Students shun social media for face-to-face time

Thursday 13th September 2018

Survey reveals students travel thousands of miles to visit friends

Going to university can be a great opportunity to live independently, study a subject you’re interested in and prepare yourself for the world of work. For many young people, starting university also marks the start of another journey – a journey that takes them thousands of miles around the country.

Here at TransPennine Express, we carried out a survey of 1000 students to find out how their social lives impact their day-to-day lives. We found that on average, students over the duration of their three-year degree will travel 2,064 miles – that’s further than the distance between London and Paphos, Cyprus – in order to visit their friends.

Thankfully, savvy students with a 16-25 Railcard who book their train tickets in advance can save potentially thousands of pounds when visiting friends and exploring different parts of the country.

Why the 16-25 Railcard is in demand

Thanks to smartphones, social media and the internet, it’s never been easier for people to keep in touch. But our recent survey suggests millennials are shunning technology in favour of more personal interactions.

Two-fifths (41%) of the young people we questioned said face-to-face meetings are the best way to maintain relationships with their mates, compared to only 16% who prefer to keep in touch using social media.

A further 15% said texting is their favourite way of staying in touch, while one in ten would rather speak on the phone. A further one in ten likes to keep up to date with friends through video calls, such as FaceTime or Skype.

Infographic student communication preferences

Adding up the miles and hours

While it can be fun visiting friends and exploring new places, many university students will soon find they are clocking up the miles and hours thanks to their busy social lives.

We found that over a 12-month period, students take an average of 16 trips to see friends across the country. Over a typical three-year university course, this equates to a whopping 48 trips in total.

How far do students travel to see their friends?

With the average journey spanning 43 miles, young people will soon find they are covering some serious distances. Over a three-year period, the average student can expect to travel 2,064 miles visiting their pals.

We found students in some parts of the country will travel even further than most to see their mates. In Liverpool, for example, young people travel an average of 4,266 miles over a three-year period to see their friends – that’s further than the distance to travel to New Delhi in India! Students in Edinburgh travel an average of 3,600 miles during their time at university, while students in Manchester travel an average of 2,916 miles.

Distance travelled by students in the UK to see friends

The average trip to see friends takes 1 hour 36 minutes, meaning students will spend 76 hours 48 minutes – or over 3 days – travelling to maintain friendships during their three-year stay at university.

How many hours do students spend travelling to see their friends?

And travelling is something students will have to remember to budget for alongside all those other costs of new study materials and socialising with new friends. Over the duration of a three-year course, students can pay an average of £2,160 in total on all their trips to see friends.

For some, it’s a price worth paying, however, as over a third (38%) of respondents told us they had lost touch with at least one friend or relative as a result of not being able to afford to visit them.

Start saving with a 16-25 Railcard today

People aged between 16 to 25, or aged over 25 and studying full-time, are eligible for a 16-25 Railcard. It only costs £30 for a year and provides 34 per cent off all off Standard Anytime, Off-Peak, Advance and First Class Advance fares.

If students book TPE Advance train tickets online or via the TPExpress app, we will increase this discount to 50 per cent and help students travel further, for less.

Find out more about the Student Travel Offer

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