Are you getting an income tax refund? The Internal Revenue Service says the average refund will be about $3,000 this year, a nice chunk of change to put down on a deferred or impromptu vacation. Here are my picks for making the most of whatever Uncle Sam gives you, even if it's nothing at all.
Big refund: Go far, without spending a lot. Friendly Planet Travel [(800) 555-5765] offers a seven-day trip to Tokyo starting at $1,599 per person and a 14-day trip to Thailand starting at $1,919 per person. Prices include round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, hotels, some meals, guided tours and more. At these prices, you might have leftover spending money too.
Small refund: Shop around for hotels that may be handing out tax-themed specials. Some examples:
--Travaasa [(855) 868-7282] hotel spas in Austin and Hana, Hawaii, offer tax relief in the form of a half-hour personal training session or a yoga-nutrition session for $15 each (usually $35 to $65 each). Good for guests who stay two or more nights in April.
--Shell Vacations Hospitality [(866) 729-7182] starts a Put the F-U-N Back in Refund sale on hotel rooms Tuesday that's good for stays through June 16 in Hawaii, Arizona, California and other destinations. Sale prices start at $118 a night at Inn at the Park in San Diego and $178 a night at Vino Bello Resort in Napa, Calif. (Prices exclude tax.) The offer ends Friday.