ABTA has predicted that 1.9m Brits will travel abroad for the bank holiday weekend.

Most will head to Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearics to escape the showery UK weather.

The top five city break destinations are Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Rome and New York, while long haul travellers are heading to Florida to take advantage of good May deals.

Large numbers will be flying out of the South East, with 390,000 departing from Heathrow, 240,000 from Gatwick, 150,000 from Stansted and nearly 70,000 from Luton.

From the North and Midlands, 120,000 will leave from Manchester airport, 65,000 from Birmingham and 40,000 from Nottingham East Midlands.

ABTA president Justin Fleming said: “Much has been talked about the credit crunch this year, but there is a real strength in the travel industry as shown by the number of people leaving the country this weekend. Many of our members are reporting good financial results against a steady increase in bookings.”