Graphic showing the top locations for abroad trips

Sun-starved Brits increasingly jetting off to adventurous locations

Sun-starved Brits are jetting off to more adventurous places than ever to escape the storms that batter the UK – as Costa Rica, India and even Sri Lanka have shot up the favourite destinations list.

Holidaymakers looking to escape the grim winter weather are getting increasingly adventurous and flying to sunny spots this winter, following the sixth wettest July on record and Storms Anthony, Betty, Ciaran and now Debi.

Luxury long-haul sunny destinations including Maldives and Costa Rica account for a whopping three-quarters (74%) of bookings with luxury travel specialists Scott Dunn – soaring by 14% year-on-year.

Sri Lanka is enjoying a huge surge in interest and is eighth most popular winter destination, with a whopping 46% increase in bookings this year compared to last year.

This comes after the South Asian country enjoyed TV exposure in Channel 5’s Alexander Armstrong in Sri Lanka show and in BBC’s Amazing Hotels series in September.

Luxury tour operator Scott Dunn’s unveiled their findings in their latest Travel Trends Report.

The survey, which quizzed 2,000 Brits, revealed that holidaymakers in their droves are seeking sun this winter, but are heading to increasingly adventurous locations for it.

It showed that nearly half (47%) of Brits will take a holiday abroad between November 2023 and February 2024, with one in 25 (4%), doing this for the first time ever this year.

‘To get some sun’ was named the top reason (47%).

After a wetter-than-average summer and a succession of violent storms this autumn, it’s little surprise that many are looking to bask in sunnier climes.

But sunbathing and sipping cocktails on the Med isn’t cutting it for many – with Italy going from sixth in 2022 to being knocked out of the top 10 this year. Meanwhile Finland also plummeted in the list’s rankings.

More than half (59%) of all Scott Dunn’s 2023 winter season bookings heading to Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America.

Sri Lanka (up 46%)  and Costa Rica (up 33%) top the list of destinations that have surged in popularity among bookers in 2023.

Online search interest for holidays to Cambodia (up 33%) and Vietnam (up 28%) has also seen significant year-on-year uplift.

More than one in ten (11%) plan to jet off to spend Christmas or New Year abroad too, with those aged over 65 most likely to do this.

Winter breaks abroad between five and seven nights are most common in 2023 – 2024 (51%), however more than one in ten (11%) are jetting off for a fortnight.

November (12.5%) and the first half of December (6%) are the most popular times for a winter break, followed by the second half of December (4.5%).


1. France

2. Maldives

3. Costa Rica

4. South Africa

5. Finland

6. India

7. Mauritius

8. Sri Lanka

9. Thailand

10. United Arab Emirates

For comparison, the 2022 list was: France, Maldives, Finland, South Africa, Mauritius, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Antigua, Thailand and Costa Rica.

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