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4 Vacation Destinations by Tax Return Payout

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It's already tax season in the US, and that means that many of us are preparing (or maybe just hoping) for a good payout once the dust settles. This is the time of years that thousands of Americans splurge on an impulse buy that they wouldn’t normally have the money for. For many, this means planning a much-needed vacation for later in the year. What kind of vacation you take will then be determined by how big your refund is. To help you with some ideas for your next tax return retreat, we’ve got some destinations that are perfect for each level of payout. Here are four vacation ideas based on the size of your tax return.

$300 Miami Beach Vacation

Bird's eye view of a pristine beach in Miami

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Keeping a vacation under $300 might seem like a tall order, but you just have to make sure your destination has enough free or cheap activities so that you only have to worry about transportation and lodging. This is why a beach vacation is the perfect fit if you’ve only got a few hundred dollars to spend. While a luxury, beachfront hotel might cost a pretty penny, hotels further from the beach tend to be a lot cheaper. If you can deal with a 20-minute bus ride to get to the beach, then you should be able to find a cheap enough hotel that you can spend a couple nights in town without going over budget. Remember that the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday and Wednesday, and you can usually get cheaper flights by flying first thing in the morning or late at night. With a dirt-cheap flight ticket in hand and a downtown hotel picked out, your Miami beach vacation under $300 is ready to go.

$500 Caribbean Cruise

The view of the ocean from the side of a cruise ship

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While it is true that cruise prices are on the rise in 2024, there are still deals to be had. Caribbean cruises can often be found for under $300 per person, if you are willing to take a cruise that may only be visiting one or two islands. Realistically, the extravagance of ships from cruise lines like Carnival or Disney should be enough to keep your budget vacation jam packed with fun in the sun. What really makes this affordable is that everything you need is covered in the price of the ticket. Get a train to port if you can, skip the specialty restaurants and amenities, and you’ll be able to take an awesome Caribbean vacation for the price of transportation to port and the ticket of your cruise. No risk of nickel and diming your way to the poor house with this plan!

$1000 Vegas Spree

The vibrant Las Vegas skyline at night

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It is technically possible to take a trip to the Vegas strip for less then $1000, but you wouldn’t really be able to enjoy all that the extravagant and overblown city has to offer. From the jaw-dropping headline shows in over-the-top venues, to the iconic casinos that lure people in late into the night, there are far too many activities here that require you to open your wallet. Even after covering your flights and hotel, you will want to make sure you have several hundred dollars to spend without worry in order to not feel like you are missing out on the true Vegas experience. But if you do end up blowing all your cash at the casino, there’s always the infamous Fremont Street, which often has live entertainment and other activities to enjoy!

$2000 Europe River Cruise

A river cruise saioling past the Eiffel Tower

(Image provided by Adobe Stock)

If you are one of the lucky ones who is expecting an overblown tax return this year, then maybe it’s time to book a flight across the pond for an illuminating trip through the European countryside. A river cruise is a great option for this for the same reason as a Caribbean cruise. You will only really have to worry about the price of the plane ticket and the price of the cruise ticket. You can often find flights to Europe for around $600 to $800, allowing you to take a cruise with over a $1000 price tag. Even better, you can often get better deals by finding a package that includes flights with the cruise ticket, allowing you to take your dream vacation across Europe for one out-the-door price. There are also plenty of other tours and packages in across Europe that you could do instead of a cruise, but nothing says “classy” quite like a prestigious voyage along the historic banks of Europe!

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