People are able to go on foreign holidays once again – with destinations split into red, amber or green lists due to Covid-19 – from Monday, and urged to visit countries on the green list due to their low virus rates.
Holidaymakers from as far as London and Northampton travelled to Birmingham Airport to catch their flights to Portugal and other warm destinations.
Colin Briton and Julie Sarnaz, from Northampton, were eager to start their holiday to Spain – on the "amber" list – after having 11 holidays cancelled due to the virus.
Mr Briton said: "We're really excitied and it's been a stressful weekend because the European Union were not letting people in [with only essential travel from the UK], so it was on, off, and I cancelled the car parking and everything because of it.
"We've had 11 holidays cancelled and we were brought back early from the Maldives in October-November time. We had to sit in a speed boat so we could make it to catch the plane back. We had our little bit of adventure then. We've rebooked to go there this year so hopefully we can – we go away four times a year and we'll never take our holidays for granted again."
The pair called for the price of PCR tests to be lowered – with them having to fork out £99 each for a test and the same on the way back, leaving them almost £400 out of pocket.
The pair, aged 61 and 57, added: "We're hoping for a bit of sunshine and some relaxation and just being able to talk and meet people again. You don't meet people very often working from home and we take stuff like that for granted."
Alex Taylor, from Birmingham, was also jetting off to Portugal to reunite with his girlfriend whom he hadn't seen for six months – and said he was "excited".
He said: "I'm excited and relieved. I'm going because my girlfriend is in Portugal, so I'm very excited to go over there. I wasn't booked for the first day, but then I realised there were some cheap flights around – and I had another flight booked for a few days' time in case this one didn't work out.
"I think it's pretty safe and everyone does a good job of keeping everyone safe too. I'm hoping I've done everything right and hopefully it should be fun."
Zion Morgan and Nya Chambers, both aged 19 and from Nottingham, were also headed off to Portugal and were hoping to each get a tan in the warm weather.
Zion said the pair hadn't intended to travel on the first day the restrictions were eased but said they wanted to make the most of the opportunity and get some sun.
He said: "We were like 'it's the first option' that we can take [to travel] – it's all supervised and approved by the Government, and the regulations are met as well, so we would we'd take advantage of that.
"We had to do our tests but it wasn't as scary as people would imagine. We're just excited and super happy to get off really – I don't have concerns, I had a look at what the situation is like in Portugal. We're going for a relax and hopefully to get a tan as well."
Paula Harris, from Redditch, was off to Jersey after her planned trip to Turkey was called off due to the country being in the "red" list – meaning travellers from the destinations will have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days on their return.
The 56-year-old said: "I booked two weeks off and Jersey was the next available flight – it was very expensive, but Portugal was a lot more. I thought I would try Jersey because I haven't been there. I'm just happy to get away, really, and I haven't got any concerns because I've had my two vaccinations.
"I was supposed to be travelling to Turkey but it's on the red list. I tried to get to Portugal but the prices were excessive – £2,500 for two weeks in a bed and breakfast. It came up with a flight to Jersey and I'd already booked the time off – it's cost me £1,250 for two weeks, bed and breakfast – but I just needed to get away because I'm slightly going mad."
And Viorel Adrian and Bianca Frunfa, both from London, aged 20 and 18, said they were both looking forward to their trip to Portgual – saying they were both looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the sunshine over there.
Meanwhile Alex Roman, his wife Alice and son Danny, all from Rugeley, were heading to Romania – having not been there for two years – and were looking forward to having "some fun" over there.