miles across the UK in December than they do at any other time of year.

The research was commissioned by coach operator, megabus, to mark the launch of its “Coaching Home for Christmas” campaign, to encourage passengers to get ahead of the last-minute booking rush.

It was revealed London, Glasgow, and Bristol are the anticipated Christmas hotspot destinations, based on internal data. And Christmas Eve was also revealed as the most popular day to travel, as almost a fifth of respondents (17%) make their journeys just before the “big day” itself.

Tony Simmons, regional director for the brand, said: “It's fascinating to see how much road we cover as a nation over the Christmas period. We see more than one million miles travelled across our network in the month of December alone.

“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.”

The study also found the average adult will spend more than 50 hours – the equivalent of more than two whole days – seeing extended family and friends throughout November and December. And 31% will generously give up an average of 17 hours of their time volunteering this Christmas period.

But with 68% typically travelling with their partner, and 44% with their kids, the journeys are not always seamless – as 23% of festive car journeys lead to squabbles with fellow passengers.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 12% prefer to travel on public transport during the Christmas period than at other times of the year – with a fifth of these claiming passengers are noticeably friendlier.

To get into the spirit, 13% of those using public transport create a festive playlist, while others tuck into chocolate yule log, or leftover Christmas dinner sandwiches.

megabus’ Tony Simmons, whose data predicts December 22nd, 24th, and 26th will be the busiest days to travel, added: “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.”


  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%


  • Travelling home for Christmas – 107 miles
  • Pre-Christmas meet-ups with family – 69 miles
  • Theatre trips – 61 miles
  • Christmas Day with friends – 59 miles
  • Christmas Day with family – 54 miles
  • Pre-Christmas meet-ups with friends – 52 miles
  • Trips to see Christmas lights – 50 miles
  • Christmas market tours – 44 miles
  • Present shopping – 43 miles
  • Santa's Grotto visits – 32 miles
  • Work events/meetings – 30 miles
  • Work Christmas parties – 29 miles
  • Charity fun-runs – 29 miles
  • Festive volunteering – 27 miles
  • Food/supermarket shopping – 20 miles

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