How to Spend Your Tax Refund on Travel

A strong U.S. dollar means tax refunds let you travel farther.

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••• Giants' Causeway, Ireland. Getty Images/Joe Daniel Price

According to a Nielsen Poll commissioned by tax preparers H&R Block, many U.S. taxpayers would like to spend their refunds on travel. Travel Leaders’ expert travel agents have offered up some suggestions for these would-be travelers on how to best spend their refunds on travel.

“While financial experts say not overpaying your taxes is best, many American still look forward to receiving a healthy tax refund.

For those individuals receiving a refund, it’s no surprise that many wish to spend that money on a relaxing vacation – after paying Uncle Sam all year, they’ve earned it,” said Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group (TLFG), home to Travel Leaders Associates. “With the strong exchange rate for the U.S. dollar against many other currencies in the world, the average amount of a refund check can cover the costs of a rather spectacular vacation compared to five years ago.”

On average, this year, taxpayers are receiving approximately $3,000 back, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Here are five travel packages that travel agents have suggested that cost approximately $3,000.

Ireland

For less than $2,200 per couple, taxpayers can head to Ireland for six days, including airfare. Americans have already ranked the country as among their “dream destinations” and, for those traveling from Florida in April, prices even drop as low as $1,100 per person.

“Some roundtrip flights to Ireland right now are under $700 per person. And you can book one of CIE Tours for six nights in Ireland with a rental car at $392 per person,” said Lindsay Hardy, co-owner of the Travel Leaders location in Palm Coast, Florida. “Ireland has been rated as one of the friendliest destinations in the world.

Make sure to enjoy your free pint of Guinness at the Gravity Bar, with 360-degree views of Dublin.”

Portugal

Americans are raving about travel to Portugal and visitors can use their tax refund and enjoy 13 days of traveling Spain and Portugal on a tour.

“For about $3,000, you can discover the best of two wonderful countries for nearly two weeks. What makes this package especially nice is it includes air and hotel,” said Rey Alton of Travel Leaders in Houston, Texas, who recently booked this trip for a client. “Since this is a fully escorted tour, it would normally cost a lot more for a single traveler, but our client opted to share the experience with another solo traveler.” The trip departs on July 18, 2016.

Caribbean Cruise

A family of four can take a Caribbean cruise for just $3,000. And with certain promotions, even more amenities can be included in the price such as specialty dining, shore excursions or free Wi-Fi – hard to come by at sea.

“A cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Escape would be an amazing vacation, with stops in Nassau, Bahamas, and St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands,” said travel agent Karen Malone, of the Travel Leaders location in Woodbury, Minnesota. “You could book a Spa Balcony for $2,800 for two passengers or you can book your family of four in an ocean view cabin, which would be $3,014, using the kids-sail-free promotion.

The savings for a family of four would be even greater in an inside cabin for $2,374.”

Thailand

April is the perfect time to visit Thailand. The Songkran Festival takes place, which is Thailand’s New Year celebration (beware the water gun fight). And roundtrip tickets to Bangkok are a steal at just $600.

Travel Leaders travel agent Wally Jones said, “You can score roundtrip tickets to Bangkok out of LAX for about $600.”

Hotel prices are approximately $150 per night, and for that much, taxpayers can bring their significant others and still stay under budget.

Mexico

Head to the Riviera Maya, Mexico, where tax refunds can be stretched all along the white-sand beaches.

“At less than $1,500 per person, the Riviera Maya is a great destination to get the best bang for your buck for couples, especially with all-inclusive options.

I love the Riviera Maya for its beautiful stretches of white sand beaches, sprawling jungles, and the feeling of seclusion,” said travel agent Brian Sanchez in the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, the location of Travel Leaders. “The resorts are grand complexes with unlimited activities and entertainment, plus they pay careful attention to details and offer personalized service. Besides the resorts themselves, the Riviera Maya is home to vast options for tours and excursions. You can visit Ancient Mayan ruins like Tulum and Chichen Itza, zip line, snorkel and scuba dive in some of the most beautiful reef systems in the world.”