All Abroad! UK Adults Will Spend £1,756 on Trips Abroad in 2024

Spain takes the crown for top overseas destinations for a second year running

As 2024 comes into view, new research from American Express1 shows that UK adults are set to spend an average of £1,756 on international trips next year.

13.6m holidaymakers have already booked elements of their travels abroad. Fear of missing out is the biggest driver of early bookings; over a third (37%) booked early to avoid disappointment from sold out flights or accommodation. Having something to look forward to over the winter months (31%) follows closely second.

Whether domestic or overseas, Brits are set to go on an average of 2 holidays in 2024.

Dé-stination-jà vu

It seems old habits die hard for UK globetrotters, as next year’s top five foreign destinations remain largely unchanged from this year. Spain has retained its crown as UK jet-setters’ top destination, with 15% of Brits planning a trip there to chase the sun. Italy holds onto second place (12%), followed by France (11%) and Greece (10%). Compared to 2023, the only newcomer to the UK’s top five foreign destinations is the USA, which comes in joint fifth with the Canary Islands (both 8%).

Top five destinations abroad

  1. Spain (15%)
  2. Italy (12%)
  3. France (11%)
  4. Greece (10%)
  5. USA and Canary Islands (both 8%)

It’s not just trips abroad that are proving popular. Two-thirds (66%) of UK adults are planning a domestic holiday as the ‘staycations’ trend shows no signs of letting up.

Cornwall and the Lake District are the top destinations holidaymakers are setting their sights on.

Taking time to unwind

It might come as no surprise that ‘relaxation’ is the most important feature of holidays to UK adults; 63% of respondents highlighted it as something they look for in a holiday. For many of us, the seaside is the perfect place to unwind. Beach trips are the most popular type of holiday UK adults are planning, with just under half (46%) eyeing up a coastal getaway.

Nearly half of UK adults look for great local food (43%) or culture (41%) when booking holidays. Millennials are the most adventurous travellers, with 31% looking for a thrill – the highest proportion of any generation.

The research also revealed almost a fifth (17%) of us look to travel to off-the-beaten-track destinations. American Express Travel recently published its 2024 Trending Destinations highlighting 10 must-visit and off the beaten path global holiday spots including the sparkling seas of St. Kitts and Nevis and the uber-romantic Indian city, Udaipur.

Paying for paradise

When it comes to paying for holidays, 43% plan to use credit cards when they pay for holidays while 7% are looking to use points when booking trips. 41% of respondents said that they will collect points or cashback by using a card that earns rewards.

Those looking to book flights or hotel stays can do so through Amex Travel. Eligible Cardmembers2 are able to spend or earn Membership Rewards points on pre-paid flights, hotel bookings, and even access special benefits to elevate their stay through The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels + Resorts programmes. Terms apply.

What’s more, with the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card new Cardmembers can collect 25,000 bonus Avios when they spend £3,000 in the first three months of Cardmembership. But that’s not all, Cardmembers can also earn 1.5 Avios for every £1 spent on purchases, that can be put towards exciting travel rewards. Representative 113.1% APR variable. 18+. Subject to Status. Annual fee applies. Terms apply.