Despite the flurry of snow and cold weather hitting the UK this week, it seems that Brits won't be put off by the bad weather when it comes to visiting friends and relatives over Christmas.
Research released by Swedish car manufacturer Saab GB, shows that the average family travels up to 207 miles over the festive period, making five stops to drop off the 37 presents they've bought for friends and family for a total of £520.49.
85 per cent of families refuse to travel on Christmas Day - preferring to have already arrived at their destination, or staying at home for the entire 24 hours. Instead, 36 per cent of folk will travel before the 24th December, and 18 per cent will arrive at friends and family on Christmas Eve. In the lead up to Christmas Brits will make three long distance car journeys of 59-miles and a further two short 15 mile trips to deliver presents.
The figures emerged in a study of 3,000 households, which also shows that Brits are spending more cash than ever in December.
As well as giving more than £500 worth of presents, they will also receive an average of 21 presents to the tune of £248.28.
This means a staggering 58 presents worth just under £800 will be passed between immediate family, friends and extended family members such as uncles, aunts, grandparents and cousins. The North East will be the most generous with 43 per cent planning to exchange more than 20 presents with family members this Christmas.
Meanwhile, those in Northern Ireland are expected to make the most trips with 17 per cent planning more than eight trips to visit friends and family this year, whilst people in East Anglia will travel the furthest, averaging 80 miles over the Christmas period.
A spokesperson for Saab GB, which commissioned the research, said: "Given these results, people could easily be fooled into thinking Christmas was all about the presents - but it's hard to avoid when you're part of a family.
"Christmas often brings out the best in people as it is the one time of the year we truly want to spoil those we love, which often means travelling long distances to deliver presents. It stands to reason then, that as well as being one of the most giving times of the year, Christmas can also be one of the most stressful."
The research shows families will pack 18 of their 58 presents into the car at any one time in a bid to carry out several drop-offs at once. But 15 per cent of folk often get stressed or worried about being able to fit everything in to the car over Christmas.
One in 10 people admit to breaking or damaging presents when trying to squeeze them into the car, and 17 per cent have been forced to leave gifts with a relative as they couldn't get them in the car.
Twenty-six per cent of people say they need another break after the Christmas holiday to recover from all the festive travelling with half of those polled stating every year that they vow not to give as many presents. 25 per cent swear they won't travel as far next Christmas.
Saab's spokesperson continues, "Travelling at Christmas needn't be stressful and can actually be one of the most enjoyable activities over the festive season as you get to spend time with your family travelling to visit people you wouldn't normally see. As it seems that Brits are determined to travel whatever the weather, I'd encourage drivers to be extra careful on the roads, pack your car carefully to ensure you don't reduce visibility and make sure you've carried out all the necessary winter checks before setting off."
The new Saab 9-3 range is ideal for winter driving, introducing a range of fuel-efficient vehicles that are the cleanest, low-carbon Saabs ever produced. The new Saab 9-3 range includes a Saloon, SportWagon and Convertible offering high performance, plenty of boot space and low emissions. All three vehicles have been optimised to deliver just 119g/km CO2 taking it below the 120 g/km taxation threshold and making it tax-exempt for vehicle excise duty.Published 3 December 2010