Tax Refund = Vacation! 7 Amazing Trips That You Can Afford Right Now
The average American will get almost $3,000 as a tax refund. Sounds like it's time for a vacation! Here are seven great trips to spend your rebate on—and don't worry, with prices starting at $818 per couple, you'll still have some money left over.
The audit: Airfare (from $1,226)* + 3 nights hotel (from $450) + meals ($250) + bike rental ($16 for two) = $1,942 per couple
*Based on round-trip airfare from Washington, D.C. to Amsterdam for two people.
Zion National Park: $2,040 for a family of four
Utah's Zion National Park has stunning painted landscapes and vertical topographies, and spring means cooler temperatures and smaller crowds than the peak summer season.
Tame hikes like the Watchman Trail—with panoramic views of the namesake spire—are an easy way to get your bearings (and perfect for kids). More adventuresome trails will have you wading across canyon rivers, exploring petrified forests, and passing through epic freestanding arches. Pack your constellation guide: On clear nights, stargazing is among the best in the continental U.S. Bring a picnic lunch, but for dinner make your way to Whiptail Grill, a popular Southwestern joint housed in converted fueling station (445 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-0283, enchiladas from $12). Where to Stay: Driftwood Lodge is located right outside of Zion Park (they offer a free shuttle) and has family-sized rooms, a pool, and unobstructed views of the surrounding canyons (1515 Zion Park Blvd., 888/801-8811, driftwoodlodge.net, from $219 per night for four people).
The audit: Airfare (from $708)* + 3 nights hotel (from $657) + park admission ($25 per vehicle for a seven-day pass) + meals ($500) + transportation ($150 for a three-day car rental) = $2,040 per family of four
*Based on round-trip airfare from Seattle to Las Vegas for four people.
Iceland: $2,210 per couple
Book a trip for the diverse and happening arts scene in Reykjavik as well as the many natural wonders. And even as early as April, the average low temperature rarely dips below the freezing mark.
Reykjavik is a small city (about a quarter the size of Los Angeles) but packs a lot of culture into one tiny area, including art museums and galleries with extensive catalogues of works by Icelandic artists. The waterfront Hafnarhus, part of the Reykjavik Art Museum, is home to a large collection of works by postmodernist painter Erró (17 Tryggvagata, 011-354/590-1200, artmuseum.is). Iceland's main draw, though, is the natural beauty further afield. Reykjavik Excursions' Golden Circle tour hits some key highlights: Gullfoss Waterfall, Þinghvellir National Park (site of the Atlantic rift), and Geysir hot springs (011-354/580-5400, re.is). Speaking of hot springs, the country's most famous attraction is the Blue Lagoon, one of the best hot springs in the world (011-354/420-8800, bluelagoon.com, entrance fee $39 per person) Where to Stay: Reykjavik's Hotel Bjork is right in the city center and has 55 minimalist rooms. The included breakfast is a bonus, as are stunning views of the mountains and harbor (22-24 Brautarholt, 011-354/511-3777, bjorkhotelreykjavik.com, from $135).
The audit: Airfare (from $1,210)* + 3 nights hotel (from $405) + museum admission ($17 for two) + excursion ($150 for two) + hot springs ($78 for two) + meals ($250) + transportation ($100 for cabs) = $2,210 per couple
*Based on round-trip airfare from Boston to Reykjavik for two people.
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