6 Surprising Tips to Use Your Tax Refund Check for Travel

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While the Romans may have worried about the Ides of March for fear of back-stabbings, we Americans have to worry about the Ides of April for an assault of a different kind: the pilfering of our bank accounts by a government agency.

Yes, folks, it’s April 15th, which means that it’s Tax Day here in the US of A. Some lucky (read: filthy rich) schmucks are swimming through their gold coin-filled swimming pools to celebrate the massive refunds they’re getting while the rest of us plebeians are just happy to get anything at all.

If you had to pay a big chunk to the IRS this year, I’m sorry. If you got a refund, though, I’ve come up with a few tips to get your spend on that will make your life a whole lot better. Allow me to celebrate Refund Day with you by offering these six surprising ways to use your tax refund check.


1. Buy a boat.

All the other points and mile bloggers will tell you to use your money to buy mileage at a discount from airlines (boring) or use it to afford the annual fee on a credit card that gets you sweet amenities like lounge access or gazelle rides or something (dumb unless you love gazelles). That’s great and all if you want to be practical, but the baller move is to use your refund to buy a boat. You know who has boats? Rich dudes. You just got a check for doing nothing more than overpaying your tax obligations during the year. Buy a boat. Check too small for a traditional boat? Buy a canoe. Can’t afford that canoe? Move on to #2 on this list and tell everyone you bought a boat.


2. Order yourself a sweet captain’s hat.

Look, bro, you’ve got a boat now. Or at least you’re telling people you bought a boat. You can’t just go around with your head uncovered like some common matey. You’re the captain. You need a captain’s hat. It’s the best way to tell the refund-less schmoes around you, “Look who’s got a boat now, suckers.” You’ll instantly feel the respect and adoration that boat captains the world ’round feel on a daily basis. When you’re buying your morning latte and the barista says, “That’ll be $4.29, sir,” you’ll have the right to point to your hat and say, “No, son. That’ll be $4.29, captain. And I’d like a biscotti, too, because I’m a BOSS.” Get the hat. It’s the key to your future.


3. Invest in a solid life jacket.

Just because you’ve got a little extra green in your pocket, doesn’t mean you can throw safety out the window. Why do you think billionaires have body guards? It’s because being rich is dangerous. You’re a boat owner now, lady/dude. You’ve got to protect the greatest investment of all and that’s your 401K head and major organs. Pick up a life jacket and secure your future. Otherwise, you’re going to be living in Regret City and the IRS there doesn’t even have a 1040-EZ form. They just have a 1040-HARD. I think that’s also the name of a tax-themed porno movie.


4. Hire a first mate.

“Hello my name is Jason and this is my first mate, Guy.” Just listen to how that sounds. Okay, admittedly it sounds like we may be in a romantic relationship. You should probably say something like “”Hello my name is Jason and this is my first mate, Guy. He cleans my hull.” Hmmm. Still sounds a bit dirty, doesn’t it? You know what? Don’t hire a first mate. You don’t need one. You’re all the sea man you need to be.


5. Break it down into singles and make a sail out of them.

You know what’s awesome? Buying a boat (see #1). You know what’s double awesome? Buying a boat and then turning the sail into a monument to George Washington greenbacks. People will see you cruising out on the water and they’ll be like “Who’s that dope dude with that money sail?” And you’ll just point to your hat (see #2) and yell, “It’s the captain, bitches!” But maybe don’t say bitches because who knows who you’re really talking to, you know? They could be the children of really dangerous gangsters and if their fathers hear that you called them bitches, you better watch your back. Probably best to just give a thumbs up and a smile.


6. Use your refund to buy a dry bag.

Photo:Attribution Some rights reserved by maeyow

You may have been expecting tips for finding food deals in airports or cheap airfare when you started reading this post. Obviously, I went in a more nautical direction. Luckily, you made it to #6 which applies for both boats AND non-boat travel! Buy a dry bag. Do it now. It will end up saving you one day. A dry bag is a waterproof bag in which you keep your valuables near water. When I was in Fiji, I brought my dry bag with me any time I went on the water. I wanted to bring my phone with me everywhere but I didn’t want to take the chance that the phone would drown. The dry bag allowed me to take all kinds of great photos while kayaking without always worrying about saying goodbye to my phone. Buy a dry bag. You won’t regret it.


Main Photo:AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by 401(K) 2013


  1. I had no idea you were so funny. Don’t brag too much at the bar about this… But I’m gonna click on your blog more often. If you continue to be this humorous that is. You’re welcome.

    • I’m trying to keep traffic pretty low, Andy, so please don’t click too much. (thanks — I’ll try to do more posts like this)

      • Doh… I just clicked again, to check your reply. Sorry.

        Boarding area needs more humour and positivity! Keep em coming bro!

  2. i know humor was the point of this post and you have succeeded; however, you do realize that if you get a refund on your taxes that it isnt at all a gift it is just thr irs giving you back your own money that you apparently paid them too much of right?

    • @Brant: Yep! I actually acknowledge that very fact in the post with this line: “You just got a check for doing nothing more than overpaying your tax obligations during the year.”

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