There are two good reasons for this: beyond the instinct mentioned above to plan a getaway to an alluring destination when the temperatures at home are at their lowest.

First, it is indeed the first “Sunshine Saturday” in two years. Around the same time last year, 2021 changed the lock on bearings and the ban on overseas travel. No one in the UK was comparing the costs over a fortnight in Mallorca no matter what we wished.

Second, while 2022 may only be a few days away, it has already raised morale significantly for both the travel industry and anyone looking to travel in the coming months.

Yesterday saw the formal end of the requirement for fully vaccinated passengers coming to the UK to take a Covid test before departure. And from tomorrow (January 9), those same travelers will only have to take a side flow test on day two, rather than a more expensive PCR test, to check their status against the virus that has shaped our lives for almost two years.

Both are welcome news, but it’s the first that will have the most dramatic effect on consumer behavior. In short, the fear of returning a positive test while trying to return from a holiday abroad has been an extremely disheartening factor for UK tourists. Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy told the BBC’s Today show on Thursday that his company saw a 150% jump in bookings within 24 hours – a direct and instant response to the cancellation of the trip. ‘test requirement before departure. Wednesday. The announcement, he said, had given people “assurance that they may not get caught up in the quarantine of the resorts,” adding that “people are desperate to get away.” This has been demonstrated in recent days.

This last statement has a glorious and unmistakable sound of truth. While it has been possible to travel since the start of the pandemic, and many of us have done so, there is no doubt that many of us have chosen to play it safe and not steal the roost. . But with the latest removal of restrictions signaling what we all hope will be a 2022 where travel can resume with something akin to normalcy, eyes are once again scanning the horizon.

So, will today be the greatest “Sunshine Saturday” of all time? Very probably. The pent-up demand is certainly there – not just out of the urge to travel, but in terms of time and money. Many would-be vacationers, who haven’t traveled since March 2020, are sitting on savings they would otherwise have spent in a fortnight (or more), and in some cases have racked up annual leave to use them. Bad news, perhaps, for employers, but good news for tour operators and anyone determined to hit the beach ASAP. If you, our readers and the travel industry, could make a collective noise right now, it would be the exuberant sound of a cork coming out of a bottle of champagne at high speed.

So where to go? It’s worth pointing out that there are still restrictions around the world – but a 2022 with fewer complications should spark the interest of travelers all over the world. Earlier this week, Telegraph Travel conducted an online poll, asking readers for their strongest New Year’s travel resolution. The most popular response (66%) was to visit a new country. After so long stuck at home, we are thirsty for adventure and new experiences. And if you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve got plenty of suggestions here for skiers, winter sun seekers, and travelers hoping to be on trend in this year of renewal.