Figures released by easyJet indicate a 17 per-cent increase in winter bookings. It seems Brits are fleeing the UK's dreary weather to enjoy active holidays such as skiing and snowboarding.

Paul Simmons, easyJet's UK general manager, said: "The last few months have been pretty miserable. The bleak economic climate, the usual round of colds and flu combined with dark nights and mornings, seems to have motivated more people than ever to take time out this winter - and who can blame them?"

The exceptional snowfall this year also has boosted sales in ski breaks this winter. Many resorts, particularly in Italy and France, were able to open up to a month early.

Taking a break during the winter months has huge benefits for your mind, body and soul. Psychologist Dr. David Homes of Manchester Metropolitan University says: "Visiting countries with longer, brighter sunlight hours and/or taking an active holiday such as skiing or snowboarding is the perfect way to lift our spirits. Physical activity increases the level of endorphins in our body which help boost feelings of control and happiness."

easyJet flies to airports across Europe including Geneva, Grenoble, and [R189R, Innsbruck]. The airline recently launched an interactive ski map, showing the best airports to fly to for all the major resorts with transfer times and prices.