It’s that time of the year when the tax man comes calling and we all wait in hope that we’ll end up in the black, with a nice fat refund for our trouble. Australia’s financial watchdog, ASIC, reckons the average tax return is $2,112 (yippee!) but it ran a poll and found only 5 per cent of respondents spent their return on a holiday.
We think that’s a crying shame. So let’s take a look at what $2,112 will buy you – with some spending money to spare. Go on, live a little!
Don’t want to spend it all at once? Bag yourself a cheap domestic flight and a couple of nights’ accommodation and you can have a weekend away in one of Australia’s glorious capital cities. Admire the white curves of Sydney’s famous opera house or check out the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition at Art Gallery NSW (until October 9). Sip lattes and/or cocktails in Melbourne’s laneways; browse the foodie delights at Adelaide’s Central Market; or enjoy breakfast in the sunshine in Brissie. You deserve it.
There’s a reason Bali is still so popular with Aussies, and it’s not just the cheap holiday deals (although they are pretty cheap!). No, it’s also the food, the spas, the shopping, the pumped-up clubs, the lazy pool days, the serene temples, the blissful yoga retreats, the greener than green countryside and the smiling locals that keep us coming back. And you’ll have plenty of leftover dosh to explore it all. Meet the residents of Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest, or make a splash at Kuta’s Waterbom Park. Don’t leave without trying the bebek betutu (stuffed duck) or sambal (spicy chilli sauce).
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Willing to splash a bit more cash? Asia offers many exciting three or four-night holidays that are still shy of blowing your whole return. If you’re looking for some urban hustle and bustle, look no further than Manila, capital of The Philippines. Take a food tour of Chinatown, for flavourful pork asada and lumpia; check out the 64-hectare Intramuros citadel for a dose of Spanish colonial history; or gather your thoughts in the green oasis that is Rizal Park.
Or how about Vietnam’s happening Ho Chi Minh City, with its glass skyscrapers, boutique hotels, wartime tunnels, thriving markets, ancient pagodas, and French colonial influence? China’s Hong Kong has a mix of British colonial charm and southern Chinese customs, with towering skyscrapers and frenetic streets below. Or head to Bangkok in Thailand, where you can marvel at the Grand Palace or shop up a storm at Patpong’s Night Market.
If you want to go further afield, put your tax return towards a northern hemisphere airfare (the rest is up to you). After all, it's never been a better time to travel.
Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for a current quote or to speak to a Travel Expert about putting your holiday budget to good use.