The number of trips taken by Irish residents rose between July and September when compared to the same period of 2012, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Figures from its latest Household Travel Survey show that there were 2.55 million domestic trips in the third quarter of 2013 – a 5% increase when compared to the same period of 2012.

There were a further 2.1 million outbound trips recorded by the CSO over the three months, around 500,000 more than in the third quarter of the previous year.

More than half the trips – in both the domestic and outbound categories – were classified as holidays while only a small proportion were undertaken for business reasons.

A significant number of the trips were taken by people visiting friends or relatives, representing 25% of those travelling domestically and more than 23% of those going overseas.

Each domestic trip had an average duration of 3.8 nights, according to the CSO, which led to a total of 9.7 million bed nights during the three month period.

Total expenditure on these trips came to €571.1 million, the vast majority of which was spent by those taking holidays.

Meanwhile the average overnight trip lasted almost ten nights, with Britain remaining the most popular destination followed by Spain and France.

Residents spent more than €1.9 billion on overseas trips during the quarter, with more than €1.27 billion of that being spent by holiday-makers.