12 Places to Travel on Your Tax Refund

From Charleston to the Dominican Republic, Iceland to Washington, DC, here are our top picks for where to go with your tax refund.

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Easy Razor Cover

Easy Razor Cover

Ever reached into your toiletries case and met the wrong end of a razor? Ouch. Place a ten-cent binder clip over the razor head to prevent any nicks.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Cool It

Cool It

Running late with a hot curling iron or hair straightener? Cool it down quickly with a cold, wet washcloth. Just be careful not to touch the hot part. If the tool is still warm, use an oven mitt as a sheath to insulate heat in your bag.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Store Small Amounts of Liquids

Store Small Amounts of Liquids

Going on a short trip and don’t want to pack large bottles? A contact lens case is great for storing concealer, foundation, lotions, lip color and more.   960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

No Loss Floss

No Loss Floss

No one likes to floss, so it stands to reason that no one will steal dental floss. The innards pop out easily and make a great place to stow valuables in your suitcase.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Keep Track of Bobby Pins

Keep Track of Bobby Pins

You can use a mint box to hold hair clips and bobby pins but a card takes up much less space in a toiletries bag. 960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Dollar Store Wine Sleeve

Dollar Store Wine Sleeve

Save money by packing your own wine. Keep it safe with a water floatie. We recommend this for road trips and cruises, not checked luggage.   960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Tangle-Free Necklaces

Tangle-Free Necklaces

Arriving at your final destination to find your necklaces tangled or broken can ruin the best of vacations. Before embarking, unlatch, string half the necklace through a drinking straw and re-clasp on the outside. Small ones work for thin gold chains while smoothie straws are great for thicker strands.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Makeshift Top

Makeshift Top

Smoothie straws also make a great sheath for both eye and lip liners, which frequently lose tops in handbags. Just use the bendy part of the straw to cover. If the pencil is narrower than the straw, clog the end with a little tissue.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Upcycled Jewel Box

Upcycled Jewel Box

A pillbox is great for medications, but it’s also a fine place to store and pack jewelry while traveling. The separate containers keep your bling organized, easy to see and not in one pile.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Extra Padding

Extra Padding

A simple padded mailer envelope gives your tablet or phone extra cushion and protection in a suitcase. Some are even waterproof.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Hat Trick

Hat Trick

Here’s another option if you don’t have a case. Keep your device cozy in a winter hat to prevent scratching.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

For the Shopaholics

For the Shopaholics

If you’re traveling with the intent of shopping, consider packing a suitcase within a suitcase. If you don’t, you’ll end of buying another (probably overpriced) suitcase for the return flight. And chances are you won’t use it again. We packed a week’s worth of clothes that fit into one carry-on bag within a 22-inch rolling suitcase. 960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight

Reuse sunglass cases for packing jewelry and other valuables. The hard shell absorbs shock and the ordinary item thwarts would-be thieves.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Tin Tip

Tin Tip

Reuse mint tins and soap tins to hold necessities like ear swabs and bandages.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Snack Hack

Snack Hack

Trying to stay healthy on your road trip? Protect fruits that are easily bruised or punctured with a Koozie. Plus, you’ll have an extra koozie for drinks when you get to your destination.   960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Passport Hideaway

Passport Hideaway

No safe? A DVD shell is a great spot to hide your passport as the inner clip holds it in place nicely.   960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Save Those Wine Gift Bags

Save Those Wine Gift Bags

Reuse a cloth wine bag for delicates, like lingerie and bathing suits. And if you need a hostess gift at your destination, consider it the gift bag that just keeps on giving.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Phone Boombox

Phone Boombox

Save real estate in your bag by leaving the Bluetooth speaker at home and using your phone. All you need is a glass from the mini bar. Place the phone inside and the sound amplifies.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Bonus Outlets

Bonus Outlets

Going abroad? Pack a power strip along with a three-prong adapter. Now you can charge multiple devices at the same time. 960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk

The next time you buy new sheets or pillow cases, save the zippered plastic cases. They're great for travel makeup cases.  960 1280

Akemi Hiatt  

Catch All

Catch All

Cord catchers are great for your tech gear but they're also great for organizing all the random things at the bottom of a purse or carry-on.  960 1280

Holly Aguirre  

Thunder Over Louisville Fireworks

Thunder Over Louisville Fireworks

The Kentucky Derby Festival is kicked off by Thunder Over Louisville, the largest fireworks show in North America. Other attractions that take place during the 2-week event leading up to the race are the Great Balloon Race, the Pegasus Parade, the Great Steamboat Race and the Derby Marathon. 960 1280

Stephen J. Cohen / Getty Images  

Churchill Downs Annual Gathering

Churchill Downs Annual Gathering

Fans gather at the entrance to the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. 
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Jeff Gentner / Getty Images  

Grandstand Fans

Grandstand Fans

Race fans watch the derby in the grandstand in between the twin spires. 960 1280

Jay Fuller / Getty Images  

Early-Morning Prep

Early-Morning Prep

A blacksmith shoes a horse during an early-morning workout to prepare for the derby.
960 1280

Andy Lyons / Getty Images  

Morning Workout

Morning Workout

The sun rises as horses and their jockeys prepare for an early morning ride. 960 1280

Jamie Squire / Getty Images  

Mint Julep

Mint Julep

The official drink of the derby, the Mint Julep is presented in the specially made Kentucky Derby collectible glass. The Mint Julep is an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and sweet syrup.
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Dylan Buell / Getty Images  

Kentucky Oaks Day

Kentucky Oaks Day

A race fan watches the 6th race while sipping on a Mint Julep on Kentucky Oaks Day, grade 1 stakes races for 3-year-old thoroughbred fillies held the friday before the derby. 960 1280

Jamie Squire / Getty Images  

Picking the Winner

Picking the Winner

Fans make their picks during the morning workouts in preparation for the 140th Kentucky Derby.
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Jamie Squire / Getty Images  

Jockey Dress Up

Jockey Dress Up

Kentucky Derby fans dressed as jockeys sip on their Mint Juleps and pose for a picture before the start of the race.
960 1280

NBC / Getty Images  

Where It All Begins

Where It All Begins

A panoramic view of the starting gate as the horses and their jockeys take off. 960 1280

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images  

Around the Bend

Around the Bend

Horses make their way around turn 4 during the 140th running of the derby. 960 1280

Andy Lyons / Getty Images  

Derby Hat Parade

Derby Hat Parade

The Derby Hat Parade, which takes place inside Churchill Downs, shows off the elegant hats worn by women and men during the Kentucky Derby.  This fan is decked out in classic headwear prior to the race.
960 1280

Chris Graythen / Getty Images  

Race to the Finish

Race to the Finish

Jockeys vie for position on their way to the finish line during the 140th running.
960 1280

Charles Bertram / Getty Images  

Casual Infield Gathering

Casual Infield Gathering

No fancy hats and Mint Juleps necessary here. A different scene then you would find in the grandstand, fans gather within the infield of Churchill Downs. 960 1280

Bloomberg / Getty Images  

And the Winner is ...

And the Winner is ...

A garland of roses, a blanket of 554 roses, is draped across the winning horse. 960 1280

Horsephotos / Getty Images  

Kentucky Derby Trophy

Kentucky Derby Trophy

The Kentucky Derby Trophy is presented to the owner of the winning horse. 960 1280

Horsephotos / Getty Images  

Go Biking

Go Biking

Reduce your carbon footprint and participate in Earth-friendly transportation options like biking, walking and taking public transit. These alternatives are often cheaper than taking a cab or renting a car. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Reusable Bottles

Reusable Bottles

A plastic bottle often travels thousands of miles before you buy it, so carry a reusable container or drink locally sourced water when you’re on the go. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Non-Stop Flights

Non-Stop Flights

Book non-stop flights whenever possible. A significant percentage of a plane’s carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Buy Local

Buy Local

When and wherever you travel, buy local products whenever possible instead of buying products that have been flown or shipped in from overseas. However, do not buy souvenirs or other products made from endangered animals or plants. In most cases, you can't get them through customs anyway. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Working Farms

Working Farms

Stay at working farm that also functions as inn. This unique experience helps travelers connect with an area’s agricultural heritage -- and they cost less than hotels. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Recycle Trash

Recycle Trash

Staying at a hotel? Make sure you ask about the hotel’s recycling program, and sort your trash accordingly. If your hotel doesn't recycle, consider taking your empty bottles or other items home and recycle them there. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Hike Marked Trails

Hike Marked Trails

Don’t veer off marked trails when hiking, and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Deposit your trash in marked receptacles or take it with you when you leave. Light campfires only in areas where permitted and be sure they're completely extinguished before you leave. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Rent Hybrid Car

Rent Hybrid Car

Choose the smallest vehicle or a hybrid when renting a car for travel. Decline any "free" upgrades that can cost you more in gas. Consider renting an economy car if your personal vehicle is a large, gas guzzler. You'll save gas and avoid putting miles on your own vehicle. 960 1280

Robert Scoble, flickr  

Stay at Green Hotel

Stay at Green Hotel

Las Vegas is actually at the forefront of green building, and the Palazzo Hotel Vegas is one of the largest hotels in the U.S. to receive LEED certification (along with the huge Aria and Vdara City Center hotels). Ninety-five percent of the building's structural steel and 26 percent of its concrete is recycled material. The swimming pools are heated by solar power, and the hotel claims to save enough energy annually to light a 100-watt light bulb for 12,100 years. 960 1280

Oyster.com  

Eat Local

Eat Local

Eating locally is one of the best ways to support a community. Try to shop at farmers’ markets and dine at restaurants with locally sourced ingredients. 960 1280

William Murphy, flickr  

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