New research for Atol has found three million Brits are prepared to book a holiday extreme last minute on the day of actual departure.

The financial protection scheme commissioned ComRes who interviewed 2,045 British adults aged 18 plus online between May 16 and 17.

The research found almost half of the people asked book at least seven days in advance, giving themselves the chance to plan, pack and prepare.

However, almost 8% were willing to leave it to the last few days before departure, while the study indicated three million wait until the day of departure.

The study also found regional disparities with people living in London more likely to leave booking until on the day of departure.

And there were gender differences with men more likely to say they would consider booking later than women.

There is also a tendency for those in the northwest to consider booking their holiday just a few days before (19% versus 15% overall).

Andy Cohen, Head of Atol, said; “With the summer half-term less than a week away, our latest research has revealed that almost half of the people travelling next week are likely to have booked more than seven days in advance.

“Even if the idea of grabbing a last minute deal is appealing, it is worth spending an extra couple of minutes to check your holiday bargain is Atol protected.

“Having an Atol certificate means that your holiday is financially protected, so if the travel company goes bust, you will still be able to get home and will not lose your hard earned cash.

“For added peace of mind, whenever you book your holiday, look for the ATOL logo to ensure you can fully enjoy your well-earned holiday.“

Atol used the late booking research to highlight the importance of protected holidays as the summer half term getaway is about to start. It issued four easy tips to help consumers protect their holiday:

1.         Look for the logo:  Spend just a couple of minutes looking for the ATOL logo on the travel company’s website.

2.         Check out the credentials: Use ATOL’s online checker at to verify the ATOL number given to you by your travel company.

3.         Keep the documents:  Take, or photograph with your phone, the ATOL certificate you received from your travel company on your trip.

4.         Pay with plastic:  Use your credit or debit card to pay for your holiday as these give some protection if your travel company goes bust.