In the UK, the unpredictable weather is a constant topic of conversation. Weather can determine people's holiday plans and winter escapes to warmer climes are increasingly popular, often involving long-haul travel to find sunshine.
The number of visits abroad by UK residents is currently 56.5 million, around two-thirds of which are for leisure.1 Europe is the most popular destination, with Spain and France accounting for around a third of visits abroad. Business trips and visits to friends or relatives (VFRs) are also increasing (Fig 1).1
Political, economic and social issues also affect overseas travel and tourism. The economic situation in Greece and unrest in Egypt has seen visitor numbers fall substantially, with British travellers turning to countries like Morocco and Tunisia.1
Volunteering is popular with all age groups, especially but not exclusively, with students. Countries, particularly in the tropics, where travellers may be exposed to infectious diseases, which are not present or are less common in the UK, are popular destinations in winter.1
For UK advisers, national centres TRAVAX and NaTHNaC provide country specific advice including disease outbreaks and daily email alerts. Public Health England's (PHE's) publication Vaccine update notifies of immunisation policy changes and updates.