Findings are presented from a questionnaire survey of 562 gay men resident in southern England on their sexual behaviour in the context of holidays. Data were gathered during summer 1996 by means of a self-completion questionnaire; 395 men reported at least one holiday undertaken in 1996 and the analysis focuses on the first or only holiday described. Of 391 men giving details of sexual activity, 187 reported sex with a new partner, 113 men reported penetrative sex and 17 reported penetration without consistent use of condoms. Sexual activity on holiday was predicted by: being on holiday alone or with friends, taking condoms, being motivated by 'gay social life and sex' in planning a holiday, higher expectations of sexual activity/risk and a higher number of new partners at home. Penetrative sex was predicted by: more sexual partners on holiday, taking condoms and higher expectations of sexual activity/risk. Unprotected sex was predicted by: not taking condoms, higher expectations of sexual activity/risk and positive HIV status. Survey findings are discussed in relation to previous research, and implications for travel-related HIV prevention initiatives targeting gay men are explored.