Next April and May have emerged as the most popular months to go on a future overseas package holiday with consumers “hedging their bets” on getting away next year.
October is the most popular future departure month to search for a package holiday, followed by September, December and then May and April 2021.
But the two months in spring next year – including Easter – are the most popular months to actually book for, according to new data from holiday price comparison site TravelSupermarket.
Paphos in Cyprus (pictured) is the most booked destination for April and May 2021 followed by the Costa Blanca including Benidorm, then Orlando, Tenerife and New York.
Majorca, Malta, the Costa del Sol, Ibiza and Menorca make up the top five best value package holiday destinations looking at the average seven-night holiday price across the two months.
Lanzarote, Zante, the Algarve, the Costa Blanca and Gran Canaria make up the rest of the top ten for value.
Destinations in Turkey such as Marmaris and Antalya offer some of the best deals for all-inclusive stays rather than self-catering.
Spokeswoman Emma Coulthurst said: “Who would have thought that the most popular times to book a holiday in May 2020 would be in a year’s time. But that is what the pandemic is currently doing to people’s booking patterns.
“Quarantines and the current FCO restriction on anything but essential travel mean that people are holding back on booking for this year compared with next year.
“We know that there is a pent-up desire to travel. We’re seeing people searching for holidays later in the year, October being the most popular month to look for a holiday.
“As the picture becomes clearer on the exact health protocols put in place at airports and on airlines and whether our government and countries will let us travel, more people are likely to book for this year.
“Currently, though, we’re seeing more Brits hedging their bets on holidays next year.”
She added: “All-inclusive has been Brits’ favourite package holiday board type for a few years now. However, with the pandemic, self-catering options are likely to become more popular.”
Meanwhile, VIVID Travel is seeing May holiday sales on track to outperform the traditional peak month of January with a switch towards destinations which managed the coronavirus crisis well and are perceived as safe.
Founder Kane Pirie said: “The appeal of Covid-19 free destinations like New Zealand is driving a shift in destination patterns. I am confident New Zealand will enjoy a record year and with that in mind, we have just opened our second base in Auckland.”
Top TravelSupermarket destinations by clicks (most searched for and clicked on) for April 2021 (clicked in the past 4 weeks)
Top destinations by clicks for May 2021 (clicked in the past 4 weeks)