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It’s that season again. Yes, tax time. Is Uncle Sam sending you a check this year? If you’re getting money back, don’t sock it away for a rainy day. Start planning your next adventure now. You can argue whether this type of thinking is fiscally responsible…and it’s probably not. But the many memories from all the trips you take make the sometimes irresponsible spending seem very worthwhile. Whatever your taste, I’ve rounded up a few ideas for you—depending on the size of your tax return check. And for those not getting a check this year, consider this daydream material.
Praised by its loyal visitors, this little known Belize private island is located on the edge of the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, seventeen miles east of Placencia Village. The island sits on the protected side of the Meso-American reef; the second longest in the world. Hatchet Caye is known for its reasonable rates, lush natural environment and wonderful seafood. You can forget about your life at home and embrace the island lifestyle. The private island sits very close to the Great Barrier Reef, so its great for snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and diving. Or you could just fool around on the beach and enjoy a beer and fish tacos. The cabanas are ocean-front and have outstanding views. They are roomy, clean, comfy and best of all they don’t have great cell service. So unwind and enjoy this precious tropical paradise. And if you get a really big check, you can rent the whole island!!
Budget note: Keep an eye on coupons from Living Social or Groupon, they sometimes run deals on Hatchet Caye that makes this gem very affordable.
You know who you are…you can’t wait to take your first trip to Paris! Don’t wait, grab that check and go. What kind of mood are you in? Schedule an epic girlfriend getaway or romantic trip where you can spend the week shopping, sipping wine, enjoying incredible French cuisine, seeing the sights and blowing hours sitting at a corner cafe. Be sure to hit Marais and St. Germain, the romantic stairway streets of Montmartre and the sweeping gorgeousness that stretches west from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. For a real treat, check out one of my favorite museums while you’re visiting. The bigger your check, the more days you can stay and indulge yourself in the many unique layers of Paris.
Budget note: There are numerous deals that could make this dream trip fit your budget. Check out Budget Travel for some great ideas.
Looking for a destination that has it all? Machu Picchu could very well be the answer. The ruins of one of the most impressive creations of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu is rich in history, natural beauty and luxury options. One of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, it has everything for the adventurer, yet offers some really unique travel options, such as arriving via the Hiram Bingham luxury train service. The setting offers some of the most breath-taking scenery anywhere. You’ll want to explore the sites in the morning and take an afternoon break at your choice of accommodations. Nearby are several comfortable, luxury hotels such as the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Hotel (which is next to the ruins) and in nearby Lima, the Miraflores Park Hotel. While you’re visiting, be sure to visit the Secret Valley and see the massive ruins of Huchuy Cuzco, take a good long hike through the area and pick up some local pottery in the town of Urubamba.
Budget note: If you want to relax and let someone else do the planning, check out a package tours that are widely available, such as these from Lonely Planet. Tours can sometimes be less hassle and more cost effective. Price several tours and do your research so you know if you’re getting a good deal.
How are you spending any “found” money this year? Are you planning to travel?