Couple on a road trip.

Best Ways to Spend Your Tax Return that Involve Travel

18 July 2017
Read Time: 5.9 mins

When you’re stuck in the humdrum of everyday life – commuting here and there to tick off the long list of work and family commitments – a holiday can easily be dusted off as a “one day” kind of ‘indulgence’. Reality is: you’re only ever one decision away from that oh-so-welcome change of scenery.

Science has proven that experiences make us happier than items. What better time than now to embrace the chance to recharge and see the world?

Get your tax return out of the way and once pay day comes, consider these holiday ideas for a well-timed escape that won’t leave you feeling guilty for dipping into the savings account.

This could be your happiest tax season yet!

Indulge in Sun, Sand and Cocktails

If cocktails, fancy resorts and sun-kissed shores make your shoulders slump at the mere thought, this could be just the kind of mid-year refresher your body (and mind) needs. Thankfully, there’s plenty of that to be found on Australia’s doorstep.

Switch over to 'island time'.

Bali, Fiji and Vanuatu promise beautiful beaches, pockets of lush tropical scenery, luxurious hotels and many authentic local experiences for a healthy dose of culture too. They’re also all accessible and affordable, even if just for a week-long escape.

You’ll be clocked off and loving life on 'island time' before you know it.

Disconnect to Recharge your Batteries

Sometimes what you really need is not so much a holiday, but the chance to truly disconnect from the modern demands and fast pace of what’s become our everyday life. Cue: the wellness getaway.

Disconnect and recharge with pampering, healthy food and beautiful views.

Escape civilisation at a dedicated health and wellness property such as Gwinganna Health Retreat, nestled in the beautiful and lush Gold Coast Hinterland, or Gaia Retreat and Spa, inland from Byron Bay.

Both offer a variety of packages and programs, whether you’re looking to find peace and pampering or embark on a detox program complete with yoga and more. Expect delicious, clean food, stunning views and an all-round relaxing experience sure to charge the batteries.

Ten Days to Really Take You Away

If you have 10 days up your sleeve, you could escape long enough to feel a whole world away without having to be gone for that long at all. Asia – just next door – is a top spot for a double-dip holiday sans any major jetlag.

Singapore skyline. Double up a stop in Singapore with another Asian destination.

You could easily do one of the big Asian metropolises – like Bangkok, Singapore or Tokyo – for some shopping, museum-hopping, famous sights and sky-high panoramas at ritzy hotels and rooftop bars, before a quick detour to a smaller spot for some beach time or cultural immersion.

Bangkok goes perfectly with a beach break in Phuket; Tokyo is offset by the lush green expanses of Sapporo in Japan; historic Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City make the perfect pair in Vietnam. On top of that, both Singapore and Hong Kong flaunt easy connections to so many wonderful places across Asia.

Enjoy the Journey on an All-American Road Trip

With so many affordable flights to Los Angeles now – the gateway to the USA – you could easily tick off some major American highlights in 12 days or more. Fly into LA for a taste of the Hollywood hype before embarking on a road trip north to San Francisco, via a few Californian wine regions and stunning coastal hubs along the way.

Road trip in USA. See a bit of the USA and enjoy the ride.

You could also steer inland to Las Vegas to finally glimpse those flashing neon lights and tick off a few famous shows – plus the Grand Canyon nearby. Got kids? Just be sure to make the trip to Disneyland to keep them happy first.

Apart from putting any frequent flyer points towards flights, your Frequent Flyer Program may also enable you to put points towards car hire so you can enjoy a really smooth ride.

Got Annual Leave to Burn?

Been working so hard that you’ve accumulated a hefty bank of annual leave without even realising it? Burn through some well-earned keep on the kind of holiday everyone dreams about – the kind that lasts for weeks.

A river cruise in Paris. A river cruise is an iconic and enjoyable way to see Europe.

Europe deserves this much time – both because there’s so much to see and because you need to make that long-haul flight worthwhile. A winding European river cruise, a foodie tour through Italy and Spain or an island-hopping sojourn through the Greek Islands might just do the trick.

And then you could always throw in a Middle Eastern-infused stopover in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

You’ll come back to work a new person!

Don’t Want to Leave the Country?

There’s no need to wait until grey hairs sprout to start ticking off the Aussie bucket list stops. Consider making that trip to red and dusty Uluru, diving in to the Great Barrier Reef or taking on the Great Ocean Road drive for an Australian-themed holiday you’ll never forget.

Sunrise at Kings Canyon. Get a taste of Central Australia for an iconic Aussie escape.

Our own backyard is brimming with lush escapes, azure blue coastal playgrounds and once-in-a-lifetime desert encounters that you really do have to see 'one day'. Why not start now?

Zip Away for a Quick Culinary Escape

If a velvety drop of red or a refreshingly zingy mouthful of white sounds like your kind of escape, why not zip out of town for a quick culinary taster that comes complete with luxury pampering, pristine accommodation and a cheese platter or three.

There are the obvious wine regions with their big name vineyards and a long list of restaurants to savour – like the Barossa, Hunter Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale. Here, you could even go all out to hire a private driver for a day.

Wine and cheese platter. Taste test to the max on a culinary escape in your own backyard.

But there’s also a number unsuspecting Aussie wine regions to savour and they just might be closer to home (which means more time to indulge and relax).

Consider the culinary stakes of Orange (NSW), Kangaroo Island (SA), Pemberton (WA), the Granite Belt (QLD) and the fruitful vineyards flourishing just outside of Canberra for a taste of emerging Australian wine that’s equally as refined and comes with an authentic local air.

If you have a little longer, you could even cross the Tasman to New Zealand to be tempted by their many renowned, award-winning wine-producing regions.

A Long Weekend Can Do Wonders

Whether it’s a cosy cabin in the woods, a fancy golf resort stay, a beachy escape or simply a quick trip to see nearby relatives, sometimes all you need is a long weekend to wind down, reconnect and refocus for what lies ahead.

Tijana Jaksic

Tijana loves new adventures as much as she enjoys reliving old ones. Favourite stops on the map so far include Greece (beyond the islands!), Mexico City (hello ancient ruins and wonderful art), Poland (for the history and off-the-beaten-track finds), Berlin (so artsy and chilled) and Bosnia (ahhh the natural beauty). Choosing is always hard though - that's why her list is so long and she spends her 'real life' time writing about travel until she's out there on the road again.



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