One in two UK adults who took an overseas holiday in the past year booked a package, according to research for Abta.

The association released survey results today suggesting 46% took a package holiday in the 12 months to August this year and 48% did so in 2012.

The figures were up from 42% taking package holidays in 2011 and 37% in 2010.

The research was conducted among overseas holidaymakers in a group of more than 2,000 UK adults.

It found families with young children and adults over 65 most likely to book an overseas package – 51% with children under five and 54% of over 65s doing so in the 12 months to August.

Two-thirds of respondents who booked a package picked “having everything taken care of” as the main reason. Three out of five (60%) cited ‘best value’.

Just over one third (35%) said they chose a package because they wanted an all-inclusive holiday.

The survey suggests women are most keen on all-inclusive holidays, with 40% expressing a preference against 29% of men.

One in three cited reputation of the travel company as a reason for choosing a package holiday.

Abta head of communications Victoria Bacon said: “The renewed British love affair with the package holiday continues.

“Consumers clearly appreciate the convenience, value and time-saving benefits offered by a package.”

The survey was conducted online by research firm Akenford among 2,000 UK adults.