So you finally filed your taxes like an adult and are suddenly burdened with an extra cache of, well, cash. According to the IRS, the average American tax refund as of February 2016 is $3,120 — more than enough money to take that vacation you've always dreamed of. Don't believe us? We've compiled 11 stunning vacation destinations and their estimated total cost per person, including average airfare, lodging and about $40 per day in spending money, for a five-day vacation that you can (and totally should) take with your tax refund.
Ireland has really been left to flounder by the European Union which can be good news for travelers looking to experience a country full of beautiful rolling hills and historic cities. Services like Airbnb will help you save a few extra dollars too, especially considering the ever sinking exchange rate of the euro.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $1,750
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Iceland is a solid midpoint between the United States and Europe. You can easily spend three or four days here without feeling like you wasted a crazy amount of hours traveling. You can get closer to nature in Reykjavik with wildlife tours and day trips, or check out the horse trails throughout the mountainous terrain.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $3,125
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An American city known for its historic buildings and incredible architecture, Charleston is a perfect romantic locale for all you DINKs out there looking for beautiful gardens and waterfront views. With reasonable accommodations for up to a week, you can even make the trip under budget with over half of your return left over.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $750
So many beaches, so little time. Try to find an all inclusive Airbnb that will grant you beach access and/or transportation to the nearest beach. You'll thank us later. Of course, because Greece has defaulted on it’s EU loans, travelers can't beat the prices as they bargain for a scarf in one of the open-air markets.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $2,000
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Austin’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” so it's a city almost anyone can enjoy. Check out the Rodeo or South by Southwest Festival in the Spring, or if you want to save your trip until the fall check out the Austin City Limits line up. As the music capital of the United States, Austin is a great place for any music lover.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $790
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Denver is perfect for the foodie. You can find unique food trucks downtown and after you gorge yourself Mount Evans is the perfect place to work it off. We recommend that you check out a CouchSurfing option in such a friendly city. It’s a great way to meet to people in addition to saving tons of hard-earned cash that could be spent on “souvenirs.”
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $650
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Speaking of foodie destinations, the warm weather and classic French colonial cuisine in NOLA is hard to pass up. Experience jazz culture anytime of year or hit up the annual Essence Music Festival in June to hear the best in R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and blues. Those tickets will run you about $130 dollars, but they are definitely worth it.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $900
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Services like Groupon are perfect for finding some killer all-inclusive resort deals. All-inclusive deals with airfare range from $489 to $900. This mostly depends on the time of year you want to travel and enjoy the sale. There’s really no other way to do the DR if you’re not on a resort considering that most beaches are private, FYI.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $950
Vegas is well known for three things: gambling, performances and non-traditional weddings. But if you ever want to take a break from the cabana, you can take a hiking tour of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for about $130. Going out on the strip during weekdays can save you a ton on cover fees too. Or you can just be a woman. Either way.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $1,000
James Willamor via Flickr
Miami adventures usually go one of two ways. Either you'll end up eating the best Cuban food you’ve ever had and exploring the beaches, or you end up befriending a club promoter and spending your nights at some EDM lounge. We're partial to food and frolicking on the beach at reasonable hours, but it’s your tax return and it’s up to you how you spend your money.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $950
Selbymay via Wikipedia
Spain, like Greece, has also defaulted on some loans, and that means cheap booze for tourists. We recommend finding a top notch hostel here — a private room will still be a lot less than any of the hotels in the city. Spring travel is recommended, but the weather can be finicky and you could end up wearing a jacket at the beach.
Est. Total Cost Per Person: $1,900