10 Experiences You Can Have for Less Than Your 2016 Tax Refund

May 6, 2016
Technically, a tax refund is money one has overpaid throughout the year – so that’s basically free money, right?  While the reasonable choice may to be re-invest the extra cash or pay down debt (21% of Canadians typically do), it’s definitely more fun to go out for dinner at the new hot spot around the corner, spend a day at the spa, or take a one-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa.

According to a 2015 survey by CIBC, 58% of Canadians got refunds that averaged about $1780. That’s enough for a pretty sweet experience, but sadly only seven percent of people actually use it to travel. Use your return for a sunny vacation, and not for rainy day.

Here are some experiences worth spending your tax refund on.

We found the following prices on May 4, 2016.

The conservative save-your-money $100 tax refund

A night in the Okanagan 

For under $100, spend a night in "Canada's Napa Valley" (Lonely Planet), with a deal that includes an overnight stay at a beachfront hotel in Osoyoos, British Columbia. Price $89

Quick Quebec City Getaway

Bike rentals for two, a trip to the aquarium and the spa can all be done during an overnight at this boutique inn in la belle province. Price: $79

Join a wine club

For under $30, you can get the first month's subscription with WineCollective, which seeks out top wines and sends them right to your door. Price $25-$30

The splurge for the $500 (or under) refund

Spend the weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake

A weekend at a historic countryside mansion is just what the taxman ordered. This two-night package includes a dinner credit and a winery tour with dates through the summer. Price: $349

Vancouver Island Kayaking

Have a once-in-a-lifetime experience with this 3-day camping and kayaking adventure spotting humpback whales, sea lions and dolphins along the way. Price: $495

The average Canadian $1780 tax refund

Cruising down the Nile

Float past Egypt's amazing historic sites with this river cruise package that includes airfare and all meals. Price: $1599

Yachting in the Caribbean

Yes, you can spend 10 days on a yacht in the Caribbean using your tax refund; this tall-ship trek feels like a private escape as it meanders through secluded ports and turquoise waters. Price: US$1299

A week with Big Ben

See world-class theatre and soak up the long history of London with this six-night trip that includes daily breakfast and a personal concierge. Price: $1675

The blow-your-budget $5000 tax refund

Check South Africa off the bucket list

For those with really big refund cheque there is the once-in-a-lifetime type of trip, like a South African adventure to see Cape Town, Victoria Falls and the Big Five. Price: $3899

Tour Sri Lanka

Explore eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in six days with this guided Sri Lanka tour. Price: $2999

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