While most of people in the Northern Hemisphere (read that as American), return to the grim reality of getting back to school and back to work following the summer holidays, wealthy jet-setters with nothing but time and money on their hands will be travelling to Europe this fall.

As the throngs of tourists thin out in cities across Europe after the final days of August, affluent American holidaymakers will fill the vacuum, according to international luxury travel network Virtuoso, which released a list of the top 10 most popular destinations within their network.

Dominating the list are countries in Europe, with Italy leading the pack.

Predictably, warm-weather destinations like South Africa, Mexico and Australia also cracked the top 10 list.

The Netherlands and Germany are also proving popular among the river-cruising crowd, who are looking ahead at the Christmas markets.

Here are the top 10 most popular fall and holiday travel destinations for American travellers based on bookings:

1. Italy

2. United Kingdom

3. France

4. South Africa

5. Spain

6. Mexico

7. Australia

8. The Netherlands

9. Germany

10. China

– AFP Relaxnews