Six in 10 Britons take a weekend break this year and spend more than £21bn

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Britons have spent a whopping £21.5 bn on weekend breaks in the past year, according to new research from Santander credit cards.

Despite the recession, six in 10 adults have been on at least one weekend away in the past year, spending on average £719 each on shopping trips, stag and hen parties and wedding weekends both at home and abroad.

However, with public spending cuts under way and the dangers of a double dip recession, Britons anticipate that their total expenditure on weekend breaks in the next 12 months will decrease by an average of 4.1 per cent. This would mean a total spending decrease of £883m next year.

London is the most popular domestic weekend destination, followed by Manchester and the historic city of York. France is the most frequently visited overseas country for a weekend getaway, with Paris easily topping the list of favourite cities abroad. Ireland, a popular destination with stag and hen party groups, is the second most visited overseas weekend break location.

Overall, there have also been at least 11 million weekend breaks taken to visit friends or relatives, 2.4 million weekend wedding breaks, and the same number of shopping trips to cities such as London and Paris. About 1.5 million people have been away on a stag or a hen weekend in the past year.

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