Skip To Content

8 dream vacation splurges

These destinations are bound to satisfy your wanderlust. Read on for where to go next — and how to prepare for the cost.


WHO ISN’T ITCHING TO EXPLORE THE WORLD AGAIN? Affluent travelers are seeking out new places and first-time experiences after staying homebound for so long, says Travel + Leisure senior editor Maya Kachroo-Levine. Top trends include immersing yourself in a culturally significant city, finding an overlooked culinary hot spot, embracing nature or tending to your health and well-being, she says.


Similarly, Jack Ezon, founder and managing partner of the travel advisory firm Embark Beyond, is seeing a pent-up demand for bucket-list trips after the pandemic. “People are splurging on meaningful experiences,” he says.


“Travel comes up in every single conversation I have with clients these days,” agrees Merrill Financial Advisor Mary Jo Harper. “Having a budget earmarked for travel is a very high priority for them.”

As you pursue your next travel passion, consider these eight destinations — some of them under the radar — recommended by Kachroo-Levine and Ezon. Then check out the best ways to plan for a travel splurge while keeping all your financial goals on track.


Cultural discovery

Ancient civilization made new: Cairo and the Nile

“Few places take you back in time to such a well-preserved capsule of culture fused with modern luxuries,” Ezon says. Cruise lines have added new luxury ships to the fleet sailing the Nile, earning this destination a spot on Travel + Leisure’s “Where to Go in 2023” list. “Along with the new ships, the biggest deal is the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, set to open in late 2023.” Situated on the Giza Plateau adjacent to the Pyramids, the long-awaited museum will be one of the largest, most modern and most antiquity-filled institutions in the world.

History preserved: Kyoto, Japan

Nowhere else can you experience Japanese culture and history in such a stunning and accessible setting. Once the capital of the island empire, Kyoto has a conservative culture that stands in stark contrast to Blade Runner-esque Tokyo, giving visitors a more authentic look at Japanese history, says Ezon. Travel + Leisure’s Kachroo-Levine was recently in Japan and found the country infused with a fresh energy. “The excitement is palpable,” she says. “The people of Kyoto, especially, are excited to welcome travelers back.”

Culinary experiences

Italy’s foodie escape: Emilia-Romagna

Nicknamed the nation’s Food Valley, the Emilia-Romagna region, which includes the towns of Parma and Bologna, remains under the radar, “reserved for ‘in the know’ foodies escaping the tourists in nearby Tuscany,” Ezon says. Situated in the north of Italy between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, this fertile region known for parmigiano reggiano and prosciutto, to name just a few foods, is home to 21 Michelin-starred restaurants.

Sizzling city: Buenos Aires, Argentina

“This city has one of the hottest food scenes in the world and, with the current exchange rate, is also one of the most affordable,” Ezon says. Its cuisine is influenced by immigrants from Italy, Germany, Britain, Spain and the Arabian Peninsula, as well as indigenous cultures. Argentinian wines, which are among some of the world’s most coveted, pair perfectly with the country’s world-famous beef, a key ingredient that defines modern Argentine cuisine.

Outdoor adventures

Into the wilds of Africa: Tanzania

This East African nation has been undergoing rapid changes in recent years, says Kachroo-Levine, from new political leadership and wider availability of high-speed internet to the creation of the sustainable Ruaha National Park in partnership with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and the Tanzania National Parks Authority. Travelers can take advantage of the excellent national park system to book boat safaris, game drives and walking safaris during both the wet and dry seasons. “If you want to go big, try a six-day climb up Kilimanjaro, complete with a staff of local guides and porters to ensure your comfort along the way,” Kachroo-Levine says.

The splendid outdoors next door: The Canadian Rockies

“With the brilliant azure waters of Lake Louise, the jagged mountains of Banff and the vast glaciers along the Bow Valley, the Canadian Rockies offer a host of adventures,” Ezon says. That means active pursuits like whitewater rafting, biking, paragliding, mountain climbing and kayaking, plus golf in striking settings along rivers, mountain peaks and glacial lakes. Notable golf destinations include the 1928 Stanley Thompson-designed course at Banff Springs and Silvertip, a par-72 course that rises 600 feet and doubles as a bird sanctuary.

Wellness retreats

Healing energy: Sedona, Arizona

The red rock canyons — and reputed mind-altering energy currents — of Sedona are the ideal backdrop for wellness seekers. “Even though international travel is on the rise, Sedona remains a top destination,” says Kachroo-Levine. “A lot of that is the extremely appealing wellness-oriented hotel scene.” The world-class spas are elevated by the canyon views, with new resorts integrated seamlessly into the stunning landscape. “You are completely immersed in the surroundings, and you don’t need to get in your car to go for a hike, get a massage or to stargaze,” she says.

Serious pampering: Switzerland’s spas

Set among awe-inspiring mountain backdrops, Swiss spas take a more clinical approach to wellness, helping guests solve problems like weight loss or chronic pain. “There are those that are ideal for pampering and detoxifying, and others that are more medically focused for serious alternative interventions and longevity programs,” Ezon says. Some of the finest spas include a 150-year-old wellness retreat that sits above Lake Lucerne and another close to the ski resort of Gstaad that traces its roots back 350 years.

Plan ahead to pay for your dream trip

Choose your advisor in a more personalized way

All our advisors are committed to putting your needs and priorities first. Find some who match your personal preferences too.


Try Advisor Match

Want us to contact you?



You are eligible to enroll in the Preferred Rewards program if you have an active, eligible Bank of America® personal checking account or Bank of America Advantage Banking account and maintain a three-month average combined balance in your qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or your qualifying Merrill investment accounts of at least $20,000 for the Gold tier, $50,000 for the Platinum tier, or $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier. The combined balance is calculated based on your average daily balance for a three calendar month period. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking accounts count towards the checking account and balance requirements, and receive benefits. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking™ accounts do not count toward the account or balance requirements, and do not receive the fee waivers and other benefits of the program. Certain benefits are also available without enrolling in Preferred Rewards if you satisfy balance and other requirements.

Personal Retirement Calculator

Track your progress toward retirement with our easy-to-use calculator.



You need to answer some questions first

Then we can provide you with relevant answers.

Get started