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With over 2.5 million university students across the UK, and most of them planning on travelling home for Christmas, it can often seem chaotic and stressful – but it doesn’t need to be. In this article, I will be giving you my top tips for making your journey home as stress-free as possible.
Plan for university
If like me, you still have plenty of university work to do over the Christmas break then be sure to make a list of what you need to do as well as when you plan to do it. It is important to take a break as that’s what the holidays are there for! This is why planning your time ahead will allow you to relax without stressing about the work that needs to be done.
Plan your travel in advance!
The week before Christmas is often the busiest time of the year for travel across the country. If you are travelling by train, make sure to check the Network Rail journey planner for updates on rail strikes and major disruptions to your travel plans.
If you are travelling by road, make sure to check your route before you leave so that you can travel in the quickest way possible. This will allow you to get where you need to be on time.
If you are travelling by plane, it is important to get to the airport with plenty of time in advance as there are likely to be long waits at the security and check-in. If you are flying from London, it is recommended to arrive there the day before in case you get stuck on your way.
Check your travel the day before you go
With rail strikes, protests blocking roads, and flights being delayed, now it is more important than ever to check your plans a day or two before you want to travel. This will allow you to change plans if necessary to deal with any unexpected delays. It is also worthwhile to make a contingency plan in case your preferred travel plan falls through.
Make a list of what you are taking with you before you go
Depending on how you are travelling home, you might be taking a lot with you. I have a tendency to take my whole wardrobe back with me – options are a must. Last year I got halfway home and realised all my clothes were on my bed in Lincoln waiting to be put in the car. To avoid this happening again, now every time I go home, I make a list of what I need to pack and put into the car, and I make sure the list is fully crossed off before starting the journey home. It is a good idea to make the list about a week before you plan to travel so that you can start getting your things together. This also allows you to add things to the list as you remember.
Make a list of what you need to do before you go
Have you tidied your room? Cleaned your fridge out? Made a list of what’s in your cupboard so you know what you need to buy when you get back after the holidays? These are the type of things that can often be forgotten about, but will make your life easier if you have them done when you return. If you are unsure about what to add to this list, maybe have a brainstorm with your housemates to see what prep they do before going home.
Make plans with friends and family back home before you go home
One of the realities of adulting is rarely being free to meet your friends and family. To ensure that you get the most out of your time at home, try to arrange a catch-up meeting with your friends ahead of time. People can often be really busy around the festive season and it’s always good to have a plan.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope that it has made you feel a little less stressed about your journey home for Christmas. Whatever your plans are for the Christmas season, be sure to let us know what you get up to by tagging us in your social media posts @uolstudentlife and follow us to keep up to date with all the things student life.