Consumer: Travel agents see post school holiday surge

LATE BREAKS: Benalmadena Beach in Spain is popular with holidaymakers.
LATE BREAKS: Benalmadena Beach in Spain is popular with holidaymakers.
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September sunseekers have caused a surge of bookings at UK travel agents.

Brits are gearing up for a post-school holiday break as 49 per cent of travel agents report a surge in bookings in the first week of September.

New research from Direct Line Travel Insurance reveals much of this activity is driven by holidaymakers without children seeking to take advantage of cheaper prices now that the summer high season is over.

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The peak time for a post-school holiday season break is the second week of September when 38 per cent take a vacation. Some 26 per cent opt for the last two weeks of September.

Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line, said: “Those travelling without children can avoid the school holiday premium and make great savings by jetting away in September. Given the shocking bank holiday weather in the UK, it is no wonder people will be attracted by late summer sun and the Balearic closing parties are always a major attraction. Waiting until the start of autumn to get away can mean a calmer, cheaper holiday and a healthy dose of sunshine just as the nights start drawing in at home.”

October sees eight per cent planning to get away while others are already booking for the winter months of November and December.

Group bookings are driving demand to the tune of 65 per cent, couples make up 22 per cent and single travellers 12 per cent.

The most popular destinations identified for groups and single travellers are the Balearics and mainland Spain is the second most popular destination. Travel agents revealed that demand for these destinations is being driven by a desire for great nightlife, beaches and culture.

Couples like European city breaks best, followed by the Greek islands and long haul destinations to the likes of the United States and Thailand. Key deciding factors are romance, culture and atmosphere.

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