More than three million Brits are expected to go away over Easter, particularly as the bank holiday weekend is later this year, according to new research by Abta.

The travel association said the timing of the Easter bank holiday weekend so close to the May Day bank holiday was further encouraging holidaymakers to take a trip overseas or a long staycation.

There are less than two weeks between this weekend’s four-day Easter weekend and the May Day bank holiday which means that by taking nine days off work many people can enjoy a two and a half week break.

According to Abta’s latest findings, nearly a quarter (23%) of those surveyed plan to take a holiday over the Easter period and one in four (26%) of those are either taking annual leave between Good Friday and Monday, May 6, or are travelling with someone who is.

Travel companies have reported Florida, New York, Vietnam, Israel, the Maldives, Japan, Mexico and Dubai as the most favoured overseas destinations over the bank holiday weekend while the Lake District, Edinburgh, York, London, Llandudno, Bournemouth and Newquay are proving popular in the UK.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “People only have so much time off they can take from work – so it’s no wonder the back-to-back bank holidays have appealed to so many this year.

“Not only do people have the opportunity for a longer break, with Easter being so much later this year many destinations that are closer to home will appeal as the weather is likely to be warmer than Easter 2018.”

Abta has also predicted many will use the Easter weekend to plan their summer break, particularly as the Brexit extension until October 31 gives more certainty that all current travel arrangements will not change over the summer. These include pet passports, which will remain valid this summer, and the fact UK travellers will be able to access state medical care in the European Union using their European Health Insurance Card.

For this summer, travel companies have reported renewed interest in Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Bulgaria, while cruising is popular with families, and there are competitively-priced holidays in hot spots such as the Canaries, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece and Italy.

Tanzer added: “Holidaymakers will find there are some good value breaks available this summer – the return of Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia is driving up competition in the western Mediterranean and Bulgaria is also proving popular.

“The Brexit extension should give people total confidence to book their summer holidays and travel arrangements, knowing that nothing will change regarding travel arrangements to the EU throughout the summer.”

Abta has updated its travel advice in relation to Brexit, which can be found at

The Easter holidays will see almost two million passengers use Manchester airport, including more than 315,000 passengers departing over the weekend. The top destinations are Dublin, Amsterdam, Dubai, Tenerife and Orlando.

Stansted is forecasting almost 340,000 passengers will arrive and depart from the airport over the Easter weekend.

Popular destinations include Barcelona, Rome, Tenerife, Budapest and Madrid.

More than 1.5 million passengers will travel through the airport over the main two week school holiday period from April 5-22.