Irish people living in Europe travel further to get back home for Christmas than any other nation – except the Portuguese.
That is according to Mastercard who surveyed 10,000 people from 19 different European counties to find out about their festive travel routines.
There are more than 250 million people living in Europe that will travel back to their homeland for Christmas.
Irish people travel further than most with an average journey of 814km to get home for Christmas.
Only Portuguese travellers take on a longer journey with an average distance of 891km to get home.
The overall average for people travelling home throughout Europe was 516km at an average cost of €322. The average person saves up for two months to pay for their trip.
Christmas Eve is the busiest day for travel as people hit the roads, railways and runways of Europe.
Visiting mum and dad is the most common reason for people to travel home, but 23% said they would also make the journey to see their pet.
Although the cost of travel can be expensive, 64% of people do not consider their presence alone enough of a present for their loved ones at Christmas and spend an average of €238 on presents.
Almost every journey home (89%) will include a car or bus ride at some point, 26% will take the train, and 23% will hit the skies.
Rose Beaumont, of Mastercard, said: “We live at a time where people travel more and build careers and lives in new cities and countries around the world, but Christmas is still a time for getting home to be with family.
“Christmas has always been a major spending occasion, but with more and more people living away from their hometowns it has become one of the biggest travel occasions of the year too.”
The Mastercard survey also found that 20% of people living in Europe can’t make the journey home for Christmas.
The main reasons preventing them was lack of money (25%), having to work over Christmas (22%) and staying to celebrate with their partner’s family (19%).
Of those unable to travel home, 32% will either Skype or Facetime their loved ones on Christmas Day.