The big December freeze set to spur over 3 million* Brits to book a holiday this week


  • Holiday booking season kicks off this week with over three million Brits set to book a holiday
  • Brits’ love for the States stays as strong as ever with over 10 percent of tourists looking to go stateside for their 2018 ‘vacay’
  • The younger generation are set to enjoy trips around Europe next year with Spain and Italy top of the holiday wish list
  • Almost half (43 percent) of holidaymakers see ATOL protection as a ‘holiday essential’. The Civil Aviation Authority is committed to educating consumers on the importance of the scheme across this busy booking period

New research by ATOL, the holiday protection scheme, has found that three million people are set to book their holiday this week, as December’s snowy weather accelerates the holiday booking period for one in five consumers (21 percent).

For those who have escaped the worst of the weather in the south, it seems ‘staying organised’ (18 percent) and ‘workplace boredom’ (8 per cent) has led to this spike in booking.

Despite the weakness of the pound driving up costs, the latest data, that surveyed more than 4,000 people across the UK, has found that the popularity of the USA is stronger than ever with over a million more people looking to travel across the pond in 2018 than 2017.

After enjoying adventurous gap years, the study shows millennials are now keen to holiday a little closer to home with European destinations very much in vogue for the younger generation. Spain, Italy and Greece are all top destinations of choice and Portugal is rapidly closing the gap thanks to its buzzing food scene, photogenic cityscapes and Port making a comeback.  This is in contrast to the older generation who are increasingly using retirement to travel to far flung destinations such as New Zealand and Australia.

The London bubble sees those from the capital bucking the trend when it comes to travel—only 7 percent of those that live in London see Spain as their next holiday, compared to the national average of just under a quarter (23 percent).

Top 10 holiday destinations for 2018:

2018 rank Country 2017 change
1 Spain =
2 USA +1
3 Italy –1
4 Greece =
5 France =
6 Portugal +1
7 Caribbean –1
8 Australia +2
9 Canada –1
10 Cyprus –1

The research also revealed the destinations at the bottom of tourist’s wish lists, with Azerbaijan and Romania proving the least popular.

Least popular holiday hotspots:

1. Azerbaijan





The research found that when it comes to booking holidays, top priorities for consumers include guaranteed sunshine, a nearby beach and even access to British TV channels.

For the younger generation, the top three priorities for a holiday include ‘good wi-fi’ (35 percent), ‘free data roaming’ (15 percent) and ‘instagrammable locations’ (10 percent). This is in stark contrast to those who are over 55—these sensible spenders are three times more concerned about having ATOL protection when booking a break (60 percent).

Richard Moriarty, Consumers & Markets Director at the Civil Aviation Authority said, “With more consumers than ever using the period between Christmas and New Year to book trips abroad, we want to make sure as many people as possible understand the benefits of the ATOL scheme.”

It’s the most comprehensive form of protection for package holidaymakers in the UK, ensuring more than 26 million** British travellers every year can travel with peace of mind.

“Whether you’re travelling to popular hot spots such as Spain or exploring destinations even further afield, don’t forget to ask about ATOL before you book. Having an ATOL certificate means that your holiday is financially protected, so if the worst happens and your travel company goes bust, you will still be able to get home and will not lose your hard-earned cash.”

Visit for more information about ATOL protection.

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