Foreign travel bookings rise as Brits get bored of the staycation

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For the last three years, seaside towns around Britain have enjoyed newfound popularity thanks to the rise of the staycation.

But now it looks as if a combination of bad British weather and a fall in package-holiday prices has led to an increase in foreign travel as more of us are jetting off to the sun.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in the first three months of 2011, the number of Britons travelling abroad jumped by four per cent to 13.5 million, while flight bookings across every sector are up for the first time this year.

TripAdvisor's survey of 6,295 travellers saw just 38 per cent planning a staycation in 2011, compared with 45 per cent last year.

Short-haul bookings are up 12 per cent, medium-haul up four per cent and long-haul up two per cent, according to research industry analyst GfK Ascent, showing that most holidaymakers are now choosing short-haul destinations.

So it's no surprise that bookings to France are up 31 per cent on last year, followed by Italy (15 per cent) and Spain (11 per cent), according to the Co-operative Travel Group, indicating that we've started returning to our favourite summer holiday hotspots.

And if the promised heatwave doesn't materialise soon, it looks likely that even more of us will make last minute bookings and escape to the sun.

If you're thinking about a beach holiday, click on the image below to see our pick of the best resorts in Europe...

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