6 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

smart ways to spend your tax refund in St. Augustine, Florida, discounts for St. AugustineIt’s April 15–tax day! If you’re getting a refund this year, a recent survey says that 7% of you will spend some of your return on travel.

If you’re coming to St. Augustine, here are my 6 suggestions for getting your money’s worth:

1. Plan a trip for September. The coast is clear in September here in Northeast Florida–the crowds have all gone home, and the kids are back in school. (The back to school sales at the St. Augustine Outlets really heat up in the ninth month, too, if shopping is your thing). On the beach, the water is warm, and it’s a beautiful time to visit.

In addition to smaller crowds and lovely weather, September is a great time to find hospitality deals in St. Augustine–most hotels and bed and breakfasts offer special September savings, and those savings typically run into at least the first week in October. To see our September specials in St. Augustine, just check out our website–www.bayfrontmarinhouse.com.

2. Flavors of the Coast. Restaurants all around town offer spectacular prix fixe menus throughout the month of October. If you can find a venue that offers specials in the first part of October, bundle that with a fine time to eat here in St. Augustine. www.historiccoastflavors.com.

3. Look at transportation. How do you plan on getting around town? If you’re staying for multiple days, and anticipate sore feet, plan on getting a three-day pass on one of the trolley tours in town ( http://www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine/ or http://www.ripleys.com/redtrains/). Both tours let you hop on and hop off (or stay on the whole time to hear the whole narrated tour) as often as you like during your stay. But if you want to walk most everywhere–certainly an option given our bed and breakfast’s downtown location–you may want to take a more private tour, such as a horse and carriage ride (around $100–we’ll be happy to arrange it so they pick you up at the inn), or a Gold Tour in an electric golf cart, or even a segway tour around town. There are *almost* as many great ways to see the town as there are great things to see in it!

4. Special packages from the Inns of Elegance. You can see lots of special deals from this group of four bed and breakfasts in town. (www.innsofelegance.com). For instance, weekday guests who stay 2 or more nights (regular rates) can choose a Sail Away special, which includes 2 tickets on the Schooner, plus champagne in your room on arrival, plus a sampler of Claude’s yummy chocolates, for just $60 in addition to your room rate (a $120 value). Or, if you’re taking advantage of Frontier Airline’s new commuter route from Trenton to St. Augustine, you can request free transportation from the airport to the inn of your choice, plus a complimentary 3-day ticket with Old Town Trolley,  with any two-night stay at regular rates. Plus, pick up the Big Fat Coupon book in the dining area of the Bayfront Marin House–it’s full of coupons that can be used at restaurants, tours, and attractions around town.

5. New walking shoes. Buy them now and break them in. You really can get around town completely on foot–provided that those feet aren’t crammed into heels or brand new shoes.

6. Stay at a bed and breakfast, because you’ll get your money’s worth. You had to work hard for that tax refund–why wouldn’t you want to maximize it? A bed and breakfast (we think you should stay in St. Augustine, of course, but bnb’s are a great bargain all around the country). Free breakfast. Free wifi. Free parking. Free happy hour. Free concierge services. Free bicycles. Free beach towels and beach umbrellas. Free dessert coupons. Free desserts. Free phone calls (local and toll free). Free. Free. Free. Any questions?

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