Category Archives: Travel

9 Vacation ideas that won’t break the bank

I grew up in a home where we started planning for vacation about a year or so before we planned to go. Although it would often drive me a little crazy (because I would have no idea what I’d even asked to do when we finally went), I understood the logic: Plan ahead to get the best deals.  So, here are 9 vacation ideas that won’t break your bank.

  1. Roughing it. Go on a camping trip. I don’t care that you’re from the city and afraid of bugs. Try it. It’s a good bonding experience, both the equipment and the campsite are inexpensive, and depending on where you camp, there’s the possibility of sight-seeing opportunities nearby.
  2. Go on a cruise. Lots of people think “Oh, cruises are expensive!” But, if you buy early, some of them are less than $100/person per day, which, if you think about it, is less than a hotel and food in a lot of places. There’s ton to do, it’s all you can eat, and it’s cozy and comfortable.
  3. Vegas, baby! Or NYC, or some other big city. Many people assume that going to the city is expensive, but if you are smart, you can get some great package deals.
  4. Visit people you love. My best friend and her husband live in Washington DC. Do you have anyone in your life that lives somewhere with a lot of cool stuff nearby? Then why not kill two birds with one stone- visit and stay with them, and check out some awesome sights.
  5. Go on a “stay-cation” Most people don’t realize the neat activities and historical events that are in their own area. For example, I live in the southern part of Pennsylvania and Gettysburg is about 45 minutes from me. There are also countless harvest festivals and such in this area of the United States. Although a lot of people think these kinds of events are corny, they’re a fun and different way to “vacation” without busting your wallet.
  6. Revolve your vacation around a certain activity or historical event. Ever want to go water rafting? Is your family really into a particular sport? Plan a vacation around that. If you like baseball, go to Cooperstown, NY and go to the Baseball Hall of Fame, then catch a minor league game or, if you want to travel a  little further, a major league game. There are also a lot of ways to get special packages for a good price for these kinds of vacations.
  7. Get a timeshare. Timeshares are usually in a network, where you have “rented” one week out of the year. You can usually pick where you decide to use that week at. They cost an annual fee, but then it’s always there whenever you decide to use it.
  8. Roadtrip! These are always fun. Pick somewhere random to go, drive there, and check out stuff along the way. I did a lot of these during college, and some of the best memories have come from them.
  9. Go in the off-season. Last but not least, why does your vacation have to be in the summer? I totally understand if you have children that that is most convenient, but if it’s an educational trip, your student may be able to get out of school for a few days for it, depending on your school district. If you don’t have kids, then you can go whenever you want depending on your job. Going to places during the off-season (usually October to March) will save you a good chunk of money in the long run.

Hope these tips helped you think about some new and inexpensive ways to go and relax on vacation instead of feeling like you have to spend a ton of money in order to have a good time with your family and loved ones.

Tips on Ways to Maximize Tax Deductions for Travel

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Remember that you cannot deduct expenses that are for personal purposes, but you can deduct travel expenses that are the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for your business or job.You may also deduct travel expenses, including meals and lodging, you had in looking for a new job in your present trade or business. You may not deduct these expenses if you had them while looking for work in a new trade or business or while looking for work for the first time. If you are unemployed and there is a substantial break between the time of your past work and your looking for new work, you may not deduct these expenses, even if the new work is in the same trade or business as your previous work.

With that being said, here are some tips to maximize tax deductions for travel:

  • Do not prorate travel costs of getting to and from your business destination.
  • Allocate travel expenses between business and non-business. Prorate your business and non-business expenses to identify the business expenses that are tax-deductible.
  • Deduct costs associated with travel outside the United States. If you did not want to spend your entire time on business, you can still deduct the entire cost of your travel outside the United States.
  • Deduct travel expenses for another individual. Yes, you can deduct the travel expenses for another individual who travels with you as long as its a business trip and he/she is an employee of your business.
  • Deduct the cost of travel associated with your attending a business convention. You can deduct your travel expenses when you attend a convention as long as you can show that your attendance benefits your business.
  • Deduct up to $2,000 each year for attending cruise ship conventions that are directly related to your business. As long as you meet the following conditions: The ship must be registered in the US, All ports must be in the US, You must submit two supporting statements with your tax return, and you must spend at least 51 percent of your time attending the seminar.
  • Qualify a day as a business day. You can do this if your primary activity was business. A good rule of thumb is that your business activity be at least four hours in length during normal working hours.

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