Poor weather at home will help drive 2.1m UK travellers abroad this bank holiday weekend, reports ABTA.
The association said numbers would be boosted by the fact that many school half-term breaks coincide with the bank holiday.
Mainland Spain, Portugal, the Canaries and the Balearics are the best-selling short-haul destinations, with Egypt and other North African countries continuing last year’s record sales and the US – particularly New York and Florida – ‘booming once more’ as a result of the weak dollar.
City breaks remain popular, with traditional favourites Barcelona, Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam leading the way, but Eastern Europe is gaining fast with Prague, Tallinn and Krakow selling well.
Justin Fleming, ABTA president, commented: ‘The last few weeks’ terrible weather has given an even greater incentive to people to head abroad this weekend where they are guaranteed good weather and the first taste of a proper summer.’
More than 1.5m people will fly from UK airports with about 410k from Heathrow, 250k from Gatwick, 160k from Manchester, 110k from Stansted, 65k from Luton, 62k from Birmingham, 60k from Glasgow, 50k from Edinburgh, 35k from Nottingham East Midlands and 20k from Aberdeen.
A further 600k will travel by surface, including about 65k on Eurostar.