More Brits are travelling abroad now, compared to four years ago, according to new research by Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money.
Analysis of official figures revealed that British holidaymakers took 15.6 million trips abroad between July and September 2015 – up by 14% from 13.7 million for the same period in 2011.
The research also found that New Zealand (29%), Iceland (20%), and Japan (19%) are the most common ‘must visit’ destinations for Brits this year. They were closely followed by Norway (16%) and Croatia (15%).
Two of top five ‘must visit’ destinations also saw the biggest percentage increase in the number of Brits holidaying there between the third quarter of 2011 and the same period in 2015. Japan saw a 285% rise, Iceland a 220% increase, and at the top of the table was Slovakia with a staggering 466%.
The UK’s most popular holiday destinations also benefitted from increase in the number of holidaymakers between 2011 and 2015, with the number of people travelling to Spain increasing by 21%, Italy by 43%, Portugal by 38%, and the USA by 37%.
Researchers at Sainsbury’s Bank asked participants what they considered to be the most important factor when planning their holidays. Almost half (49%) said that value for money was the top priority, but the weather is never far from our minds, as second in the list was warmer or better (40%).
Some of the other key factors included safety (38%), getting an ‘authentic’ cultural experience (23%), and finding somewhere that wasn’t too commercialised (21%).
Some holidaymakers wanted a once in a lifetime experience (18%), whereas others look for somewhere family-friendly (14%), or for a city break (11%). Visiting family (6%) and friends (5%) were also considerations for travellers.
Sainsbury’s Bank’s head of travel money, Simon Taylor, said that the research shows how Brits are taking more holidays and to more countries than four years ago. He advised holidaymakers travelling to more exotic destinations to shop around for foreign currency and consider using a prepaid card, for both safety and convenience.