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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Contain Water Damage

Contain Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most common threats to phones, but a wet phone doesn’t have to ruin a trip. First, turn the phone off if it hasn’t done so automatically. Dave Dean, Founder of tech site Too Many Adapters, warns against turning it back on, since that can damage the circuit board. Next, put your phone in a sealed bag or container of dry rice for two days. It may sound like an old wives tale, but experts agree this can work as a first line of defense—although Dean feels it works better if your phone was dropped in fresh water instead of salt water. He also recommends silica beads (packets are commonly found in many food items) as another way to remove moisture from your phone.  960 1280

Carlos Fernandez  

Deal With a Shattered Screen

Deal With a Shattered Screen

If the crack is minor, place a screen cover over it, or use clear packing tape. If the screen is completely shattered, Johnny Jet, founder of travel site JohnnyJet.com, says to put the phone in a plastic bag until you can get the screen replaced. Be careful about cutting yourself on shards of glass. Phil Baker, president of the product design company Techsperts, says it costs about $100 to replace a screen, and repair stores can easily fix it.

 

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Conserve a Low Battery

Conserve a Low Battery

Everything from extreme cold to overheating can affect your phone’s battery life. If you need to use your phone, Dean suggests putting an iPhone in airplane mode (newer Android models also feature a battery saver mode) and turning off as many connectivity features as possible. Facebook, GPS and gaming apps are among the notorious battery hogs.  960 1280

pawel_p  

Troubleshoot a Frozen Phone

Troubleshoot a Frozen Phone

First try performing a hard restart by pressing the power button until it turns off. Then try turning it back on after a few minutes. If this doesn’t work, remove and replace the phone’s battery if your phone has a removable battery (not all do). As a last resort, do a factory reset, which will restore your phone to its original factory settings. However, you will lose all of your phone’s data unless it was recently backed up. 960 1280

Pamela Moore  

Replace a Dead Battery

Replace a Dead Battery

For certain models, such as Samsung, you can simply remove the back cover by pulling it off, then easily pop out the battery and replace it. Make sure the phone is powered off before attempting this. Keep in mind that you should use an OEM battery (original equipment manufacturer) so that it doesn’t void the warranty. 960 1280

VladTeodor  

Address Overheating

Address Overheating

High temperatures and overuse are among the conditions that can cause overheating. Turn off any applications that are running in the background (e.g. Instagram, Facebook) or simply turn off your phone. Removing a protective case and placing your phone in a cool (but not cold) environment can also help. 960 1280

MCGeorge & BLACK CAT Photography  

Address Extreme Cold

Address Extreme Cold

If your phone has been exposed to arctic temps, turn if off, and place it in a pocket or wrap it in an item of clothing until it warms up to room temperature. Don’t try any heating methods on it.  960 1280

massimo colombo  

8. Find a Phone Repair Shop

8. Find a Phone Repair Shop

Dean says small repair stores are a great option, particularly if you’re nowhere near an Apple store, or don’t own an iPhone. These are usually easy to find around the world. 960 1280

Michael Coyne  

9. Use Your Insurance

9. Use Your Insurance

Baker recommends AppleCare for iPhones and SquareTrade for Androids. Both of these plans cover international travel, but read the fine print to learn what a particular plan includes before buying it. While plans typically cover damage resulting from water, falls or other maladies, they might come with a high deductible. Some plans don't reimburse theft or loss either. 960 1280

agencybook  

10. Switch to a Backup Phone

10. Switch to a Backup Phone

Many experts travel with a second phone, and it might be the best bet if you’re nowhere near a repair store and the usual fixes don’t work. Dean advises traveling with an old phone. “Make sure it’s still in a useable state; otherwise it’s just a paperweight if it doesn’t have the apps, contacts and information you need.”   960 1280

  

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  

11 Photos

Home to some of the largest hotels and casinos in the world, the Las Vegas Strip spans over 4 miles and is littered with bright lights, flashy hotels and the most eclectic array of entertainment around. 960 1280

Timothy Hughes / iStockphoto  

Best known for the Forum Shops, Ceasars Palace, which has over 3,000 rooms in 5 different towers, is located in the center of the Las Vegas Strip. 960 1280

yunus emre karakoyunlu / iStockphoto  

As a tribute to the gondola rides through the canals of Venice, a gondolier gives tourists a ride at the Venetian Hotel & Casino. 960 1280

Spencer Platt / Getty Images  

The Excalibur, named for the mythical sword of King Arthur, is located on the strip and it's facade is a stylized image of a castle. 960 1280

Alina Solovyova-Vincent / iStockphoto  

A view of the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, the second largest hotel resort complex in Las Vegas. 960 1280

Alina Solovyova-Vincent / iStockphoto  

Take a trip to Paris without having to fly overseas. The replica Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel & Casino is a signature of the Las Vegas skyline. 960 1280

Eduard Andras / iStockphoto  

The Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas is the former home of legendary magicians, Siegfried & Roy. 960 1280

  

Though not quite as big as the real city, New York New York Hotel and Casino gives off a New York City vibe from the moment you walk in the doors. 960 1280

Sebastien Cote / iStockphoto  

A symbol known all over the globe, this Hard Rock guitar is located just off the strip at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. 960 1280

  

Famed for its elegance and always popular fountains, the Bellagio is a 5 diamond award-winning hotel and casino located on Las Vegas Strip. 960 1280

Alina Solovyova-Vincent / iStockphoto  

One of the most spectacular sights in Vegas, the laser light that appears from the top of the Luxor Hotel & Casino Pyramid is visible from outer space. 960 1280

Ethan Miller  

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