Spend your Tax Refund on Travel

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

holiday vacationIf you are looking for the perfect way to spend your tax refund spend the money on travel and now have more options without breaking the budget.

With the U.S. dollar going from strong to stronger in 2015, there were plenty of cities amongst the most popular destinations for U.S. travelers. According to the latest® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®), average rates paid for 5-star and 4-star hotel accommodation fell substantially during the year - meaning luxury was available for less.

“More consumers are spending their tax refund on experiences versus tangible items,” said Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert for “By filing your taxes with H&R Block, you have access to additional discounts on H&R Block cites the average return is $2,800 in the U.S. so we want to help Americans stretch their dollar even further by helping them plan a more affordable summer getaway.”

Top 10 destinations with the best-value 5-star hotels per night for U.S. travelers in 2015

City Country 2015 Price
Panama City Panama $177
Bangkok Thailand $178
Istanbul Turkey $179
Berlin Germany $189
Athens Greece $201
Frankfurt Germany $205
Beijing China $211
Phuket Thailand $224
San Antonio, TX U.S.A. $228
Melbourne Australia $234


Less than $150 a night? There were 19 domestic and international cities with 4-star averages of less than $150 a night in 2015. Bangkok registered the best 4-star average of $93, with Istanbul at $110 and Panama City at $119. Las Vegas came in first for the U.S. at $134 a night.


The star rating that was purchased by U.S. travelers with $150 a night or less on average in 30 popular destinations in 2015


City Country $150
Athens Greece 4
Bali Indonesia 4
Bangkok Thailand 4
Beijing China 4
Berlin Germany 4
Bogota Colombia 4
Buenos Aires Argentina 4
Frankfurt Germany 4
Istanbul Turkey 4
Las Vegas, NV U.S.A. 4
Madrid Spain 4
Panama City Panama 4
Phuket Thailand 4

Don’t want to break the budget? Four Asian destinations had the lowest 3-star rates, ranging from Bangkok at $46 to Beijing at $76, and overall 16 cities had averages under $100 a night. The best value U.S. city was part of this group as Las Vegas recorded an average of $91. For a cheaper trip in Latin America, Buenos Aires came out as the best 2-star rate at $36 while, in Europe, Istanbul earned this distinction at $49. In the U.S, Orlando won the title with $77 a night.

Where prices paid per night by U.S. travelers at top-end hotels fell the most between 2015 and 2014


City Country Star Rating 2015 2014 % Change
Rio de Janeiro Brazil 4 $186 $275 -32%
Rio de Janeiro Brazil 5 $277 $399 -31%
Sao Paulo Brazil 4 $136 $188 -28%
Sao Paulo Brazil 5 $263 $341 -23%
Istanbul Turkey 4 $110 $138 -20%
Venice Italy 5 $438 $533 -18%
Paris France 4 $236 $286 -17%
Seoul South Korea 4 $128 $155 -17%
Acapulco Mexico 4 $156 $189 -17%
Bogota Colombia 4 $126 $151 -16%

*Average prices paid per night include taxes and fees. All prices are in US dollars.

Check out where to spend your tax return:

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