Byline: CLARE HUTCHINSON
THE era of the staycation could be drawing to a close, with research claiming Welsh holidaymakers are trading in their buckets and spades for a week abroad in "guaranteed sunshine".
A survey of 600 people across Wales found two-thirds of respondents were planning to holiday abroad this year, spending on average more than pounds 1,800 on their trip.
This was pounds 314 more than last year's average, despite 64% of respondents saying they felt less confident about spending on large items like a holiday than they did last year.
Travel journalist Simon Calder said airlines flying from regional airports were being forced to put on extra flights to budget destinations like Spain and Turkey in order to keep up with overwhelming demand.
He said: "People are beginning to head abroad again. Passengers are grabbing all the flights they can from airports like Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and, in Wales, Cardiff.
"Maybe it's the fact that the pound is slightly stronger against the euro than it was and everyone feels rich again.
"It is especially surprising because a lot of people thought holidaymakers would be going further east to hunt out cheaper deals but we're finding now that airlines with any spare capacity are busy putting on extra flights to Spain.
"Everyone is going there this year, incredibly even with the threat of an air traffic control strike looming. It is, I think, seen as a cheap destination. Plus it is easy to get to and has guaranteed sunshine.
"The collapse of the pound did lead to more people going on holidays to places like Wales and I can see that trend now reversing a little, as people head abroad to enjoy the sunshine and sand."
According to the survey from Principality Building Society, carried out by Cardiff-based Research &Marketing, the average amount being spent by Welsh sun-seekers on a summer holiday this year, including flights, accommodation and spending money, is pounds 1,852.
Holidaymakers from Newport shelled out the most, with average holiday costs of pounds 1,986 - up pounds 331 from last year - while people in Cardiff spent a mere pounds 1,722, an average of pounds 98 more than last year. …