Tax season is one of the best and worst times of the year. Getting a return is like winning the lottery – a small lottery – but still money dropped right back into your bank account.
A wonderful way to use that money is to go on that international trip you’ve always wanted. It’s an often overlooked option, as international travel is known as being pretty pricy. But if you know where to look, you can easily get abroad for $2,000 or less per person. Here are some top international locales you can travel to using your tax return this year.
Mexico City, Mexico
One of the best ways to go abroad and keep it cheap is to visit a neighboring country. Currently flights to Mexico City are popping up around $400 per person round trip on Expedia.com. Hotels can go as low as $55 per night on the daily deals.
The area boasts many natural sites and ecotourism draws. There’s the National Museum of Anthropology and Palacio de Bellas Artes (a famous art museum), too. There’s even Chapultepec Castle, which is filled with royal relics.
The airfare for this art and culture destination is running around $1,000 for a round trip ticket, while hotels are averaging around $200 per night. Your best bet for finding inexpensive lodging is using options like AirBnB.com.
But while it is one of the more pricey options on the list, Florence has stunning vistas, and the city itself is perfect for roaming and taking in the food and culture. The city even calls itself an “open air museum”, perfect for getting away for several days and exploring another culture.
With Greece’s financial crisis, it has risen as a popular place to go on the cheap. Round trip airfare is currently sitting around $700 – not bad for flying halfway across the world! Meanwhile, hotels are super cheap, many going for far less than $100 per night.
Even better, you’re getting out into the seat of Western culture. There are castles, historic temples devoted to Greek gods, archeological sites like the Palaeopolis, and stunning churches to visit.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Hotels for this area run in the $100 per night range, with some deals going even lower. Meanwhile, flights can be in the $300-450 range, depending on what part of the country you are in.
Nova Scotia is a gorgeous area with tons of natural attractions. The location is a key area for activities like whale watching, food and wine tours, museums, beaches, and lighthouse tours.
Flights to this central European locale are currently around $800 per ticket round trip. Meanwhile, you can find hotels deals for as low as $100 per night.
Hamburg refers to itself as the “maritime capital of the north.” Stunning architecture sits right along waterways where you can take canoe and kayak excursions. The area is famous for its sightseeing boat trips and trade centers.
St. Lucia, Caribbean
Lower-end flights to this Caribbean escape are popping up in the $600 range. Hotels can be pricey, at up to $800 per night for spa and beach resorts, but you can find hotel deals for as low as $75 a night. This city is located on a small island just south of Puerto Rico. It’s the perfect place to get away if you want some luxurious island time in an unspoiled region.
Check out the rainforest areas for hikes, pristine beaches, and waterfalls. There’s horseback riding along the coast, and the area is known for activities like fishing, kayaking, and scuba diving.
Flights to Lima can be around $500-600 per ticket at the moment. Hotels can be found for deals as low as $43 per night, though many average around $100 per night.
Peru is a wonderful place for culture and history. It’s famous for the Inca site of Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Lima itself is a hotbed for great food, through which you can experience the culture of the area.
Hotels in Copenhagen can run around $200 per night on average on Expedia, though they can get down to around $150. Flights can be in the $600-800 range.
The city offers sightseeing tours, and is home to tons of history in the form of sculptures, castles, and palaces. There’s even a famous amusement park, Tivoli Gardens.
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
This one’s cheating, but if you want to feel like you’re traveling abroad without messing around with passports, consider visiting this U.S. territory to the east of Puerto Rico. It’s a popular vacation spot, so hotel prices can be around $500 per night, but there are more modest lodgings in the $100-200 per night range. Flights are going for around $500-600 round trip.
This is a true tropical island paradise – pristine blue waters sit along lush green backdrops and 60 percent of the land area is preserved national park, so it’s the perfect place to get out into nature.
If you’re looking to go to Asia, Cambodia has become a bit famous for the budget conscious as it’s a place where the US dollar can stretch pretty far. Flights to Cambodia can run around $1,100 at the cheapest, but for hotels, you’re looking at less than $50 per night at many places.
Located between Thailand and Vietnam, this gorgeous country boasts white sand beaches, archeological sites, and unique religious art.
Sunshine Coast, South Africa
Airfare to this area of South Africa runs around $800-1,000 at some of the lowest rates, but hotels in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa can run for $40-100 per night.
This region encompasses a good bit of the Eastern Cape coastline. Here you’ll have your beaches, as well as access to classic African wildlife watching at Addo Elephant National Park, not to mention multiple other reserves nearby.
Jamaica is a great place to go if you’re in a tropical mood. Not as mainstream or built-up as a place like Hawaii, Jamaica runs in a more economical category. Flights are currently popping up around $600 per ticket round trip, and hotels can be found in the $200 per night range, sometimes below.
Negril is on the western coast of Jamaica, and is known for its expansive beach areas. It also boasts some top entertainment with festivals, cafes, and music.
If you’d like to visit the U.K., but London seems on the expensive side, try Ireland. Airfare can run around $700 per ticket round trip, and hotels can go for around $100-200 per night.
In Dublin you can see the heart of Irish culture, like Trinity College and the National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts & History. The scenic town is full of culture, traditional Irish music, and life at its many pubs. There are also plenty of day trips you can take to see the more natural areas, like Giant’s Causeway along the scenic coast, and it’s a great destination for road trips.
*Hotel and airfare prices were found on Expedia.com for May 2017, and may be subject to change.