More than two million holidaymakers are set to travel abroad this weekend in one of the bumper getaway weekends of the year, according to ABTA.
This weekend, July 18-21, follows the break-up of the majority of English schools this week.
There will be around 460,000 holidaymakers departing from Heathrow airport, 260,000 through Gatwick, 150,000 through Stansted, 160,000 through Manchester, 70,000 through Birmingham and 150,000 people flying out of the main Scottish airports.
According to research and market intelligence company Ascent-MI, which works with ABTA to provide statistical data, summer holiday bookings out of the UK were up by 1% at the end of June compared to the same time last year – despite the current economic downturn.
Spain is also still the top destination out of the UK despite the unfavourable exchange rate with the euro and a recent report by The Co-operative Travel Group that it has seen bookings for the destination overtaken by non-euro zone country Turkey this summer.
The biggest growth in bookings this summer is for Egypt, up 28% year on year, Turkey, up 20%, and the US, up 8%. France, Malta and the Caribbean have also seen good sales growth.
With less holidays around in the lates season as a result of capacity cuts by the major operators and the current credit crunch, there is also evidence that families are choosing to book more all-inclusive holidays to help them budget better on holiday. All inclusive holidays are up by 20% on last year, while camping and caravanning specialists have also reported sales hikes.