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Spring has sprung, and it happens to be the perfect time of the year to travel. Many places around the world are filled with blooming flowers, unique Spring festivals, and best of all, pleasant temperatures. From Moscow to Qatar, Botswana, and Cusco, Peru, here's the list of the top 10 trending destinations and why they're worth it, according to American Express Travel's internal booking data and expert analysis.
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Spring is the perfect time to visit Moscow, as the city turns green again, temperatures are ideal for sightseeing, and city life is in full swing. Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel, says, "Bookings are up 238 percent as May draws in travelers to join in the excitement of the parades, fireworks, and Russian street parties May 1 through 9 for a week of celebration."
2. Botswana, Africa
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For travelers looking to check a safari off their bucket list, Botswana is trending up this Spring. The best months to visit are from April through October during the dry season because it offers the best game-viewing opportunities. Bookings are up 200 percent, according to American Express Travel, as March is the end of wet season and the best time for viewing the exotic birds in Okavango and Morem.
3. Santiago, Chile
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When the Spring awakens in the Northern Hemisphere, it is Autumn in Chile. As Chile enters Autumn, peak season dies down, making it the perfect time to explore the destination more intimately in comfortable weather. American Express Travel data shows that savvy travelers are boosting bookings to Santiago by 91 percent this Spring.
4. Santorini, Greece
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From the sunsets in Oia to the crystal-blue Aegean Sea and the reduced fares from March through May, travelers are flocking to Santorini this Spring. American Express Travel data shows that bookings are up 94 percent, right before high season kicks in in June. Why? Flowers are blooming and lush croplands and vineyards are at their peak, making it the optimal time to explore the natural seascape derived from a volcanic eruption.
5. Doha, Qatar
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Doha, Qatar, is a modern and eclectic city boasting high-end dining, shopping, colorful souqs, and adventurous excursions. Bookings to Doha have spiked 79 percent over the months of March and April, right before the temperatures rise and one of the most popular festivals takes place. Centered on Doha's Corniche, Qatar International Food Festival draws in cuisine and visitors from around the world from March 23 through April 8.
6. St. Louis, MO, USA
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Travel to St. Louis is up 60 percent this Spring as the Botanical Gardens are in full bloom and the city is bustling with events and festivals. Breweries, baseball, and live music performances are major draws in this rising city, and the hip district of '"the loop" boasts bars, gallerie,s and restaurants, making for the perfect weekend getaway for US travelers.
7. Amsterdam, Netherlands
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The picturesque canals of Amsterdam continue their perennial beckoning to travelers far and wide, trending up 32 percent this Spring. As the Netherlands thaw out from the long Winter, the Spring months bring unrivaled beauty as the city's flora is in full bloom, including the infamous tulips and Vondelpark. Travelers staying in Amsterdam in late April will be fortunate enough to experience King's Day, a citywide celebration showcasing the quintessential elements of Holland's rich history and culture — and don't forget your orange-colored clothing.
8. Cusco, Peru
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With limited ticketed entry to Machu Picchu, Peru is (rightfully) climbing the ranks of world travelers' must-see lists with Cusco up 56 percent this Spring, according to American Express Travel. In addition to its proximity to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, the high-altitude Andean city is home to an architectural mecca with a unique mix of Incan ruins, Spanish styles, and modern additions.
9. Savannah, GA, USA
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Savannah is quickly becoming Georgia's hottest vacation destination that American Express Travel found is up 26 percent, with travelers bypassing the larger cities of Atlanta and Columbus in favor of this town's down-home Southern hospitality. Savannah's epicurean landscape offers a twist on Southern comfort food, flavored by the seaside delights stemming from its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Travelers can enjoy the River Street Seafood Festivalin early May to fully experience the freshly caught crawfish, shrimp, and crab.
10. Papeete, Tahiti
Image Source: Flickr user Mayumi Ishikawa
Tahiti is trending up 20 percent this Spring, with travelers jetting across the Pacific to the azure waters and white sand beaches of this remote Polynesian paradise. Spring travelers will experience the end of the Southern Hemisphere's Summer and early Fall that typically have cheaper hotel prices, smaller crowds, and lush landscapes. Travelers can hike to the top of Fautaua Waterfall, a 400-foot freefall with verdant views and untapped natural beauty, or take a trip to the Municipal Market in Papeete (up 25 percent) and scour through the vast array of fresh produce, meat, flowers, and locally made crafts.