Brits are increasingly desperate to escape winter weather and chase the sun – swapping hot chocolate and chunky knitwear for cocktails and swimsuits according to new reports.

Data reveals that holiday goers prefer to top up their tan to skiing the slopes, opting for the warmer climes of Spain, the USA and Dubai for their winter breaks.  Reports from Escape Travel Card identified a 40 per cent increase in UK travellers spending in Spain over the winter months compared to the previous year, and the company predicts a further increase across November and December this year.

Far flung destinations such as Dubai have experienced 25 per cent increase of winter visits by Brits during the UK’s coldest months, and there has been a 30 per cent increase in the USA.

The data from Escape Travel Card identified that British travellers in Spain splurged more on restaurants and bars during their winter vacations, while those in the USA splash the cash on shopping sprees, mostly in clothing and electronic stores. Holiday goers escaping the frosty weather in Dubai prefer spending their budget on experiences and attractions, such as water sports and amusement parks.

Despite concerns that the fall in the pound following the Brexit vote would deter people from shelling out on foreign holidays, travel giant TUI, owner of Thomson and First Choice, has lifted its profit forecast for the year following an increase of trips to long-haul countries of 26 per cent.

Joanne Briggs from Escape Travel Card, said: “Being able to swap the cold British weather for sunshine makes winter a popular travelling time for UK tourists. Spain remains a firm favourite with the British public; while it may seem an unusual choice for Christmas, it is a destination that offers great value, allowing holiday budgets to be stretched further.

“We’ve seen an increase in Escape cardholders taking winter holidays to sunny locations and we are expecting this to continue to rise during the rest of 2016 and early 2017.”

To help those planning a winter getaway, Escape Travel Card has put together a list of the top three winter destinations.

  1. Spain

It’s safe to say Spain is likely to always be a favourite holiday destination for the Brits during winter, mostly because of its glorious sun, delicious cuisine and superb wine. With temperatures peaking at 17°C, holiday goers can relax alongside the sandy Mediterranean beaches and calm waters while enjoying favourite dishes, such as Paella and Tortilla Espaniola. Why not opt for a week of shopping in Barcelona? Or perhaps tour a vineyard and toast to Christmas or the New Year?

  1. USA

A winter holiday to the USA offers something for everyone. Families can head to Florida and enjoy famous attractions like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios or go snorkelling in the Florida Keys. Or for those wanting to splash the cash, New York City offers the most famous shopping departments in the world, like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, as well as countless fifth avenue boutique shops; your options really are limitless. And of course there’s always Las Vegas for those wanting a wilder winter break. Head to the Las Vegas Strip if you fancy trying your luck in the casinos and hitting jackpot with the incredible hotel nightclubs overlooking the city –for New Year’s Eve there really is nothing like it.

  1. Dubai 

With an average temperature of 28°C, Dubai is the perfect escape for sun seekers during winter. Enjoy the endless white sandy beaches and try some of the huge range of water-borne thrills available, including jet skiing, kitesurfing, or wakeboarding, to name just a few. And if you’re there between the 28th December and the 28th January you can go to the Dubai Shopping Festival, the largest shopping extravaganza in the Middle East. Along with unbeatable deals, there will be celebrity performances and entertainment to celebrate the emirate’s favourite pastime.

The Escape Travel Card is ideal for Brits heading abroad this winter. Accepted everywhere Mastercard is, users load the card with sterling and conversion is done at the point of use with no transaction charges on purchases. If your bill comes to €10, you pay €10. For travellers planning on exploring cities and sight seeing, the card’s features make it the perfect option for keeping spends safe.

Escape’s unique eccount, a secure online account, allows you to transfer money on your card back into the account in the event of loss or theft of the card. It also offers a free SMS service, which can be used to temporarily lock and unlock the card, providing peace of mind to those wandering around city centres. Helping travellers to manage budgets effectively, the eccount enables you to view your balance and statements, top up your account by debit or credit card, and request additional cards to share joint budgets with family or friends.

If you’re heading to abroad this winter, visit http://www.escapetravelcard.com and sign up for an Escape Travel card.