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Top holiday destinations

Workers in the UK benefit from a significantly large holiday allowance, with many companies offering staff the opportunity to buy extra days. With an average of 26 days of holiday (plus Bank Holidays) each year, most of us will try to escape from home at least once.

Us Brits are creatures of habit and we do tend to stick to what we know, choosing a summer vacation that we know we’ll enjoy.

From all-inclusive stays at luxury resorts (no need to set foot outside the hotel complex), to a two man tent in a field, our holidays are always well-deserved.

We investigated some of the destinations that are most popular among the British people.


Frequently dubbed the number one holiday destination, Spain is a wonderful country. The north has mountainous landscapes and little villages, whilst the south offers sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Culture is lively, with flamenco, bull fighting and al fresco dining with tapas, sangria and paella.

A city break to Barcelona leaves travellers wanting more after exploring the windy Gothic alleys, marvelling at the Gaudi landscapes and street artists. Valencia during la fiesta de las Fallas allows visitors to see towering sculptures that are burned amid spectacular firework displays.


With gîtes dotted around the rambling countryside, France is still popular with campers and those looking for a quiet country holiday. The beaches to the south remain for the most part unspoiled and the haute cuisine is rich and famous for cheese, wine and bread.

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with its undamaged architecture a breathtaking vista, offering tourists walks along the Seine and picnics by the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Famous for its wine, Bordeaux, the City of Art and History, is equally as charming with the riverside Place de Bourse dominating the city and the cultural Grand Théâtre, home to the Ballet and Opéra National.


Home to the original Olympic Games and the seat of the gods, Greece is full of wonderful legends. History and myth blend into one against the beautiful islands of the Mediterranean, as tourists search for the fountain of Aphrodite, the ruins of Troy and the Minotaur’s labyrinth.

Deemed one of the healthiest diets in the world, olive oil features in almost every dish and holidaymakers can enjoy traditional moussaka or create their own meze platter to take to one of the stunning beaches around the islands.


The land of opportunity, where they speak (American) English and never sleep is still a popular holiday choice. Big is always better in the USA with mouth-watering steaks, pancakes and desserts to die for.

Families flock to Disneyland, Florida for thrills, spills and sunshine where children marvel at Mickey, Minnie and Donald amid the colour and spectacle of the parades, rides and gift shops. New York is still a favourite for city breaks with amazing Broadway shows, museums and art galleries, plus a stay-out-late culture and shopping bargains.


The land down under is popular for travellers looking to escape from their humdrum life. The wildlife alone is unusual as kangaroos and emus roam in the outback and poisonous snakes slither around. Wine connoisseurs will enjoy the wide variety of grapes among the friendly and open nature of the Australian people and you can see if Vegemite really is just as good (or bad) as Marmite.

Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, hire a camper van and drive across country or surf along the Gold Coast. Marvel at Ayers Rock and Kakadu national Park while those looking for more cultural pursuits can enjoy a performance at Sydney Opera House or visit the set of Neighbours.


A gap year dream, it’s not just teenagers who enjoy the exotic, almost unspoilt country of Thailand. The Thai people are friendly and their history and culture is fascinating. Ensnare your senses with Thai cuisine, which combines the five flavours of sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty.

Relax on one of the breathtaking beaches in Koh Samui or join in a Full Moon Party on Ko Pha Ngan. The city of Bangkok offers streets full of shopping where you can also experience a traditional Thai massage. Visit the monkeys in the Khao Sok National Park in January/February and you may even see the rare Rafflesia flower.


The Staycation is far from over as British people are still exploring the sights and sounds of their own nation. Olde-worlde villages litter the countryside with quaint cafes, pretty churches and bubbling streams whilst the historic cities offer round the clock entertainment.

Artsy Liverpool attracts scores of visitors who take the ferry ‘cross the Mersey and follow the Beatles’ tour around the city, whilst the inner depths of Wales provide a hiker’s heaven among bracken, waterfalls and hills, scattered with sheep. The more deserted beaches of Cornwall are as beautiful as abroad with crystal clear, blue water and soft white sand.


One of the most romantic countries in the world, the Italian lifestyle and cuisine is coveted by almost all of us. Pizza, pasta, gelato and wine are just the beginning of the Italian culinary offerings and each city and town has a unique gastronomic interpretation.

The region of Umbria has landscapes of near unmatched beauty, with the Cathedral of Orvieto and the town of Assisi which is still frequented by those seeking St Francis. For city lovers Rome provides architectural marvels including the Colosseum, Piazza della Repubblica and Castel Sant'Angelo.


A favourite wedding destination, Cyprus offers mild temperatures, cultural delights and sandy beaches. Fresh fish, fruit and vegetables are plentiful and the Cypriot cheese of Halloumi is delicious lightly grilled and served with local sausages.

Ruined temples and villages are scattered across both sides of the island and the Troodos National Park in the mountains has tranquil hilly walks and waterfalls. Historical highlights include Aphrodite’s Rock, the Sanctuary of Apollo and Kolossi Castle, while the tourist resort of Agia Napa has the sandiest beaches behind the luxury hotels.


One of the richest countries in the world, Austria is renowned for its luscious cakes, strudels and pastries that are served with Viennoise coffee. Skiing is available until May and in the spring the hills provide walks with magnificent views.

Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, has stunning Baroque architecture including Salzburg Cathedral and popular Sound of Music tours which allow fans to visit the film’s locations. Innsbruck, in the heart of the Alps is a stunning town with pure mountain air, clear lakes and excellent sports facilities.

John Lewis Travel Insurance

Whichever destination you choose, make it more enjoyable by taking out Travel Insurance. If your holiday is affected by something unexpected, having a high-quality travel policy can make all the difference.

John Lewis Travel Insurance provides up to £10 million of emergency medical costs if you have an accident or fall ill during your trip.

We also provide additional travel cover for weddings abroad and for holidays involving sports.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered in England No. 00233462. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Ageas Insurance Limited who are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Ageas Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 354568. Registered office: Ageas House, Hampshire Corporate Park, Templars Way, Eastleigh, SO53 3YA.

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