Staff at Barrhead Travel say they are expecting a “holiday stampede” this weekend as people rush to secure this summer’s getaway.

The first Saturday of January, informally coined ‘Sunshine Saturday’ by the travel industry, is typically the most popular day of the year for travel bookings as customers look ahead and start planning holidays.

Many families will be hoping to lock in travel deals for the summer, Easter and October holidays.

Barrhead Travel said bookings across the first few days of January have been higher than those recorded in 2019, before the Covid pandemic.

Holiday duration is also trending upwards, with almost half of new bookings being for 10 nights or longer.

The firm said all-inclusive holidays are the most popular type for this summer, accounting for more than a quarter of all bookings.

There has also been noticeable growth in cruising, particularly amongst the family market, which Barrhead Travel says points to interest in seeking value for money.

So far, family favourites such as Tenerife and Majorca are taking the top spots for summer bookings, while cruising from Southampton and Miami is also favoured by families and couples.

Jacqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel, said: “When the festive period draws to an end, many of us start thinking about locking in our holidays for the year ahead.

"It’s one of the best times of year to book, not only because many operators, hotels and airlines have fantastic January sales on but having a holiday to look forward to later in the year is always welcome.

“This weekend in particular, Sunshine Saturday, is usually the busiest booking weekend.

“We’re seeing signs that people will continue to prioritise holidays this year. Longer durations and more upgrades are a common theme at the moment, while multi-generational breaks continue to make up a notable portion of our bookings.

"Spending time with loved ones is a priority and getting the family together for a holiday is a great way to make cherished memories together.

“The desire to book with a travel agent increased during 2022 and that trend is set to grow this year.”