By Aimee Heckel
Tax time is not always synonymous with party time. But for the 54 percent of Americans who get a tax refund, it is reason to celebrate.
Still, according to Bankrate.com, only 7 percent of people who get tax returns plan on doing something fun with the money, like using it for a vacation. Part of that reason: about a quarter of the people say they owe money.
But what about the rest — the people who don’t owe money and are still not planning on using the money for pleasure? Instead of slowly spending your tax return money on groceries and gas, or blowing it all on clothes that are going to be out of style in three months, consider planning a special getaway with lifelong memories.
The IRS reports the average tax refund in 2012 was almost $3,000. So here are some of our favorite vacations that cost less than three G’s.
1. Cancun, Mexico. Let’s face it, you probably don’t want to travel alone. This is an all-inclusive deal that will tally up just under $3,000 for both of you. Apple Vacations currently has a special for five nights at the Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun for only $1,330 per person between April 5 and 26. Because it’s all-inclusive, you won’t need to set aside extra cash for food and drinks.
Save even more money by using a coupon code from ShopAtHome.com. Check the Apple Vacations deals online by clicking here.
2. Waikiki, Hawaii. Did your tax return come in a little low this year? Or maybe you want to stash half in savings? Just Vacations Incorporated is offering a great deal for four nights at the Hilton Hotels and Resorts in Hawaii, starting at only $1,094 for two. Bonus: This deal includes a Dollar compact car.
3. Europe. Right now is a great time to travel to Europe, because major airlines and hotels are offering discounts for European getaways. Expedia.com is currently showing flights from New York to Berlin via Airberlin starting at $775 per person.
Tip: Save even more by booking through ShopAtHome.com, where you can get up to 9.5 percent cash back on your Expedia.com purchases. This is a huge percentage back, up from 7.5 percent.
4. Thailand. This has to be one of our favorite deals right now. Expedia.com and Groupon Getaways are offering 57 percent off vacations to Thailand. That turns into $749 for a five-night stay in a sea-view apartment in Koh Samui (value $1,730). Book through ShopAtHome.com and you get up to 9.5 percent cash back, or $71. Book two tickets and you can save more than $142. It’s almost like a mini tax refund — that you don’t have to pay anyone to prepare for you.
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