Spain Tops Our List Of Summer Travel Destinations

  • An AA Travel Insurance survey has found that 1 in 5 Irish holiday-goers intend on visiting Spain for their main holiday in 2018, marking the country’s third straight year as Ireland’s favourite destination.
  • Staycation remains our second-favourite option with over 1 in 7 planning to spend their main holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

For the third successive year Spain is the favourite destination of Irish holiday-goers, a recent survey from AA Travel Insurance has found.

An AA Travel Insurance survey of over 4,000 people found that 1 in 5 respondents (20.42%) intend on spending their main holiday in Spain this year, up from 18.3% in 2017. Among other countries featuring highly on our travel destinations list for 2018 are Portugal (6.53%), the USA (5.60%) and France (5.53%).

“In many ways it’s unsurprising that Spain remains as popular as it is with Irish holiday-goers. In exchange for a relatively short flight you get much better weather than we experience at home, and with all the snowfall and cold weather we’ve had in the first few months of 2018 people are a little more desperate to find a bit of heat,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “It wasn’t that long ago that we saw the numbers of people holiday abroad plummet during the recession and it’s a great sign for our economy that this has bounced back, but if you are travelling abroad avoid the temptation to scrimp on necessities like travel insurance in the name of saving a few euros.”

“Many people fall into the trap of thinking of travel insurance as a nice, optional extra that they don’t really need, but when you look at the upfront cost versus the cover it provides you with for everything from lost baggage to medical expenses it’d be a foolish decision to go abroad without cover in place. In particular, if you’re travelling outside of the EU, for example to the United States where medical costs can quickly run through the roof, travel insurance could be one of the best and most affordable purchases you’ll ever make.”

Meanwhile, the survey also found that staycations remain a popular option for main, with 15.11% of those surveyed stating they would be spending their main holiday in Ireland. The AA’s research found that a staycation was most popular with those aged between 36 and 45, with 18.71% of respondents in this age bracket stating they would be holidaying at home.

“The popularity of the staycation with this group is unsurprising in some ways, as this age bracket is when many people are now starting to enter the property market and are looking to save where they can. Thankfully, as our AA Hospitality Services inspectors can testify to, we have seen the hospitality sector in Ireland bounce back in recent years after the economic collapse, meaning people staying in Ireland will have their choice from a host of great getaways,” Faughnan added.

Fig.1: In relation to travel, where are you planning on spending your main holiday this year, i.e. a holiday of at least 7 nights duration?

  All% Male only % Female only
Republic of Ireland 15.11% 16.30% 13.06%
Northern Ireland 0.29% 0.28% 0.21%
Great Britain 3.67% 3.93% 3.62%
Spain 20.42% 21.42% 19.46%
Portugal 6.53% 7.29% 5.72%
France 5.53% 6.78% 4.83%
Germany 0.74% 0.85% 0.68%
Italy 4.24% 3.65% 4.88%
Malta 0.69% 0.80% 0.47%
Greece 1.91% 1.48% 2.47%
Turkey 0.38% 0.46% 0.31%
Eastern/Central Europe 2.79% 3.19% 2.36%
USA 5.60% 5.53% 5.72%
Canada 0.98% 1.03% 0.89%
Caribbean 0.64% 0.51% 0.79%
Central/South America 0.43% 0.28% 0.52%
Africa 0.88% 0.57% 1.26%
Middle East 0.55% 0.51% 0.58%
Asia 1.93% 1.94% 2.15%
Australia/New Zealand 1.57% 1.20% 1.94%
I’m not taking a main holiday this year 8.22% 7.58% 8.81%
I don’t know yet 16.90% 14.42% 19.25%

Fig.2 (Breakdown of top 5 destinations by age): 
In relation to travel, where are you planning on spending your main holiday this year, i.e. a holiday of at least 7 nights duration?

17-24 25-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
Eastern/Central Europe (10.77%) Spain (15.69%) Spain (20.91%) Spain (22.13%) Spain (21.73%) Spain (22.70%)
Spain (9.23%) Republic of Ireland (12.68%) Rep. of Ireland (18.71%) Rep. of Ireland (14.91%) Rep. of Ireland (13.85%) Rep. of Ireland 13.50%)
USA (9.23%) USA (8.65%) France (6.88%) Portugal (6.65%) Portugal (6.86%) Portugal (6.90%)
Asia (7.69%) Portugal (5.23%) Portugal (6.33%) USA (5.50%) France (6.61%) France (6.29%)
Italy (6.15%) Eastern/Central Europe (5.03%) USA (3.44%) France (5.39%) USA (5.59%) Great Britain (5.83%)

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