27 December 2017


  • Survey by Arriva buses questioned Brits about the journeys they made over Christmas
  • Average Brit travelled 184 miles to visit family and friends
  • Brits travelled 50 miles to go Christmas shopping with most people (58%) making between five and 10 visits to the shops
  • 67 per cent of Brits made a last minute dash to the shops on Christmas Eve, with 28 per cent taking the bus to avoid car parking stress
Feeling worn out after a busy Christmas? It’s not surprising: the average Brit travelled a staggering 184 miles to visit family and friends over the festive period, according to a study by Arriva buses.

The research revealed Brits wouldn’t miss a Christmas visit to their grannies for the world, with British men travelling an average of 189 miles, while women travel 179 miles. More than a quarter (26%) said they travelled for more than ten hours to visit loved ones and drop off presents, while 6 per cent said they travelled for more than twenty hours to pay their family and friends a Christmas visit.

The study looked into the many little journeys Brits make over the Christmas period.

More than half (58%) said they made up to ten Christmas shopping trips during the festive period, with the bus being the second most popular way to go shopping (28%) - avoiding car parking stress.

A third (30%) of people said they also made between 10 and 15 supermarket visits over Christmas, with seven per cent saying they went to the supermarket up to 20 times to stock up on festive food, drinks and wrapping paper.

It’s not just about retail therapy however. Brits travelled on average a total of 40 extra miles for all the other little festive journeys such as trips to see Santa, church, the kid’s nativity, panto, and the office party.

  • 41% said they always bear the true meaning of Christmas in mind with a visit to church over the festive period
  • 42% went to a Christmas market
  • 41% got festive watching a Christmas light switch on
  • 38% went to an office party
  • 41% said they pampered themselves with a trip to the hairdressers
The survey questioned 2,000 Brits on their Christmas holiday habits.

Two thirds (67%) said they made a last minute dash to the shops on Christmas Eve.

Sticky tape proved to be the most forgotten about item for most Brits, with 36 per cent saying they had to get some at the last minute. Another 22 per cent said they forgot to buy milk, while 10 per cent said they forgot to buy a Christmas pudding.

Julie Linforth from Arriva said: “It is heartwarming to see the lengths people go to to spend Christmas with their family and friends.

“Whilst Christmas can be a hectic time for many families, our survey proves just how much effort people go to to make sure everything is perfect, and it is great to see how much people value spending time with their family and friends over the festive period.

“We know Brits up and down the country rely on our services to transport them to the shops and to visit loved ones over the festive period, and we are urging more people to leave their cars at home and hop on an Arriva bus this Christmas period. Public transport allows people to avoid hectic car parks and even stop for a cheeky festive drink when their feet get tired from Christmas shopping and sales. And if your new year’s resolution is to cut your carbon footprint, public transport is a great place to start.”

Most forgotten-about items from the Christmas shopping list

  1. Sticky tape - 36%
  2. Milk - 22%
  3. Gift tags - 16%
  4. Cream - 12%
  5. Christmas pudding - 10%
Most popular ways to travel to go Christmas shopping

  1. Car - 63%
  2. Bus - 28%
  3. Train - 19%
  4. On foot - 16%
  5. Bike 7%
Cities that travel the furthest to see family and friends over Christmas:

  1. Brighton (212 miles on average)
  2. Birmingham (206 miles on average)
  3. Liverpool (192 miles on average)
  4. Edinburgh (188 miles on average) and Belfast (188 miles on average)
  5. London (186 miles on average)

Arriva carried out a survey with 2000 people in the UK in December 2017 with LM Research.

The Arriva group is one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe. Arriva employs more than 60,000 people and delivers over 2 billion passenger journeys across 14 European countries each year

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