Lonely Planet Writer

The countries that US luxury travellers are eyeing for a vacation

Planning a trip usually means finding a budget that will let you see everything you want to see without completely emptying your bank account. Luckily, many of the destinations that are surging in popularity with US luxury travellers this fall are within reach of those who don’t have a luxury-sized budget.  Luxury travel network Virtuoso has revealed the destinations that are in-demand among its clients. For the fall and holiday season, the company says that “upscale Americans” are looking to these top destinations, which have seen the highest percentage of growth in year-over-year bookings.

Layers of travertines form terraces of carbonate minerals in Pamukkale, Southwest Turkey. Image by ©Image Courtesy of Jennifer Hayes/Getty Images

Turkey (+310% increase)

There has been a recent boost in interest in Turkey from travellers around the world. While visiting Southeast Turkey – the city of Diyarbakir and along the Syrian border – is still discouraged by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), there are plenty of spots that are once again seeing tourists return. The country is famous for its beach resorts, the captivating energy of Istanbul, and the hot-air balloon filled Cappadocia.

Egyptian man walking through the towering pillars of the Karnak Temple. Image by ©Peter Seaward/Lonely Planet

Egypt (+264%)

While the FCO also has some travel warnings in place – including discouraging all travel to North Sinai – people are returning to much of the country. With its incredible history, archaeological treasures, and cuisine, Virtuoso isn’t the only travel company that has been a boost in the region: Thomas Cook and Travelzoo have also confirmed a rise in interest in both Turkey and Egypt.

Street scene in the blue medina of Chefchaouen, Morocco. Image by ©Spumador/Shutterstock

Morocco (+144%)

The North African country offers up colourful cities, incredible mountain ranges and epic Saharan dunes. Travellers continue to flock to Morocco to explore the unique mix of history and cultures found there, wandering medinas and sipping mint tea along the way.

Hindus praying and bathing at the river Ganges, Varanasi at sunrise. Image by ©Adrian Pope/Getty Images

India (+128%)

One of the world’s largest countries offers endless opportunity to explore. The north is filled with mountain ranges, while travellers in the south can head to the country’s many beaches. Food lovers will never tire of sampling the variety of dishes that can be found in each region, while architecture lovers will be wowed by the astounding blend of building styles found around India.

A stingray is bathed in sunbeams under the dive boat at the Stingray Sandbar in Grand Cayman. Image by ©Jeffrey Richards/Getty Images

Cayman Islands (+124%)

These Caribbean islands are perhaps the most obvious country on a list of luxury destinations. They continue to lure cruise ship passengers and well-heeled travellers who want to enjoy the beautiful beaches, but one of the main draws is what you see once you enter the water, as the Cayman’s are a diver’s paradise where people can explore the marine life and even shipwrecks.