Last minute getaways remain strong as Brits look to escape the winter

A SCOTTISH-based travel agency has revealed it enjoyed a record booking weekend as people looked to secure their getaways for 2023.

The first Saturday of January is typically the most popular day of the year for travel bookings as people look to get their holidays for the year secured, and the day known as “Sunshine Saturday” by the travel industry is the perfect time to look to find a travel deal.

Over the weekend, Barrhead Travel reports that 60% of bookings were for summer this year with top months to travel being July, June, August, and September.

Jacqueline Dobson, Barrhead Travel. Image supplied with release.

However, The Glasgow-based travel group says last minute getaways were also popular with more than one in five new bookings due to depart before April, as people look to escape the winter blues.

It revealed that all-inclusive holidays are the most popular holidays, accounting for over 25% of bookings, suggesting budgeting is a key trend for holidays in 2023.

Top destinations booked during this first week were: Tenerife, cruising from Southampton, Mallorca, Lanzarote, and Alicante with Miami, Orlando and Canada amongst top long-haul destinations.

Sales from the weekend also suggest people are looking to getaway for longer breaks this year, with around 45% of bookings being for 10 nights or more, with 10% being for 18 nights or more.

Popularity for holidays at sea is on the rise with cruise bookings increasing by over 200% compared with this time last year – showing people are seeking the value and experiences that cruising can offer.

Cruising is set to grow amongst the family market this year, predicts the travel group, as attractive pricing, onboard entertainment and varied itineraries appeal to new-to-cruise customers.

Jacqueline Dobson, President of Barrhead Travel, said: “For many, it’s important to have a holiday in the diary as something to look forward to.

“We know January is a very popular time to book and get a trip locked in because there are so many fantastic offers to take advantage of as well as being able to benefit from low deposits and flexible payment options.

“Over the weekend we saw a record number of bookings, and we were delighted to be able to help so many customers secure a great deal.

“From the weekend it appears budgeting and planning in advance is a clear factor for many when travelling this year, with all-inclusive trips and cruises being incredibly popular.

“We also saw a huge number of bookings for 10 days or more, showing people want to go away and unwind for longer.”

“Last year we saw more people look to book with a travel agent, and the weekend suggests this is only set to grow in 2023.

“People are looking for guaranteed financial protection when it comes to their holidays and our team of experts across the country are fully equipped to be able to help people get a holiday to remember.”

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