Millions more Britons will take a summer holiday this year to get away from the miserable weather, sports overload and a second year without one, new figures suggest.
And it could provide a welcome boost to the nation’s hard hit holiday industry who are struggling to fill spaces on planes and rooms in hotels.
Last year more than one in four (26 per cent) chose not to go away during the summer, hoping for a bit of sun at home instead and to save cash.
But this year that figure has fallen to just one in five (21 per cent) said the survey by satnav firm TomTom.
And many more are jetting off during June and July this year, suggesting the reason may be to avoid the big national occasions.
Almost as many (21 per cent) are taking their holidays in June and July as August (22 per cent) said the poll.
But last year only 17 per cent went away in June, 18 per cent in July while August was easily the most popular month with 24 per cent, TomTom’s figures reveal.
It marks a change in attitude among cash-strapped Britons with almost a third (31 per cent) looking for sunshine and 42 per cent who say they just want to ‘relax’.
And only 22 per cent have chosen the cheapest option for their break, suggesting the end of the big ‘staycation’ revolution and a return to sun, sea and sand abroad.
Spain, including Majorca and the other islands, remains the most popular single destination and the Euro crisis has not put people off going to other sunspots on the continent.
Almost seven in ten (69 per cent) admit their summer holiday is ‘important’ to them.
If money were no object, 38 per cent of all UK adults would go to a tropical paradise island and 14 per cent would choose a cruise.
TomTom’s research also found almost one in five (18 per cent) will be renting a car on their holidays, although only a third (34 per cent) claim never to have got lost.
A spokesman for TomTom said: “Every cloud has a silver lining – in this case literally because the weather has been so awful it has persuaded many to go on holiday.
“Money is tight but enough is enough and a lot of those who gave up their summer holidays last year and ended up in British drizzle are not prepared to do the same this year, it seems.
“We hope everyone has a great time but be careful not to get lost in a strange country if you are hiring a car. That’s where we come in.”
The findings come as TomTom launches a competition to create road maps of tropical islands like Fiji, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Cape Verde and the Seychelles and to pay the winners £10,000 for doing so.
No mapping experience is needed, but TomTom is looking for people with a decent sense of direction who enjoy exploring beautiful places.