More than half of people will ditch mini-breaks to European Union countries due to Brexit, new research claims.

Concerns over increased flight costs are cited by 38% of the 2,000 people polled at the end of last year.

A third voiced worries over exchange rates with any devaluation of the pound after Brexit likely to deter them from taking trips to the EU.

Younger people aged 18 to 38 are the generation most concerned about the impact of Brexit on their European travel plans (67%). Higher flight costs would deter 44% while 38% said a weakening in the value of sterling would cause them to re-think European mini-breaks.

Those in Northern Ireland (65%) and the north-east (64%) believe that their travel plans will be affected the most by Brexit, with the north-west of England most concerned about an increase in flight costs (40%).

The prospect of longer passport queues after the UK leaves the EU is also flagged as a concern, with a quarter of respondents saying it would result in them travelling less to the EU.

Those in Scotland (33%) and the north-east (31%) believe this would be a major factor in the decision-making when it comes to planning European short breaks.

A potential hike in mobile phone roaming charges would make 19% of 18 to 38 year olds reluctant to travel to the EU.

The loss of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and the resulting absence of free European health cover in the event of a no-deal Brexit would result in 21% of people taking fewer trips.

Jon Ostler, UK chief executive of Australian comparison site Finder.com, which conducted the study, said: It’s understandable that higher costs may influence people to opt for more staycations, but it’s surprising that roaming charges, health insurance and passport queues have such a bearing on the choice of destination.

“Although the EHIC card does offer great benefits, it won’t cover you for repatriation nor does it cover for delays or cancellation.

“For less than £10, basic European travel insurance will give you the same benefits of the EHIC as well as offering additional cover and benefits. There are also many ways that you can avoid roaming charges should they be reintroduced after Brexit.”

tw3