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How to Use Your Tax Return for Travel

Those looking to travel domestically could take a full two weeks to visit the Pacific Northwest (think: Seattle, Portland and the surrounding area.
Couples can spend a week in Sedona, Arizona hiking the red rocks, or lounge on the beach in Florida’s Key West, with airfares in the low $300s roundtrip from many East Coast airports, according to Jauntaroo.
International destinations are still a possibility for couples on a $2,400 budget, including getaways to Croatia, where roundtrip airfare can be found from $483 per person and hotels can be booked for less than $100 per night. (Sadly, outside the capital, there arent a ton of points hotel options.) Theres also Budapest, Hungary. Hunt for a roundtrip flight just over $400 and boutique apartment rentals for $60 per night on Airbnb.
$2,700 to $2,850For international vacations, Midwest residents can head to Spain from the Midwest for just $481 roundtrip per person, or take a quick flight to the island of Aruba for just $371, according to Skyscanner. Entire families can enjoy a trip here by using points to reserve a stay at one of the islands many great points properties.
Photo by Tashka / Getty Images.$3,000 to $3,150The average tax return has historically been about $3,000 per person, and most states land in this range, from Alaska to Georgia, Maryland and Nevada.It’s still a sizable return, and even travelers who don’t want to spend their entire tax return on a trip can find great options within this budget.For residents of Nevada, Alaska, or any of the other western states, the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington are a short flight and boat ride away.
The rural archipelago is filled with state parks and greenery, making it the perfect option for nature lovers who want to hike, kayak, swim or watch for orcas starting in May. Flights originating from the west can be as low as $103 per person, according to Skyscanner, and hotels on the islands usually run from $70 to $150 per night.For international locations, residents of the West Coast can fly to parts of South America in just a few hours. Flights from California to Sao Paolo, Brazil are usually less than $500 in May.
East Coast residents can turn to the British Isles for a great getaway, where flights to Scotland are $499 round trip and flights to London are just $341, according to Skyscanner. Travelers can splurge on the recently renovated Ritz-Carlton in London, or stay at the highly rated Hilton Metropole for less than $150 per night.(Cash in your points for an award night, and youll have plenty of your tax return left over for food, beverages and activities.)$3,700 to $3,850States in the Northeast see some of the highest average tax refunds, with Connecticut taking the number one spot of $3,844, according to Smart Asset.
Travelers in the highest tax return bracket could jet off to Bali for two weeks to visit ancient Hindu temples. Flights from New York City to Bali can get as low as $481 roundtrip in the month of May (though if you want to book something quick, its not difficult to find flights in the mid-$700s) and hotels run in the low hundreds per night.North African temperatures tend to be relatively mild in the spring, making it a great time to visit Morocco or Egypt (one of our top places to travel this April). Flights to Africa tend to run on the more expensive side, regardless of the time of year, but flights to Casablanca can be found in the low $600s roundtrip.Visitors can rent entire homes near Casablanca for roughly $50 per night — and some even include their own pools.For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please .

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Amazon real estate exec says Bellevue plan not affected by New York exit

Amazon’s top real estate executive said the employment growth the company had planned for New York is not slated for Bellevue. Speculation has swirled in recent weeks over Amazon’s local growth plans in the wake of its decision to abandon a major campus planned for Long Island City as part of its HQ2 expansion, and confirmation that it will not occupy a new office building under construction in downtown Seattle.The company on Valentines Day said it would not go forward with the plan to hire as many as 25,000 people in New York over the next decade, after encountering a hostile response from local politicians and labor groups opposed to some $3 billion in tax incentives offered to lure the company.Amazon last summer signed a second long-term lease in Bellevue, giving the company enough space in the city east of Seattle for about 4,500 people.While Amazon has been mum about its Bellevue plans, the Puget Sound Business Journal and GeekWire reported in February on the companys growing real estate appetite in that city. Some real estate sources have seen Bellevue as a possible spillover location for the erstwhile New York HQ2.
Asked whether he expected to see any of the planned New York City employment land in Seattle or Bellevue, John Schoettler, Amazons vice president of global real estate and facilities, said: No. The plans that we have for Bellevue and all of that was completely separate from HQ2, so its not a result of that, Schoettler said in an interview with The Seattle Times.Schoettler, who has orchestrated Amazons dramatic real estate expansion since 2001, said the job growth planned for New York will be dispersed across about 17 other cities throughout the Americas.

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