Counting down to your annual two weeks in the sun could be a thing of the past, if recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are anything to go by. Data collected over the past two decades shows that UK residents are shunning the traditional 14-night break and are jetting off on shorter trips, more often.
In 2016, more than 45 million trips abroad were made, compared to a mere 27 million back in 1996. It’s a 68% increase within 20 years, even though the population has only increased by 12% during the same period.
But although we’re taking more holidays, they’re shorter in length, with the one week and ten-day stay rising in popularity. One of the key reasons for our little-but-often jaunts is the rise and rise of the budget airline.
It’s hard to think back to a time when easyJet and Ryanair weren’t around, but no-frills airlines only took off in the 80s and 90s. Since then, and thanks in no small part to the internet, air travel has become more accessible and affordable. It’s been calculated that since 1996, the number of air passengers has increased by 85% to 251 million.
When it comes to destinations of choice, we just can’t get enough of sunny Spain, with the number of holidays to the country soaring by 87% since 1996. France takes second place and is still, by far, one of our favoured places for a break, despite the figures for UK travellers going there decreasing by 9%. Germany is now a top-ten holiday hotspot, and the United Arab Emirates has seen a surge in tourist numbers, thanks to the popularity of Dubai.
While we might be turning our backs on a fortnight in the sun, it’s not adios to the package holiday just yet. Of course, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in 20 years – and that’s the need for travel insurance. So, tick it off your holiday checklist and make sure you don’t leave home without it.