Holidaymakers are increasingly booking winter holidays to long haul destinations as more countries open up and confidence returns, new research has revealed.
Bookings to the Caribbean are increasing around the globe as sun-seekers in Germany and the US lead the charge with Britain now joining this growing trend, according to data from Skyscanner.
It found that trips to winter sun destination Dominican Republic increased by 181 per cent weekly following its removal from the red list.
Searches to Barbados have also increased by 37 per cent whilst searches to Antigua have increased by 35 per cent. And it appears it could be one of the cheapest years ever to get that winter vitamin D boost.
Trips to the Dominican Republic increased by 181% after it was removed from the red list
There are savings of as much as 79 per cent on flights for Caribbean escapes.
Martin Nolan, travel trends expert at Skyscanner, said: ‘Winter sun holidays are typically one of the more expensive times to get away as Britons look to escape to warmer climes during busy holiday season.
‘However, this year with many airlines and travel providers offering staggering savings on travel to luxury destinations, Skyscanner has analysed the savings to be made for Britons wanting to head abroad for some winter sun.
‘With many long-haul tourist destinations relying on travellers for their income, we expect to see similar offers and deals from travel and holiday providers across the board as they focus on boosting traveller confidence and local tourist economies.’
Traditionally, those flying long haul purchase package holidays with a flexible booking guarantee as generally they will have better legal and financial protections with a package than booking a flight and hotel separately.
However, it does seem that more holidaymakers are happy to buy flights and accommodation separately for further away destinations this year – a common practice for short haul trips.
But searches are still up for package holidays when going further afield.
Travelsupermarket said that within the last month, there is a greater proportion of winter package holiday price comparison searches in the last month for mid to long haul destinations compared with for the same search and departure period in 2019 to 2020.
This includes searches going up 35 per cent for the US when comparing package holiday price comparison searches to the US pre and post the announcement that it would reopen to double vaccinated travelers.
It found 54 per cent more people were looking for trips to Las Vegas, 45 per cent more for New York and 30 per cent more for Orlando.
For winter departures, searches are up 72 per cent for New York, making it the third most popular destination this winter.
Searches are also up 157 per cent to Las Vegas making it the 16th most searched destination for winter.
Emma Coulthurst of TravelSupermarket said: ‘Following the news that travel would resume from the UK to the US, we saw a three-fold increase in people coming to the site to look for US holidays.
‘The US in the last week is the main destination showing an upward trend in visitors to the site for people comparing and contrasting holiday prices and then booking.
‘It’s the third most popular country on our site for package holiday search and clicks.
‘There is a lot of pent-up desire to travel to the US and now it’s opening up again, many people are looking to get away there. New York is the second most popular package holiday destination search for departures this winter from the UK via our site.’
The top searched routes include Manchester to Bridgetown Barbados with an increase of 75 per cent whilst flights from London to St John’s Antigua have also seen a rise of 48 per cent in interest.
More people are also booking to head to America now that restrictions have been lifted.
Save: Holidaymakers looking to head to Barbados on holiday could get flights for just £417
Cut price flights
Skyscanner has listed some of the best value breaks holidaymakers can take this winter.
The prices refer to flights only – but it will given an indication of which destinations are cheaper for all round package holidays, as the flight will make up a large chunk of the outlay.
1. Dominican Republic
Average December price: £1,959 (booking in November 2019 for travel in December 2019 from the UK)
Current available price for December: £408 (direct, economy class return from London)
Saving when compared to the same time in 2019: 79 per cent
Average high temperature for December:29C
What to do: The Dominican Republic is known for its beaches, resorts and golfing.
There are not only rainforests but highlands including Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain.
Holidaymakers can also visit the capital city of Santo Domingo, waterfalls and the 3 Eyes National Park.
Antigua is an island surrounded by coral reefs and known for its many sandy beaches
Average December price: £853 (booking in November 2019 for travel in December 2019 from the UK)
Current available price for December: £417 (direct, economy class return from Manchester)
Saving when compared to the same time in 2019: 51 per cent
Average high temperature for December: 29C
What to do: The island of Barbados is also known for its pretty beaches, its botanical gardens and marine park.
Bridgetown, the capital, is a cruise-ship port that can be visited whilst local traditions include afternoon tea and cricket, the national sport.
Average December price: £1,867 (booking in November 2019 for travel in December 2019 from the UK)
Current available price for December: £471 (direct, economy class return from London)
Saving when compared to the same time in 2019: 75 per cent
Average temperature for December:28C
What to do:Antigua is an island surrounded by coral reefs and known for its many sandy beaches.
Holidaymakers can visit Nelson’s Dockyard, where Horatio Nelson made his base in the 1780s, includes a marina and the Dockyard Museum.
The Maldives is one of the most picturesque islands with visitors able to visit many beaches
.) The Maldives
Average December price: £1,130 (booking in November 2019 for travel in December 2019 from the UK)
Current available price for December: £748 (direct, economy class return from London)
Saving when compared to the same time in 2019: 51 per cent
Average high temperature for December: 30C
What to do: The Maldives is one of the most picturesque islands with visitors able to visit the many beaches as well as take part in watersports such as windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and surfing.
Average December price: £917 (booking in November 2019 for travel in December 2019 from the UK)
Current available price for December: £346 (direct, economy class return from London)
Saving when compared to the same time in 2019: 62 per cent
Average high temperature for December: 28C
What to do: Mexico is a huge country with a number of beaches as well as ancient ruins that help tell its history.
It is a busy place with plenty of bars, shops and restaurants to entertain.
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