The hottest holiday destinations for 2022 as international travel finally returns

As the UK’s love affair with foreign holidays remains strong, the new year could soon become the busiest for international travel as restrictions ease.

ABTA, The Travel Association has found a number of market trends emphasising consumer confidence is back on the rise as we look to make up for lost time.

A number of familiar favourites make the list alongside some new areas as holiday-goers could soon be expected to opt for bucket-list destinations.

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Market research led by the leading travel association argues that 2022 could soon become the busiest year for overseas travel.

Describing the expected year to come as the year of travel’s ‘catch up consumer’, an estimated 49% of people have found their holidays more important after the previously limited options due to the pandemic.

As a result of this new age of ‘catching up’, ABTA found that holiday-goers are likely to spend more money on their travels to make up for the lost time.

Familiar foreign favourites are expected to return in the new year alongside a number of trends being taken by those looking to get away.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said: “Foreign holidays have always been a chance to escape the stresses of day-to-day life, enjoy new experiences and create memories that last a lifetime, so it’s understandable why ‘catching up’ on these missed experiences is coming through so strongly as a trend for next year.

“It also follows that, as holidays have taken on this increased importance, holidaymakers want the added reassurance of booking a package holiday with a travel professional.

“There have been a lot of changes in travel over the past 18 months, so knowing an expert is there to help everything go as smoothly as possible – and adding the safety net of a package holiday – is definitely helping people to feel more confident to catch up on what they have missed.

“Holidaymakers can book with confidence through an ABTA Member and are encouraged to check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice at where they can also sign up to receive email alerts.”

Due to the ongoing travel restrictions over the past two years, data surrounding specific cities and resorts have not been available to the full extent.

However, a number of repeat hot spots are expected to boast the same attention in the coming year.


© Getty Images/iStockphoto Lounge chairs and straw umbrellas at the beach in Malaga. Costa del Sol, Andalusia, Spain

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A popular destination for both old and young, keen on getting away quickly to soak in the sun without having to venture too far away from home. Spectacular food, scenery and beaches all attract from near and afar to soak in what the country has to offer.


ith ‘sea-cations’ expected to spark a ‘new-to-cruise’ craze, countries that have a wealth of ports and attractions could soon benefit from a new holiday goer trend. Rich in history, architecture and coastline, Italy has been a hot-spot for any admirer of superb coastlines.


© Shared Content Unit The famous Canal D’amour in Sidari on the Corfu island

Bookings to Greece are trending as some of the best selling European destinations for some of ABTA’s holiday partners. As short-haul luxury continues to be a popular trend for the coming year, luxury travels and stays are common in this popular hot-spot.

The US

© Shared Content Unit Alabama in the US

The long haul familiar favourite is expected to make a return to the best-selling list in 2022 with estimations that more people than before could visit the US to make up for lost time and spend more. With an increase in research finding more people are keen to visit destinations they have never been to before by 37%, more people could soon make the trip across the pond.

Once in a lifetime trips are already selling well as holidaymakers look to indulge their pent-up wanderlust with a trip to remember.

The Maldives

© Shared Content Unit Sunset on Maldives

Removed from the red list in October, bookings for the Maldives have surged in popularity from even making it the number one bestseller for some booking agencies like Kuoni Holidays. Hitting all the right notes for post-pandemic trends, research has found people are looking to make the most of their holiday and spend more on a luxurious getaway.


Another popular luxurious getaway rising in popularity on booking agencies. With sustainability being considered as a vital factor in deciding holidays, many resorts in Mauritius have a refreshed focus which benefits local communities and enables holidaymakers to enjoy the island’s wildlife and land in a more authentic setting.


© Shared Content Unit Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland

With big trips abroad set to be a dominant trend in 2022, arctic expeditions are expected to be a focal point for wanderlust for travellers. Often seen as the dreams-cape of national beauty, Iceland has been growing in popularity over the past two years and could soon become even more popular.

Galapagos Islands

The last bucket list destination on the list, known for its vast wildlife. The Galapagos Islands have often been a popular destination in previous years for people looking to invest more into their holiday. With research suggesting more money could be invested to make up for lost time, travellers could soon look to these stunning landscapes for a getaway.

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