This summer looks to be one of the best ever for luxury travel with a combination of weaker currencies in many coveted markets and lower oil prices that are alas being felt in the travel sector. But with these great values will come the crowds that were already to the point of overwhelming last summer in once-exclusive destinations from the South of France to the eastern Mediterranean. Here's our advice on where to go, as well as avoid, for summer 2015.
Choose adventure over just another beach getaway. You're still young, you're fit and you have the means to travel a certain way; choose to take those pricey adventure trips while you can like a chimpanzee expedition at Nomad's Greystoke Mahale in western Tanzania or a life changing ascent up K2 with German mountaineers K&P. Or perhaps just indulge in a luxurious photo safari or lion trekking in South Africa where the currency is at decade lows against the US Dollar. Long dreamed of seeing the Pyramids of Egypt? A recent political stabilization offers the best chance since 2011 to take in great pyramids of Giza just outside the city of Cairo - even if caution should still be maintained outside the city. The current government has even gone as far as resuming key tourism projects like a renovation of the Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza and potential reopening of Queen Nefertari's tomb in Luxor that's been closed for over a decade.
Brits and Europeans should altogether avoid the US until next year, as Dollar strength continues through the year according to Deutsche Bank. In terms of European city breaks skip Paris and definitely Florence, where hotel rates have slowly ticked up with the fall of the Euro. Instead opt for Venice for its Biennale, Rome for its ever-improving ruins and grand hotels like new JK Roma or Barcelona where you can have a bit of city and a bit of beach while staying at the city's top hotel for under 500-Euro per night. Opt for Puglia or Sicily's Taormina and Aeolian Islands (pictured, right) over the Amalfi. In lieu of St. Tropez consider Sardinia's Porto Cervo or Bodrum that currently boasts even better hotels than its French competitor. And if you still need your Ibiza party fix come August, try Mykonos that's currently booking the same DJs for summer in far more intimate venues with much cheaper magnums of Cristal.