Destinations in the western Mediterranean are most popular among the 2.3 million holidaymakers heading abroad for what is the first weekend of the school holidays for many.

Abta has also found that airports across the country are reporting high numbers departing this weekend.

From Heathrow, 530,000 people will be leaving; 350,000 from Gatwick, 128,000 from Stansted, 80,000 from Luton, 60,000 from Birmingham, 55,000 from Newcastle and 15,000 from Cardiff.

The Eurostar, ferry ports and the Channel Tunnel are also expecting a busy weekend and some airports in the South East are seeing an almost 7% increase in travellers over the entire summer holiday period.

Abta says there has been a significant increases in bookings to western Mediterranean destinations this summer.

Portugal has seen a 23% increase year on year, Spain a 22% increase and Cyprus a 16% rise.

Greece continues to be popular with bookings for summer up 5% year on year.

Long haul destinations, including the USA and Mexico, have also performed well, with Florida remaining a top summer family destination.

Gatwick Airport is reporting an 19% increase in long haul destinations and city breaks across Europe are also proving popular.

Following a drop in the value of the pound, staycations have also seen a boost with Abta members reporting an increase in bookings made in the weeks since the referendum.

Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands are seeing strong sales.

 Mark Tanzer, Abta chief executive, said: “This weekend is one of the busiest in the travel calendar, with millions heading away for the start of the school summer holidays.

“While most of the those heading away will have booked some time ago, those looking for last minute deals should always book with an Abta member so they can travel with confidence.”