Forward bookings are up 12% compared to the same time last year despite uncertainty over Brexit.

Growth in early bookings is driven by holidaymakers seeking value for money on the back of a weak pound.

Europe is the top destination Britons want to visit next year, with 61% of holidaymakers expected to travel to the continent in 2019.

The research was published in Abta’s annual Travel Trends Report which reviews the last 12 months and makes predictions for the year ahead.

It is based on feedback from Abta members and research by the association.

More people took an overseas holiday this year compared to anytime in the last seven years, with a 5% increase in the number of foreign holidays taken.

Domestic tourism saw a slight decline in 2018 due to a prolonged winter but spending was up 4% to £4.7billion.

Responsible travel, wellness and ‘tailor-made’ packages are among the key travel trends for next year.

A resurgence of trusted travel agents and the emergence of service based technology which makes travelling a smoother experience are also predicted for 2019.

Almost half (45%) of holidaymakers said sustainability is an important factor when going away, up 6% on last year.

Global wellness trips meanwhile have outgrown mainstream holidays, increasing by 20% since 2015.

In 2018 60% of holidaymakers booked a package break – up 3% on 2017 and this is set to continue with more travel companies offering more flexible and personalised options and more travel arrangements falling under the new Package Travel Regulations.

Home luggage collection and facial recognition at airports are helping create a ‘seamless’ holiday journey, according to the report, with more service-based technology predicted next year.

More: Abta Travel Trends Report: Bulgaria, Japan and Durban among ‘destinations to watch’ for 2019