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Millions planning Christmas escape

A family skiing19/12/13

By Ian Lewis

Dreams of a white Christmas are guaranteed to come true for some of the four million Brits planning to head abroad over the festive break.

Avid skiers are set to enjoy the winter conditions and head to Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy looking for snow.

Meanwhile hundreds of thousands more will be jetting off to escape the winter weather in the Canary Islands, Tunisia and Morocco.

Popular long haul destinations this Christmas are Kenya, Dubai, Mexico and Cuba.

New Year breaks proving popular

New Year city breaks in Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Edinburgh are also proving popular, the travel organisation Abta reports.

The organisation says 20-22 December will see a peak in the numbers flying out of Britain for Christmas.

British Airways says almost two million people will fly with it between 16 December and 5 January, with 115,000 alone expected to board planes on 20 December.

Ryanair expects to carry a record three million passengers over the Christmas and New Year period with Gatwick Airport bracing itself to handle an estimated two million travellers.

A combined total of 720,000 holidaymakers are set to fly out of Stansted and Manchester with 175,000 leaving from Luton and another 100,000 from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

Thousands set to use Channel Tunnel

Thousands more are set to leave the UK via the Channel Tunnel with Eurostar announcing it is set to carry more than 420,000 passengers between 20 December and 3 January.

This is 11 per cent more than it took last Christmas.

Those staying in the UK for Christmas will have to contend with some busy conditions on the roads and disruption to train services.

The RAC is predicting that around 13 million motorists will be on the road on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Those travelling by train are warned to prepare for line closures, reduced services and buses replacing trains on some routes.

Engineering projects planned over Christmas

This is a result of major engineering projects planned for the festive period.

The top UK holiday spots over Christmas will include London, York, Torquay, Eastbourne and Llandudno.

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