Top 5 Travel Destinations to Match Your Tax Refund

Patrick Surry - Jan. 31, 2016

Summary

  • Between $34 and $42 billion of tax refund dollars will be spent on travel this year
  • Hopper searched billions of trips to find the most popular US, Caribbean, and European destinations broken out by price ranges to match your refund
  • Florida and New York are the most popular and most affordable domestic destinations with prices under $300, while Hawaii is the most popular destination to splurge on with prices over $600
  • Puerto Rico is the most popular and most affordable Caribbean destination with prices under $400, though even the most expensive popular places were under $600
  • The most popular affordable European destinations cost around $800, while London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, and Athens are the most popular with prices over $1000
  • To investigate the price from your specific origin (rather than all US origins),  you can use Hopper’s interactive price map:

Use of Tax Refund for Travel

According to NRF’s Tax Returns Survey, 12.8% of people use their tax refund on travel (1).  According to the IRS, last year about 100 million refunds were issues and the average amount per refund was $2,651 (2), which leads to an estimated $34 billion spent on travel.  This year, the average refund is about $3000 and 148 million tax returns and about 110 million refunds are expected (3), which will result in about $42 billion spent on travel as a result of tax returns.

The Hopper research team investigated what destinations people are shopping for right now and listed the most popular places to get away.  We grouped the destinations by location (US, Caribbean, Europe) and price so that everyone can find a great place to go within their budget.

US Destinations

Table 1 shows the most popular US destinations broken out by prices. Florida and New York are the most popular and most affordable destinations, while Hawaii is the most popular destination to splurge on. Because the prices shown are based on trips from all US origins, the prices may vary for a specific market.  To investigate the price from your origin you can use Hopper’s interactive price map. 1.png

Table 1: Top US destinations by price

Caribbean Destinations

Table 2 shows the most popular Caribbean destinations from the US broken out by prices. Overall prices to the Caribbean are slightly more expensive than for travel to the US and no prices under $300 were found. Puerto Rico is the most popular and most affordable destination, while The Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Turks and Caicos, and Barbados are the most popular destination to splurge on. Because the prices shown are based on trips from all US origins, the prices may vary for a specific market.  To investigate the price from your origin you can use Hopper’s interactive price map. Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 1.47.22 PM.png

Figure 2: Top Caribbean destinations by price

European Destinations

Table 3 shows the most popular European destinations from the US broken out by prices. Flying to Europe from the US is significantly more expensive than visiting either the US or the Caribbean and no prices below $700 were found. Dublin, Milano, Oslo, Paris, and Ponta Delgada were the most popular and most affordable destination, while London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, and Athens are the most popular destination to splurge on. Because the prices shown are based on trips from all US origins, the prices may vary for a specific market.  To investigate the price from your origin you can use Hopper’s interactive price map. 3.png

Figure 3: Top European destinations by price

1. http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=1773

2. http://www.irs.gov/uac/More-Taxpayers-Efile-from-Home-in-2013

3. http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/06/pf/taxes/tax-refund/

Data and Methodology

The data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution Service (GDS) data sources which includes about 10 million queries and 1 billion trips per day.  Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases, and is calibrated across all GDS sources for each market.

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