Some 56% of adults say they plan to take an overseas summer holiday this year, a survey suggests – and 51% intend to travel abroad more than once in 2024.

Around one in 13 expect to research and book their next holiday on the same day, according to the Savanta poll of 2,295 adults commissioned by financial protection scheme Atol.

But a fifth said the process will likely take them more than a month as they get stuck into planning the perfect break.

Some will be spurred on by continuing winter storms with no let-up for the new year.

As Storm Henk became the latest to hit our shores, a taxi driver and passengers in a black Mercedes Vito minibus had to be rescued from a 3.5ft flood in Essex yesterday.

As thoughts turn to lazy summer days on the beach, the travel industry is braced for Sunshine Saturday this weekend, with a surge of bookings expected on the day.

Many holiday companies traditionally offer discounts in this time of year, but Atol warned consumers to “read the small print”.

Atol provides support for people who have booked a package trip – such as flights and accommodation – when a tour operator goes out of business. It arranges for people already overseas to be flown home and reimburses financial losses suffered by those with future trips.

The scheme, run by the Civil Aviation Authority, was launched 50 years ago.

CAA director Tim Johnson said: “This weekend, typically known as Sunshine Saturday, is traditionally the busiest for people booking their holidays, with many travellers taking advantage of bargain deals.

“We’ve seen bookings grow significantly back to pre-pandemic levels and that’s why it’s important to make smart decisions to avoid missing out on key financial protection.

“By booking an Atol-protected holiday, consumers know they can then relax and won’t be left out of pocket should their travel firm collapse.”

Atol’s tips to consumers include checking web addresses are legitimate, not replying to unsolicited emails, texts, social media messages or calls with holiday offers, using a credit card to pay – and always remembering to buy travel insurance.