11 Oct

ABTA highlights the best destinations to visit this winter 

ABTA latest research shows almost half of people are hoping to take a winter holiday this year 

Today, as the “red list” drops to just seven countries and the Foreign Office relaxes its travel advice for a swathe of popular long-haul destinations, ABTA – The Travel Association is highlighting the best places for British holidaymakers to enjoy a well-deserved winter break.

This comes as ABTA’s latest research[i] reveals that almost half of people (46%) have booked or are considering taking a winter holiday this year (higher than before the pandemic).

Today’s travel changes follow the introduction of a simplified system for international travel - and relaxed testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and children - which will make it easier and cheaper to book an overseas holiday this October half-term and into the winter months.

With winter heralding the best time of year to visit many overseas destinations, ABTA has put together its top picks for sun-seeking holidaymakers eager to escape to warmer climes in the coming weeks:

  • Just over four hours from the UK by plane, the Canary Islands are one of the UK’s favourite destinations for a winter sun holiday. With warm temperatures, sandy beaches and some of the best water parks in the world, they’re a great choice for families this October half-term or during the Christmas break.
  • For great value winter sun, look no further than Turkey, offering the best of East and West, ancient history and delicious local fare. Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast has some of the warmest weather, stunning natural landscape and stylish resorts.
  • Slightly further afield, the best time to visit the buzzing metropolis of Dubai is from October onwards, as the region emerges from the blistering summer heat. Holidaymakers can enjoy world-class entertainment, luxurious hotels and shopping galore, all at welcome average highs of at least 25 degrees.
  • The tropical climates and famously laidback vibes of Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Barbados also make them the perfect choice for a winter break. With azure waters and palm-fringed white-sand beaches, every island has its own distinctive character and a rich history to explore.
  • For those who want to push the boat out on an extra special trip this winter, the idyllic island destinations of the Maldives and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean offer luxury accommodation surrounded by turquoise lagoons, sun-drenched beaches and colourful reefs teeming with marine life.

When planning their well-deserved winter break, ABTA is advising holidaymakers to seek the expertise of an ABTA Member and visit the travel advice pages for their intended destination at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to check the local rules relating to Coronavirus and that they can meet the latest entry requirements.

ABTA also has a hub of essential information and guidance at abta.com/readysteadytravel, to help holidaymakers book and travel with confidence this year.

ABTA’s ten top tips for booking and travelling with confidence this year are:

  1. Use the expertise of an ABTA Member to help plan your trip and navigate the latest advice.
  2. Book a package holiday for the greatest level of protection.
  3. Check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice for your destination and sign up to email alerts.
  4. Check what you need to do for your journey back to the UK.
  5. Note that many companies offer flexible cancellation and booking policies.
  6. Take out travel insurance as soon as you book and check its cover for Coronavirus.
  7. Make sure all your travel documents are in order, e.g. your passport validity meets entry requirements and you’ve applied for the visas you need.
  8. If you’re travelling to Europe, there may be extra steps you need to take ahead of your trip. Visit abta.com/Brexit
  9. Research the new measures that will be in place on your journey and in-destination, e.g. the rules around face coverings and social distancing.
  10. With your holiday booked, you can sit back and look forward to heading off on your well-deserved break!

ABTA’s advice on travelling during the pandemic can be found at www.abta.com/readysteadytravel.

[i] ABTA consumer trends survey from a nationally representative sample of 2,000 consumers and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to July 2021. Fieldwork was conducted in the last two weeks of August 2021 by The Nursery Research and Planning (www.the-nursery.net/).

Notes to editors
ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 70 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence. The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.