4 million Brits heading off for a Christmas and New Year getaway

Family Christmas timeWhile the main focus during the festive season is normally ensuring that presents are piled high under the Christmas tree and the festive season spread is just the right side of cooked - it seems that some Brits have swapped these everyday concerns for the more appealing prospect of an end of year getaway.

According to figures from ABTA, four million Brits are set to jet off abroad during the Christmas and New Year period (19 December – 3 January), with the weekend of December the 28th proving to be one of the peak travel times over this period.

Amongst the list of popular destinations for winter sun seekers are: the Canary Islands, Tunisia, Morocco and the Cape Verde Islands, while winter sports fans are likely to be testing out the slopes at resorts in Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy.

When it comes to ringing in the New Year, Edinburgh and London tick the boxes for New Year’s revellers at home, whilst the most popular destinations away are: Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Dublin.

Unsurprisingly, airport departures over this period run into the hundreds of thousands, with passenger traffic estimated to be busiest at Heathrow (1.7 million). Heathrow’s lead is continued by the following airports:

  • Gatwick - 800,000
  • Stansted - 430,000
  • Manchester - 160,000
  • Birmingham - 100,000
  • Bristol – 50,000

Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said:

“The Christmas and New Year period is one of the busiest times of year for the travel industry with millions heading off to spend time with friends and family or taking advantage of bank holidays for a well-earned winter break. This year is no exception with holidaymakers looking for winter sun or a traditional Christmas experience. As always the roads and railways will be very busy so travellers should leave plenty of time to make their connections and check for engineering work before leaving home – as well as ensuring they take out an adequate insurance policy.”

If you are heading off on holiday during the above period, remember that you can take out last-minute travel insurance.



Date Created: 24 December 2014

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