According to the IRS, the average tax refund in 2015 was $3,120, up 1 percent compared to 2014. If that trend continues, many people could be expecting a nice surprise this tax season. And while there are many ways to put that cash to use, investing in your happiness and well being by taking a long-awaited vacation is an idea that is sure to provide great returns. If given the opportunity, here are three destinations that you might want to scratch off your travel bucket list!
There’s a reason Orlando recently surpassed New York City as the most-visited US city, with 62 million visitors in 2014. The family-fun capital of the world has a tremendous amount of appeal for travelers of all stripes, with enough activities to keep tourists busy for days – even weeks! – at a time. Theme parks including Universal Orlando, Disney and Sea World captivate kids and adults alike, while venturing off the beaten path can be an extremely rewarding experience in its own right – with or without the kids. Events like the can’t-miss Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando are just one of many scheduled throughout 2016, making Orlando a bucket list destination any time of year.
Whether it’s the world-famous beaches, the balmy temperature, sizzling nightlife or Cuban cuisine, Miami has been delighting tourists year-round for decades. Cultural delights such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami ($16 for adults, free admission for children) stoke the imagination; while attractions like the Miami Seaquarium ($43.99 for adults, $34.99 for children) provide fun for all ages.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The shining city in the desert used to be all about one thing: gambling – and for the most part, it still is – but it has also grown to become a destination all its own. Thrill-seekers can find a winning experience on one of the many new thrill-rides that have sprung up, including Insanity, a mechanical arm that extends 64 feet beyond the Stratosphere Tower, dangling its passengers more than 900 feet above the glitz and glamour of the street ($20 adults, $12.00 for children). Nightlife in the city has never been more varied for the young-at-heart, with clubs featuring see-through glass floors and 90-foot-tall waterfalls, and there is also no shortage of things to do for the actual young-in-age, including the Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay, a 1.3 million gallon shipwreck that gives guests a near-360 degree view of sharks and other aquatic life as you travel through an acrylic tunnel ($20.00 for adults, $12.00 for children ages 4-12).