Bucket list experiences: the 7th annual Travel Dreams Survey.

Top luxury destinations and bucket list experiences for rich travelers.

Upscale travelers are willing to go the distance to fulfill their travel wishes. Perennial favorites such as Australia, was named the top dream destination for the third consecutive year in the 7th annual Travel Dreams Survey released by luxury travel magazine Virtuoso, a roadmap for where and how the affluent plan to go next.

Europe, particularly Paris and Rome, were among the most coveted destinations among rich travelers, topping the lists for dream destinations, city getaways, and culinary trips. And whether a Mediterranean sailing adventure for two or a round-the-world excursion, cruising continues to rank high as experiences attracting the affluent.

The survey identified five distinct travel personalities based on respondents’ travel styles, whether they prefer relaxing on the beach or blasting off into suborbital space:

The Go-Getter (23% of respondents)

  • The Go-Getter is active, adventurous, and wants to see and do it all on their vacations
  • Trips of a Lifetime: Taking a world cruise, photographing the “big five” on an African safari, calling on all seven 
  • continents.
  • Dream Destinations: Australia, Italy, New Zealand

The Connoisseur (23%)

  • The Connoisseur likes the best of the best and will indulge in food, wine, art, and architecture while traveling
  • Trips of a Lifetime: Taking a world cruise, renting a European villa, dining at Paris’ starred restaurants
  • Dream Destinations: Italy, Australia, New Zealand


The Classic Traveler (20%)

  • The Classic Travelers are loyal to the places they love and will return multiple times to their favorite destinations
  • Trips of a Lifetime: Taking a world cruise, touring Italy’s Amalfi Coast, riding the Orient-Express
  • Dream Destinations: Italy, Australia, Ireland


The Relaxationist (17%)

  • The Relaxationist travels to get away from it all – to relax, restore, and rejuvenate
  • Trips of a Lifetime: Renting a private island in the Caribbean, taking a world cruise, sailing the Mediterranean on a 
  • private yacht.
  • Dream Destinations: Italy, Australia, the Caribbean

The Trendsetter (17%)

  • The Trendsetter is all about what’s new and next, and is an early adopter of emerging destinations
  • Trips of a Lifetime: Taking a world cruise, going on safari, calling on all seven continents
  • Dream Destinations: Australia, South Africa, Italy.

Top 10 Dream Destinations
1. Australia
2. Italy
3. New Zealand
4. Ireland
5. France
6. South Africa
7. The Caribbean
8. Greece
9. England
10. French Polynesia.
Top Trips of a Lifetime
1. Taking a world cruise
2. Renting a European villa
3. Photographing the ‘Big Five’ during an African safari
4. Renting a private island in the Caribbean
5. Calling on all seven continents
6. Galapagos Islands expedition
7. Staying in Europe’s top hotel suites
8. Antarctic cruise
9. Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage
10. Chartering a private jet.


Fantasy Islands
1. Greek Islands
2. Hawaiian Islands
3. Fiji
4. The Caribbean
5. Galapagos Islands

Where to make dinner reservations:
1. Paris
2. Rome
3. Florence
4. New York City
5. New Orleans

Cities that excite:
1. Paris
2. Rome
3. London
4. Sydney
5. Barcelona

Best trips for 2:
1. Mediterranean cruise
2. Paris in April
3. Caribbean resort stay
4. Roman holiday
5. California wine country

Where to set sail:
1. European river/canal
2. The Mediterranean
3. Alaska
4. Australia/New Zealand
5. World cruise

Favorite family vacations:
1. African safari
2. Alaskan cruise
3. Ireland’s castles and countryside
4. Galapagos Islands
5. US national parks.