ABTA – The Travel Association estimates that 2.1 million British holidaymakers are set to head overseas for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, with Good Friday the busiest day for travel.
Many of those travelling abroad will be looking for guaranteed sunshine. Spain is once again the UK’s favourite foreign holiday destination for the weekend, with Malaga, Alicante and the Canary Islands the most popular regions. Temperatures this weekend are set to reach 21°C in Malaga, 23°C in Alicante and 23°C in Gran Canaria.
Turkey will also be busy, with holidaymakers enjoying sunshine and 23°C heat, while Egypt is another popular choice for sun seekers – temperatures of 31°C are predicted in Hurghada.
Some Britons will be travelling even further afield in the search for sun, as ABTA members report that Mexico, Cape Verde and Florida are selling well.
Many more are taking advantage of the long weekend by spending time enjoying galleries, restaurants and nightclubs on a city break, with Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, New York, Budapest and Rome all having sold well.
This time of year is always a popular time for UK breaks, particularly for families. ABTA members are reporting good levels of booking for UK breaks with many customers travelling to seaside resorts such as Bournemouth, Eastbourne and Llandudno, where they will bask in unseasonably high temperatures of over 20°C.
Airports in the South East are reporting strong numbers with hundreds of thousands leaving from Heathrow, 275,000 from Gatwick, 175,000 from Stansted and 105,000 from Luton.
Regional airports will be busy, with 160,000 leaving from Manchester, 28,000 from East Midland Airport and more than 100,000 from Edinburgh Airport.
Other regional airports, ferry terminals and the Channel Tunnel will also be extremely busy over the weekend with thousands booked to travel by Eurostar this weekend.
ABTA’s chief executive, Mark Tanzer, says: “Easter is always one of the most popular times of year for travel and over the long weekend millions of holidaymakers will be taking either an overseas or a domestic break. The fact that Easter falls so late this year means that there is a good range of short-haul destinations offering good temperatures and guaranteed sunshine.
“Many customers will also be looking to book their summer holidays this weekend – and there is great deal of choice and availability for good-value breaks in popular destinations, including the Canary Islands, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece and Italy.
“As always on a busy bank holiday, leave plenty of time to get to your departure port and check for engineering work and line closures if using public transport.”