Many Americans look forward every year to spending their tax refund on a much-needed vacation. This year IRS data show the average refund is up to $3,068, which is a slight increase from the previous year. This is a good opportunity for travelers to boost their 2019 vacation plans, according to Travel Leaders Network, North America’s largest retail travel agency brand.
“We’re finding that travelers are looking for more in-depth and meaningful experiences when they travel, which often involves more customization or personalization to their itineraries,” said Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network. “Whether it is a weekend getaway, a trip overseas or across the country, consumers can use their tax refunds to enhance their vacation with experiences such as private dining, upgraded hotel accommodations or a private guided tour or personal car and driver.”
Here are several tips from Travel Leaders Network on how consumers can use their tax refund to boost a vacation experience, from added amenities to immersive experiences.
Get VIP Treatment at Popular Theme Parks. Experience the Private VIP Tours at Walt Disney World® Resort or the VIP Experience at Universal Orlando Resort™ ©. These options give travelers a more in-depth experience. For example, a Universal Express™ Pass in Orlando and the Universal Express Unlimited™ allow guests to skip certain lines. A VIP Experience at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood™ © gives guests an exclusive, multi-hour guided behind-the-scenes tour, free valet parking, free breakfast and lunch in a private dining venue and other benefits. At Walt Disney World Resort parks, VIP visitors can experience a multi-park adventure where they receive door-to-door service in a private vehicle and can watch shows and parades from special reserved viewing areas alongside a VIP Tour Guide. Ask your travel advisor about staying at a resort on-property to get even more perks.
Experience Fine Cuisine. A recent Travel Leaders Group Travel Trends Survey found that splurging on special meals and incorporating local culinary and beverage experiences into a journey ranked high on consumers’ list of preferences. A memorable way to spend a tax refund while enjoying fine cuisine is to hire a private chef for a night during the journey or take a cooking class offered at the hotel or in the local town. An Irish Foodie Tour, bookable through a Travel Leaders Network advisor, includes a tea tour through Dublin, whiskey tasting at a Dublin distillery, a cooking class and friendly cook-off in Dublin’s premier cooking school, cheese tasting at an artisanal goat farm, seaweed foraging and a whiskey and chocolate pairing dinner.
Enhanced Cruise Experiences. Those looking to take a cruise may want to consider a Distinctive Voyages experience. Available only through a Travel Leaders Network agency, travelers will receive the services of a Distinctive Voyages Host, an invitation to a private welcome reception and a private shore event. Distinctive Voyages are offered on over 300 departures across 10 cruise lines each year.
Private Car and Driver. A chauffeur experience allows anyone to feel as if they are traveling in the lap of luxury, especially when exploring ashore during a cruise. For the discerning traveler, The Distinctive Voyages Hosted Cruise Collection, offered in conjunction with six luxury cruise lines, features the additional option of a private car and driver with a choice of either a pre-arranged tour or a guest-determined itinerary.