Americans, how do you plan on spending your tax rebate? Will you save it? Will you buy something you've been eyeing for a while? Will you take a trip?
There are a lot of travel companies (and entire countries) who would love to have that moola. Travel from the U.S. to Europe is dropping off (and no wonder, with the exchange rates at nearly 2 to 1. Another wonderful legacy from George W.)
The key, if you want to use your rebate on travel, is find a good deal. How do you do that?
Well, if you want to go to the Carribean, may I suggest "Cheapcarribean.com." I've seen a LOT of great deals from this Website coming through my email box. Aruba for less than $600 for 5 days? That's a deal for an island that is constantly sunny and warm with lots of activities.
If you want to go to Europe, you'll still probably spend more than your rebate check, but if you take a look at countries that aren't yet on the Euro (like Croatia) you can stretch your money a bit farther. If you want to tour the traditional European cities - like Paris - plan to either go for less time or spend a few days in Paris, and then head out into the countryside where things aren't as expensive.
Another trend I've noticed in the deal emails I get (oh yes, I forgot, sign up for these little gems of info) is that Americans are hedging against even worse exchange rates by buying packages before they go. That way, the hotel price, for example, is set at the current rate. Of course the optimist in me keeps hoping that things will look up for the U.S. Dollar, but I don't know why.
Here's something else to consider - as a matter of fact - it's the route I'll be taking for the short-term. You don't have to go to another country to go on vacation. You don't have to go to another state. Take a look in your own backyard. Find a local B&B, one in a closeby city that you've always wanted to explore. Or maybe there's a hotel in your hometown that you've always wanted to stay in. Small expeditions can give you as much of a break as the big ones can. But always keep saving for the big ones.