12 Ways to Blow Your Tax Return on Bucket List Travel

It's prime time to book your next luxurious vacation

How will you spend your tax refund?
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You’ve always wanted to: Go heliskiing

How: CMH Heli-skiing

Location: Book a trip for next winter, right now. Select one of Canadian Mountain Holidays’ 13 lodges in interior British Columbia.

Price: Starting at $4,000 (CMH-Nomads price available upon request)

Package/Experience: Possibly the world’s most coveted ski experiences. CMH has been taking intrepid skiers to the outer reaches of powder-filled Nirvana since 1965. For the ultimate experience, book a private heli-skiing safari and lodge (which sleeps and skis four to 10 people) at CMH Nomads, for those lucky enough to know you. With access to over 3 million acres of skiable terrain, this might become a costly tradition.

Time commitment: 4 to 7 days.

Adventure level: High.

Bucket list level: High.

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You’ve always wanted to: Have a National Park as your backyard

How: Snake River Sporting Club.

Location: Jackson Hole, WY.

Price: $5,000 per week.

Package/Experience: Enjoy 800 unspoiled acres along the banks of the Snake River in western Wyoming, a stone's throw away from Yellowstone National Park. Every outdoorsy activity is accounted for: fly-fishing, equestrian pursuits, a Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, archery and sporting clays.

Time commitment: Seven days.

Adventure level: Moderate.

Bucket list level: Low.

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You’ve always wanted to: Take an epic train trip

How: The Rocky Mountaineer.

Location: Most trips begin in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Price: Starting at $1,500.

Package/Experience: With four routes to choose from, the luxurious spirit of a bygone era remains alive and well in the Rocky Mountaineer. This once-in-a-lifetime experience has welcomed two million travelers onboard since its inception in 1990.

Time commitment: Minimum four days.

Adventure level: Moderate.

Bucket list level: High.

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You’ve always wanted to: Be a legit ski bum

How: Snow.com.

Location: Forty-five of the world’s best mountain resorts.

Price: Starting at $859.

Package/Experience: Early season pricing for Vail Resorts’ legendary Epic pass grants you the lowest possible pricing, two buddy passes, and six single-day companion tickets, plus unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; plus 30 European ski resorts, to name a few...

Time commitment: The 2017-2018 ski season (including summer gondolas, where available).

Adventure level: Moderate.

Bucket list level: Low.

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You’ve always wanted to: Go storm watching

How: The Wickaninnish Inn

Location: Tofino, British Columbia

Price: From $814.50 to $2,790.86 CDN (for two nights).

Package/Experience: Experience the awesome power of the elements as winter storms approach Victoria Island from the Pacific Ocean every November through February. Each room has an ocean view and includes rain slickers, wellies, and all the accoutrements needed to get close and personal with Mother Nature.

Time commitment: Minimum two nights.

Adventure level: Moderate.

Bucket list level: Moderate.

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You’ve always wanted to: Go glamping in Montana

How: Collective Yellowstone.

Location: Big Sky, Montana.

Price: Starting at $500 per night.

Package/Experience: Situated lakeside on Moonlight Basin’s 8,000 acres are luxury tents, where every amenity and activity is available at your fingertips. Farm-to-table chef-prepared meals, hiking, paddleboarding and of course all of the s’mores you can handle.

Time commitment: As long as you want to spend outdoors.

Adventure level: Moderate.

Bucket list level: Moderate.

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You’ve always wanted to: See the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup

How: Louis Vuitton America’s Cup.

Location: Bermuda.

Price: Starting at $2,555.

Package/Experience: Why spend time stuck on the L.I.E. heading to The Hamptons when, in two hours, you can whisk yourself to Bermuda? There are still limited accommodations available for attending the 35th annual Louis Vuitton America’s Cup. Packages for the finals range from five to 12 day luxurious excursions. Hotels, flights, tickets to spectator boats and exclusive parties are still available. Don’t wait on this one.

Time commitment: June 17 to 27, 2017.

Adventure level: Low.

Bucket list level: High.

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You’ve always wanted to: Ski in August

How: Upscapetravel.com.

Location: Chile.

Price: Starting at $2,600.

Package/Experience: Ski the iconic peaks of the Andes, while the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is in beach-mode. This will be an adrenaline-filled week led and photographed by Nils Schlebusch, expert skier and renowned travel photographer.

Time commitment: Seven days, from August 5 to 13, 2017.

Adventure level: High.

Bucket list level: High.

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You’ve always wanted to: Learn to grill with a master chef

How: Faena Miami Beach.

Location: Miami Beach, FL.

Price: All-inclusive for $4,495.

Package/Experience: Indulge in an ethereal food fantasy at Miami’s hottest hotel with grillmaster Francis Mallmann and 12 other gastronomes, as you become sous chef and learn his methods hands-on.

Time commitment: Three days.

Adventure level: Low.

Bucket list level: Moderate.

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You’ve always wanted to: Entertain like royalty on Lake Como

How: Villa Sola Cabiati.

Location: Lake Como, Italy.

Price: Starting at $10,000

Package/Experience: This year, the legendary Grand Hotel Tremezzo took over the management of Villa Sola Cabiati, the 16th century former summer residence of the Serbolloni Dukes. Guests of Tremezzo can host over-the-top events or a simple dinner for two.

Time commitment: As you wish.

Adventure level: Low.

Bucket list level: High.

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You’ve always wanted to: Own a Hawaiian Villa

How: Villas at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort.

Location: Maui, Hawaii.

Price: From $3,000 per night.

Package/Experience: Perfectly positioned on 15 pristine beachfront acres on Maui’s southwest Mokapu Beach, ten residential-style villas await you. Lava stone floors, white-washed oak screens, private outdoor jacuzzis surround you and a personal concierge, and private chef are prepared to accommodate every desire.

Time commitment: At your pleasure...

Adventure level: Low.

Bucket list level: Moderate.

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You’ve always wanted to: Live like a tech billionaire

How: The Mansion at Casa Madrona.

Location: Sausalito, CA.

Price: $25,000 per night.

Package/Experience: Flee the stresses of modern life, a stone’s throw from San Francisco at The Mansion at Casa Madrona. The mansion has 10 guest bedrooms including the 3,500 square foot Alexandrite Suite. Fully stocked kitchen and includes access 24/7 to a personal driver and Tesla X.

Time commitment: Available nightly.

Adventure level: Low.

Bucket list level: Moderate.

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The average American will get back almost $3000 in the form of a tax refund this year. This year, use that “found money” on some of the most covetable travel experiences around. From heliskiing and luxurious rail travel in western Canada to villas on the shores of Lake Como and Maui, we hope you had a good accountant this year.

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