Valencia, Spain

New data collected by Alpha Travel Insurance shows the UK’s favourite holiday destinations, with figures sourced from the Office of National Statistics.

According to the research, Spain is by far the UK’s favourite holiday destination, with almost 14 million Brits holidaying in Spain in 2017. That’s more than double the visits to any other country. So what’s behind its popularity? The main reason Spain is so much more popular than even France (the second favourite destination) is likely to be value for money.

While the amount you’ll spend on flights and accommodation in Spain and France is very similar, the cost of enjoying yourself while you’re there is much lower in Spain. The cost of living in Spain is 18% lower than in the UK, making food, drink and leisure activities while on holiday great value for Brits. Meanwhile, in France, the cost of living is 30% higher than in Spain.


Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy

Italy came in as the third most popular holiday spot for Brits, at 2.8 million visits — despite being the 6th most expensive. In fact, a trip to Italy is more expensive, per night, even than Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand and New Zealand.

The country is synonymous with sophistication and culture so it’s perhaps not surprising that it’s one of the UK’S favourite destinations for a luxury holiday. Home to some of the biggest cultural tourist attractions in Europe and one of the top honeymoon destinations of the last five years, Italy has huge wanderlust appeal for UK tourists.

New Zealand

Mt Cook, New Zealand
Mt Cook, New Zealand

New Zealand is the second least visited holiday destination for Brits, yet the average length of time spent there is a whopping 37 nights. So while only 59,000 Brits visited the land of the Kiwi in 2017 — those who did stay for an extended holiday.

New Zealand is a popular destination for working holidays and it’s not hard to see why. Not only is it a beautiful country, but the cost of a Working Holiday Maker Visa is around half the price of those in similar destinations. The cost of living is also a little lower in New Zealand than Australia, making it a great choice for an extended holiday.


Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

As the 10th most popular destination, Turkey offers the best value for money on a long haul holiday in terms of flights and accommodation. With an average cost of around GBP 552 (USD 725) per visit, Turkey is a clear choice when travelling on a budget, especially when considering the next most popular long haul destinations like the United Arab Emirates at GBP 1,140 per visit and the US at GBP 1,319.

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