Estimated 2.1 million Brits to head overseas this weekend

ABTA is estimating that 2.1 million Brits are set to head abroad this bank holiday weekend (25 -28 August).

Tossa de Mar, Spain

With temperatures around the Mediterranean expected to hit the low thirties over the weekend, Spain remains a popular destination, and southern Spain, the Balearics and the Canary Islands in particular are all expecting large numbers of British holidaymakers.

The association’s members are reporting that Turkey and Greece are also very popular, with Crete expected to be a top choice. Further afield, Florida and Morocco have also sold well.

City breaks are a good option for the long weekend, and holidaymakers have chosen Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris as top short-haul getaway destinations. More Brits are also choosing to pay a flying visit to the USA, with long haul city breaks to New York and Los Angeles proving particularly popular.

For those who prefer to stay in the UK, the Norfolk Broads, the West Country and the Cotswolds are top picks for a quick getaway.

Airports around the country are expecting to be very busy this weekend, with Heathrow reporting that 243,000 people will fly out on Friday.

Gatwick is expecting 304,000 holidaymakers to fly out over the entire weekend and 174,000 people will be departing from Stansted. 55,000 holidaymakers are expected to fly out of Bristol Airport, 90,000 will depart from Edinburgh, 95,000 from Birmingham, 36,000 from East Midlands Airport and 210,000 from Manchester.

Ports and the Channel Tunnel are also expected to be busy. The Eurostar is anticipating more than 64,000 departures from the UK across the four days, as Paris and the South of France remain firm favourites with British holidaymakers.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “This weekend is always one of the busiest of the year for travel, and marks the final week of the peak summer season. Hundreds of thousands of people take advantage of the extra day off work to head overseas for some guaranteed sunshine, or to enjoy the UK’s beautiful countryside and vibrant cities. With roads and airports expected to be extremely busy this weekend, I would remind holidaymakers to make sure they leave plenty of time to get to their port of departure.”

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