Whether you're hitting the shops or battling miserable weather to see friends and family, make sure you're on the right track this winter by reading our top tips for festive train travel.
Get your tickets early in the run-up to Christmas and New Year. Advance train fares are usually much cheaper than standard tickets, and can be bought up to 12 weeks before you travel. Remember, popular festive flights and train services usually book up fast.
Reserve your seats
Make sure you get that window seat, table seat or the one nearest the luggage store (who wants to sit by the toilet?) by reserving your seats as soon as you've booked. It’s easy and doesn’t cost any extra, and on the extra-busy December services it could be crucial.
Take along some treats
Like airports and motorway services, railway stations are expensive. But you can save money by filling a thermos and taking your own snacks on board rather than buying at the last minute.
Keep things feeling festive
There’s no reason train travel shouldn’t be fun. Keep things feeling festive this Christmas season by compiling a seasonal playlist - complete with Christmas hits from Mariah Carey, Cliff, Wham! and Shakin’ Stevens. And take along some train reading or games. Bananagrams - scrabble tiles in a banana-shaped pouch - are great for travellers, while smartphone and iPhone game apps can keep adults and little ones entertained too.
Pack those presents
If you’re travelling with a lot of extra luggage, keep valuable presents in zipped-up bags or by your side. And store any valuable packages under your feet and above your head. If you've got lots to transport, it could help to pre-book a seat near the door so you'll be near extra luggage racks. It’s also an idea to make sure that any big-ticket items are insured before you travel, in case you lose them along the way.
This article was written by Natalie Hamilton, part of the blogging team for train ticket specialists Red Spotted Hanky.