British holidaymakers have something of a reputation for being 'awkward' abroad – they are known for being serial complainers (check out the Twitter account @HolidayComplain) and poor at applying sun cream. Or so the stereotype goes.

However, a new study gives a completely different impression and suggests that Brits are becoming far more at home on foreign shores.

The research by corporate payment solutions firm Wex reveals how almost half of British holidaymakers are booking a long-haul trip this year, with the US the most popular destination. Brits today, it seems, have greater travel aspirations than a week in Benidorm.

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In the study of 1,000 holidaymakers, 46% said they plan to travel long-haul, with 20% heading to the US and 11% hoping to book a trip to Australia.

One in 10 will be going to the Caribbean, with India and Thailand completing the top five most popular long-haul destinations for 2016.

Older travellers – although we use the word 'older' loosely – are particularly keen to 'see the world', with people aged 35-44 most likely to travel long haul (54%) and almost half of those holidaymakers aged between 45-54 travelling further afield.

The percentage of over-55s heading outside Europe this year is 41%.

Ian Johnson, Wex commercial director Europe, virtual payments, said the findings show how British holidaymaker are shaking off the 'Brits aboard' stereotype.

"British holidaymakers are becoming more and more adventurous with their travels and are looking to experience new destinations outside of Europe," he said.

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However, short-haul travel remains the most popular, with almost three quarters (71%) planning at least one holiday closer to home in the next 12 months. This can probably be put down to the accessibility of travelling to European countries, with airlines often offering cheap flights to many of the European cities.

Spain is the top destination with 44% heading to the country, followed by France (18%), Greece (17%), Italy (15%) and Portugal (8%).

Other interesting findings include an increase in travel spend this year with consumers set for an average outlay of £2,924 on their holidays during the next 12 months.

Also, eight out of 10 holidaymakers say they will book all of this year's travel elements online. It's that finding we're most interested in, naturally.

Will these findings impact your marketing efforts in the next 12 months?

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