It’s not long now before you’ll be going home for the Christmas holidays, but before you head off, there’s a few things you need to do. Luckily, we’ve put together this checklist to help.
Book Your Travel
We all know how expensive British train travel is, so if you haven’t booked your tickets yet, you need to do so as soon as possible. To save money, be flexible with the date you want to travel and book outside of peak times. If there’s the option, try and get a reserved seat. Remember that everyone will be going home at the same time and you really don’t want to be left standing up for the whole journey home! You should also try to get hold of a 16-25 railcard, especially if you’re planning to travel the length and breadth of the country regularly, as you’ll get a third off the price of your journey. You can also look online to find the best split route tickets. With a little bit of work, you’ll find that a journey made in two parts is often cheaper than a direct trip, even if you follow the same route. Don’t fancy parting with all that money? If there’s no rush to get home, consider taking a National Express coach instead.
Finish Your Work
You probably won’t have time to get absolutely all your work finished by the end of term, but you should still have a good crack at it. At home, you might not have access to a library as good as your University’s and you don’t want to end up getting stuck unable to do any research for that all-important essay. If you get a good chunk of work out of the way, you won’t have it hanging over you and you’ll be able to spend more time relaxing and eating way too many mince pies!
On a similar note, return all the library books to that you don’t need over the holidays. You don’t want to come back to university in January realising you’ve ended up racking hundreds of pounds worth of fines because you couldn’t be bothered making the trek over to the library.
Host a House Christmas
There’s nothing better than getting all your friends over for a big Christmas party. Get everyone to cook together (that way you’ll be able to disguise how bad of a chef you are), have a go at Secret Santa and play some Christmas games… or just get drunk. If you put up Christmas lights, make sure you don’t overload the plug sockets.
Tidy Your Room
Tidying your room might be the last thing you want to do when you’re full of festive cheer, but you’ll thank yourself when you come back in January. If you don’t clear up, you might come back to find that mice have moved into the house, or that the pizza you drunkenly ordered and forgot about has gone mouldy. Take the opportunity to recycle everything you can and if you’ve discovered that you have far too many clothes that you don’t plan to wear ever again consider donating them to the local charity shop.
Only Pack The Essentials
Remember that you’ll only be heading home for a weeks weeks maximum, so you won’t need to bring your whole wardrobe back with you. Just make sure you have enough for the time you’ll be home and maybe pack some special outfits for Christmas parties. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re getting on the train and see everyone else that’s packed too much struggling to drag their suitcases across the platform.
You should bring home any valuables you have though. Burglars target student properties when they’re vacant over the holidays, so make sure there’s nothing there for them to take.
Do Your Christmas Shopping
If you’ve not started Christmas shopping yet, what are you waiting for?! If you’re in a city like Manchester or Liverpool with their huge shopping districts, there’s plenty of choice and something for every budget. Go out with your friends and make a day of it, and use the opportunity to discover some new areas of the city. If the hustle and bustle of high street Christmas shopping isn’t for you, get your online orders in now – you don’t want to end up ordering a load of fantastic presents only for them not to turn up by Christmas because you’ve left it too late. Get them delivered to your home address so that you don’t have to lug them through the train station or ram them into your already stuffed suitcase.
Take Down Your Christmas Decorations
When you get back in January, you’ll probably end up getting hit with the post-holiday blues and seeing Christmas decorations up will make the feelings so much worse. Take them down before you head home and most importantly, unplug any lights you’ve put up, to prevent a fire while you’re away.
Right before you and your friends leave your property, make sure you lock all the doors and windows in your house. If your bedroom doors have locks, make use of these too. That way, if someone does break in, they’ll only be able to access the communal areas of the property. You should also unplug all the electrical devices in your house that don’t need to be on so you don’t end up getting hit with a massive utility bill when you get back from the holidays. You should also set your heating to 7-10 degrees. This will ensure that your pipes don’t freeze while you’re away and should also stop condensation forming and causing damp.
Look For a House For Next Year
If you’ve not found a house for next year, it’s probably a good time to start looking. Get a group of friends together and begin to have a look at what’s available. If you’d like some more advice, speak to a member of the team at Manchester based Student Haus. We still have some Manchester student homes available.