New research released as part of ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report for 2017 has revealed that the average number of holidays taken per person, per year has grown to 3.8, an increase of 0.4 on last year.

This marks the highest number of holidays taken per person in the last five years and almost equal to numbers seen in 2011.

The report also revealed that in the 12 months to August 2017, 87% of Brits took a holiday either at home or abroad - the largest proportion of the UK population taking a holiday since 2011 - and maintains the significant growth from 2015 when 77% did so.

Following the popularity of Western Mediterranean destinations in the past two years and a weaker pound impacting spending power abroad, there appears to be a savvier breed of holidaymaker emerging. Whilst people are taking more holidays, they are thinking more carefully about how they spend their money and planning ahead to get the holiday they want. More than a quarter of holidaymakers are booking earlier, up from one in five in 2016, with cheaper prices and better deals cited as the main reason for doing so by 59% of early bookers, followed by more chance of availability (45%).

There has also been an increase in people planning to spend more on their holidays in the next year; 31% are planning to spend more, (up from 24% last year) so as to ensure they get their first choice of destination. Just 14% of people expect to spend less, compared to 16% last year, while 47% expect to spend the same. Millennials are the group most likely to spend more, with 39% of those aged 25-34 and 34% of 18-24 year olds stating this.

The survey also asked people what impact they thought Brexit might have on their holiday plans over the next 12 months. Despite confusion, with only one in five people feeling well-informed about the implications of leaving the EU on their holidays, British holidaymakers are committed to holidaying overseas, with almost two-thirds still planning to travel to Europe in the next 12 months.

Mark Tanzer, the association’s chief executive, said: “Despite a year when people’s spending power has been squeezed, it is clear that British people still value their holidays immensely, and it is encouraging to see holidays taken at home and abroad increase.

“Brits are responding to more challenging market conditions by planning ahead and managing their holiday budgets carefully, and that bodes well for the year ahead. Our research also suggests that, although there is confusion around the impact of Brexit on travel, most people still intend to travel to Europe in the 12 months ahead, so it is clear the British love affair with holidaying in Europe continues.”

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