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Holiday bookings surge as Brits are warned not to get swept up in rush | Travel News | Travel

Travel firms are gearing up for their busiest time of year, as sun-seeking Britons pack away the tinsel and set their sights on foreign holidays.

Last month’s drop in inflation from 4.6% to 3.9% means more people are looking to splash out on luxuries once again, including breaks abroad.

James Pieslak, spokesman for Jet2holidays, said: “Boxing Day is traditionally a very busy day for holiday bookings and this year will be no different.

“The thought of getting away from it all is very much at the front of people’s minds.”

The Canaries, Spain, Greece, Turkey, the Balearics, and Cyprus are set to be the most popular destinations, according to Jet2holidays.

It is also seeing more interest in Bulgaria, Malta and Croatia.

Last Boxing Day holiday company On the Beach saw more than 145,000 Britons search for breaks – an increase of 164% on the year before.

Based on 2023 trends, it is expecting a further rise of 18% today. Spokeswoman Zoe Harris said: “We are braced for a surge in bookings as holidaymakers look to lock in their 2024 jollies and those special memories.

“Boxing Day will be a big day but December 28 is set to be even bigger – we’re expecting a huge spike of browsing across our website.”

This year there has already been a 30% increase on people booking winter breaks. But it is sunshine spots that most people have their eyes on.

Zoe said: “Egypt is fast becoming one of 2024’s most popular hotspots, seeing a 115% increase in holidaymakers jetting off there compared with 2023.

“And Turkey has seen double-digit growth for 2024 and is three times bigger as a destination than pre-Covid.”

Half of us (51%) plan to book a summer holiday before the end of spring, a poll for financial protection scheme Atol found. Just 17% intend to book from June onwards.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “You can guarantee that before the last of the tinsel is packed away, emails will start landing in your inbox tempting you to book your next break.

“As companies vie for your business with special offers it can be easy to get swept up in the rush and feel like you have to book now or lose out – but that isn’t the case.

“Take a step back and allow yourself the time to consider your options and shop around. Just because something is advertised as a deal, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best price.

“It’s also worth looking at reviews, not just for your accommodation, but for your holiday provider as well. We’ve seen real variations in customer care between the big-name brands – which can make all the difference if for any reason your holiday is beset by delays or disruption.

“Plus, watch out for companies you’re unfamiliar with – scams proliferate at this time of year, and it can be easy to be caught out.”

Rory’s colleague Naomi Leach advised people to shop around on websites and apps, read the small print to find out what is included – and what isn’t – look up customer care ratings for holiday firms and buy travel insurance.

She added: “In the past we’ve found that in some cases, holiday prices have been the same, or cheaper, after the sales have finished – so don’t feel in any rush to book.”

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