Wednesday 10 December 2014

Christmas Travel Tips

I am sure many of us know that travelling can be stressful. When travelling at Christmas it is busier and to someone with anxiety it is a massive fear being in an enclosed crowded space feeling like you have no control.  Short journeys are fine but when we want to travel further to see loved ones the thought worries us.

I asked some people about their experiences of travelling at Christmas and during winter to bring you Angela's top tips for Travel.  If you follow these hints and tips you won't need to worry again.

Bad Weather

"If you want a chance to get on your train it is wise to stay on the platform!"

We know how awful the weather is in Britain and how unpredictable it can be! When travelling during the cold months wear layers. Yes you may be about to sit on a train for a few hours but before getting on the cosy warm  train you are going to be standing on a wet and windy platform. If the platform is busy, as no doubt it will be, please stand back from the edge and take extra care on wet platforms. It may sound basic but safety first at all times.

Christmas Eve

"The worst thing about travelling on Christmas trains is the luggage! Everyone seems to have a suitcase. This means a free for all with luggage left in the doorways and aisles."

I have seen this many times before, people coming on with 3 bags for just one person! My suggestion is travel lightly if possible. I understand you may have loads of presents for family and friends but try and get everything in one large case rather than a few smaller ones.

Store all luggage safely and securely. If any doubt about how much luggage you can take, ask your local train provider for advice.

Snow on the tracks

"people would be a lot less disgruntled if the train companies didn't give us false hopes.  We are much happier when we expect the trains to be delayed and they are."

Delays and cancellations happen.  In bad weather only travel if 100% necessary and always check the operators website before leaving the house.  If I was travelling with TransPennine Express for example I would go to: and check if my journey was running on time, delayed or cancelled.

Packed Trains

"I was travelling last week and the train was packed.  People were crammed into the aisles. The conductor didn't even attempt to walk through the carriages.  It wasn't until we got to a staffed station that they stopped people from getting on."

If you are at an unstaffed station please check to see how full the carriages are before attempting to board.  If it is clearly too busy wait until the next service arrives.  If on a long journey book your seats. With TransPennine Express you can book your seats online and can even select which type of seat you want.

Travelling with children

  •  Book seat where possible
  •  Prams and buggies must be foldable and stored safely
  •  Ensure children do not run up and down the aisles. Yes I have witnessed this.
  •  Bring entertainment, travel games, colouring books etc.
  •  Pack a lunch. The kids will have a blast having a picnic on the train. TransPennine Express offer an at seat refreshment trolley service if you would like a nice hot cup of tea or coffee or a sandwich or snack.

Existing medical conditions

For those with existing conditions such as anxiety here are some extra tips for you.

  • Take all medication with you. This includes ordering and collecting your repeat prescriptions before travelling. Doctor surgeries and pharmacies are closed during Christmas period
  • If you need something to help travelling less stressful book an appointment with your GP if travelling in advance.
  • If you suffer travel sickness, like me, you can get anti sickness medication over the counter or from your doctor.
  • If you need assisted travel please contact the train provider who will help arrange this.

If you follow the tips above I am sure the stress of travelling will melt away!

To anyone travelling from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Manchester, Newcastle to York or Manchester to Cleethorpes why don't you check out TransPennine Express!  They offer you bookable seating, great fares, amazing service, comfort, assistance and most importantly stress free travel.

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  1. Great tips! I hate travelling on trains when they're busy as my anxiety kicks in because of the claustrophobia! I always try and book tickets in advance now so that I have a seat - and I try and book trains that start at my station rather than somewhere else further up the line, so that there's more space when I get on!

    1. I am not a fan of overly busy trains. I have always booked seats for long journeys even if I know the train won't be packed its nice knowing you have a seat and will be comfortable. My main stations are in Glasgow so space wise its normally ok.

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