LOCKDOWN has Brits dreaming of their next escape, with trips to Spain top of their wish list. 

TUI said families are shelling out an extra 20% more on the summer vacations in 2021, as the splash cash on longer breaks and better hotels. 

The travel giant has seen a booking boom, taking over 1.5million bookings for the summer months. 

Foreign travel for leisure purposes remains illegal under the lockdown rules in  England, Scotland and Wales, but Brits are already forward planning for when the travel restrictions are lifted. 

Demand has been fuelled by the vaccine roll-out and TUI said bookings in January are up by around 70% compared to December across all the countries it operates in.

But sales for this summer are still down 44% compared with 2019.

Greece and Spain are the most popular countries to travel to, with Brits spending an average 20% more on their holidays abroad. 

TUI said the surge in prices were due to customers “trading up” by booking longer breaks, staying in better hotels and going in larger family groups. On a like-for-like basis, prices were the same, it said.

TUI chief executive Fritz Joussen said: “The English market has a special significance for our company. We see an impressive pace and ambitious targets for vaccinations there. “Vaccinations and rapid tests make an end to the standstill in tourism possible.

“I am hopeful that after a slow start, more energy is now being put on vaccination and the availability of rapid tests in other countries.

“We should do everything we can to quickly return to basic freedoms and make travel possible again.”

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