Almost half of people want to escape lockdown when restrictions are lifted by going away on holiday before next summer, new research by the UK’s largest tour operator reveals.

While 45% of he 2,000 consumers polled for Tui want a break prior to the 2021 peak period, 15% are anxious to get away as soon as possible and 16% by the winter.

Not being able to go on holiday is one of the top three things people are missing (38%), after seeing friends and family (75%) and eating out (47%), the company found as it released its ‘lockdown holiday list’ of most popular destinations.

May and June 2021 are currently the most popular travel months while Greece, Turkey and Florida are the most booked destinations, according to the company.

Tui reported a “notable” increase in people searching for and booking self-catering and villa holidays in addition to all-inclusive resorts.

Online searches for ‘summer 2021 holidays’ are growing daily with long-haul destinations such as Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida popular while Egypt and Cape Verde are returning favourites for winter sun.

Early signs are emerging that multi-generation and big family holidays may be in demand as people look to re-connect following the coronavirus lockdown.

The poll found that two thirds of respondents have changed their attitude towards travelling with the majority (70%) being much more appreciative of being able to go on holiday in the future.

Many want to return to familiar destinations, but more than a quarter want to be more adventurous and discover new places.

Sightseeing is activity most looked forward to (41%) followed by eating authentic local cuisine (30%), swimming in the sea (27%) and sunsets (26%).

City breaks promise to be the most popular types of post-lockdown holidays with more than 30% of people interested.

Beach holidays will be another popular type, with marginally more people opting for relaxing on a secluded beach off the beaten track verses social distancing in a busy resort (23% verses 17%).

A small proportion (16%) want to go away in five-star luxury.

The study, part of Tui’s on-going customer research, probed which destinations people intend to visit when they can.

Tui’s search and booking trends:

1 Spain
2 Greece
3 Italy
4 Florida
5 The Caribbean
6 Croatia
7 Turkey
8 Mexico
9 Thailand
10 Dubai