Amazing trips you can take with your tax refund

The average tax refund for 2017 is around $3,000. While you might be tempted to spend your surplus on the latest gadget, the truth is that such purchases go out of fashion fast. Instead, consider splurging on something you’ll have for the rest of your life: the memory of an incredible vacation.

From the beautiful beaches of Greece to the cafes of Paris, here are some adventure-filled and affordable trips you can take with your tax refund this year.

HIT THE BEACH IN GREECE

Greece has a well-deserved reputation as a budget beach destination. Five nights in a four-star hotel will cost you as little as $266 on Santorini, a crescent-shaped island in the Aegean Sea boasting rugged seaside cliffs, sweeping black sand beaches and towering mountains. You can book a round-trip flight from New York to Santorini for just $728. This affordable trip leaves you plenty of leftover dough to sip drinks and sample the local cuisine in seaside villages like Oia and Fira.

TAKE A CRUISE TO ALASKA

Alaska comes to life as the weather warms up, making this the perfect time of year to make a sea voyage to our northernmost state. An eight-day cruise starts at $929 per person, departing from Seattle ($245 round-trip airfare from New York) and making stops in beautiful Alaskan ports like Juneau and Skagway before returning to Seattle.

The highlight of the journey is Glacier Bay, where you can see some of North America’s most spectacular tidewater glaciers, along with wildlife like brown bears and sea lions. You might want to book in advance to get the best deals. But no need to rush — the weather in Alaska stays pleasant well into September.

LIVE IT UP IN LAS VEGAS

The last thing you want to do with your tax refund is blow it all at the roulette table. But with cheap airfare and reasonable hotel rates, you’ll be able to spare a few bucks from your tax refund for a little (responsible) gambling in Las Vegas. Plus, there’s a lot more to Sin City than casinos.

Las Vegas offers everything from golf courses and spas to concerts and exciting nightlife. And thanks to the comfortable weather and relatively light tourist crowds, spring is the perfect time to visit. Expect to pay $644 for a week in a four-star hotel and $335 for round-trip airfare from New York.

BACKPACK ACROSS ENGLAND

The United Kingdom offers everything from historic cities and shop-lined streets to sweeping ocean views and rolling farmlands. And there’s no better way to experience it than on your own two legs.

Backpacking around the U.K. allows you to save on accommodations — hostels typically go for $20 to $30 per night or less in smaller towns — which frees up your budget for meals and activities. A flight from New York to London goes for $475 round trip, and two weeks’ lodging will cost you under $400.

SIT BY THE SEA IN TULUM, MEXICO

Less touristy than Cancun but growing fast, Tulum is the perfect affordable trip to chill along the Caribbean coast of the Riviera Maya. The town offers pristine white sand beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and plenty of bars and eateries to suit every budget. Plus, you can stay at a cozy bed and breakfast like La Chan Cabanita Tulum, which is close enough to the beach that you can see the water from your balcony.

Plan on arriving on a Monday and heading home on Friday to beat the weekend crowds, and expect to pay just $444 for your four-night stay. A round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Cancun International Airport, about an hour and a half from Tulum, costs around $256. A rental car at the airport will run you about $24 for the entire trip.

SPEND A WEEKEND IN PARIS

Paris isn’t cheap, but you can still enjoy a wide range of experiences with your tax refund. Fly out of New York on a Friday and return the following Monday for $738. With a little smart shopping, you can book a three-night hotel stay for as little as $255.

To cram as many sights and attractions as possible into your visit, consider the Paris Pass. This three-day pass costs about $163 and gives you access to more than 60 attractions and tours throughout the city, including an O Chteau wine tasting, the Louvre, Notre Dame and a day-long “hop on, hop off” bus tour.

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