Travel Feed

From 10:17 a.m. Pacific time until 2:47 p.m. Eastern time, give or take a few minutes before and after, on Monday, Aug. 21, millions of Americans will be watching — safely, please! — the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States in more than 38 years. The line shows the entire path of totality across the contiguous United States for the Aug. 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Click image for a larger view. (Map by Ernie Wright, NASA/Goddard/SVS) That also likely will mean a big boost in businesses, both long-established and pop-ups related to the astronomical event... Read more →


Your decision to stay in a private home or a traditional lodging option depends on lots of things, including the accommodations' costs that often have added occupancy taxes. (Image courtesy Reunion Vacation Homes) Are you booking your summer vacation stay via Airbnb? You might want to budget a bit more for lodging taxes. The popular private residential rental service collects sales and occupancy taxes on properties' leased in all or parts of 31 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Internationally, Airbnb also is acting as tax collector in six countries. Airbnb appears to... Read more →


Most Americans living abroad don't like the U.S. requirement that they have to send the Internal Revenue Service a Form 1040. That's one of the findings in Greenback Expat Tax Services most recent annual survey of U.S. expatriates. If your trip abroad turns into something more permanent, you'll have many U.S. expatriate issues to consider, including taxes. (Photo courtesy Those Dam Americans blog) Sixty-six percent of expats queried earlier this year told Greenback they don't believe they should be required to file a U.S. tax return while they are living outside Uncle Sam's borders. That more than two-thirds percentage is... Read more →


I'm a bit slow today. I got up at O'dark-thirty to catch a flight home from San Diego, California, where I had spent four fantastic days at FinCon, an annual conference of fellow financial bloggers and other money and media folks. View from my San Diego FinCon hotel room last week. I almost -- almost -- didn't come home! It's a great opportunity to learn best practices, pick up tips (for stories, blog posts and growing your business), meet people you've only known heretofore online, make new friends and reconnect with old ones. And, almost best of all, the business... Read more →


It's been a good couple of years for Philadelphia tourism officials and for folks who rented out their homes to the city's visitors. Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Founding Fathers debated and adopted both the U.S. Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. Click image for a montage of other notable Philly sites. (Photo by J. Leon via Wikipedia) Last September, Pope Francis included the City of Brotherly Love in his U.S. visit itinerary. This week, the Democratic National Convention has taken over Philly. Making money-making space: When big events like these are held, many full-time residents decide to literally... Read more →


Short-term residential rentals are seen by most state and local lawmakers as a great tax revenue source, but not in the United States' island paradise. Rather than stay at a resort like Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, some visitors to Hawaii prefer untaxed home share rentals available through Airbnb and other online accommodations brokers. (Photo by Darren Thompson via Flickr CC) Hawaii Gov. David Ige this week vetoed a bill that would have made collection of taxes on Airbnb rentals easier. The veto puts the 50th U.S. state, arguably one of the world's most visited spots, in... Read more →


If you're reading this, thank you. You could be one of the 43 million Americans who've already headed out this long Independence Day holiday. I appreciate you delaying your trip, or at least checking this post, fittingly, on your mobile device. More states are exploring mileage taxes to replace gas taxes. Maybe they should look at taxing dangerous drivers like this guy! AAA's travel prediction this year represents the biggest July 4th travel volume on record and includes 5 million more travelers than we saw during the Memorial Day break, generally seen as the unofficial start of the summer vacation... Read more →


If you're reading this post, thanks. You could be out there on the road, getting a head start on the long Memorial Day weekend. Click image for 20 things you probably didn't know about "National Lampoon's Vacation" The annual three-day weekend at the end of every May is the traditional, although unofficial, start of the summer vacation season. And most of still take our mid-year trips in our autos. Near record on the road: AAA expects more than 38 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That's about 700,000 more motorists this May 26-30 compared to the holiday weekend... Read more →


Private debt collectors are back in the tax bill business, essentially chauffeured in as part of the new highway funding bill. Click image to read how federal agencies recently shut down four debt collectors for abusive practices. Now private bill collectors will soon be back in the tax debt collection business. In addition, some U.S. passport holders will find that their international travel documents have been pulled, or they can't get or renew them, because they owe $50,000 or more to the Internal Revenue Service. These two provisions are part of H.R. 22, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST),... Read more →


Millions of Americans are thinking about travel this holiday week. So is Congress, but on a larger scale. As the House and Senate work out details of a long-term transportation bill, one funding road sign is clear. International travelers will help pay for domestic road and transit projects. Photo courtesy Mike via Flickr CC Lawmakers in both chambers have agreed on a provision that would direct the State Department to deny passports to taxpayers who are "seriously delinquent" in their tax payments. State also could rescind existing passports of affected taxpayers. The highway bill funding measure is projected to bring... Read more →


Puerto Rico has been in the news a lot this year, and not for its attributes as a Caribbean vacation spot. Coast Guard Barque Eagle sailing past the 16th-century Fort San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on May 21, 2014, as it head for a four-day port call. Image courtesy the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System and Wikimedia Commons. The U.S. island territory has been criticized for being a tax haven for wealthy Americans. Its overall finances have come under scrutiny after Puerto Rican leaders wanted to declare bankruptcy to write off its $72 billion debt.... Read more →


As the hubby and I cruised around a parking lot this week looking for a relatively close-in place to park, we quietly cursed the huge RV that had taken up half a dozen prime spots. We also marveled at the fact someone was tooling around in the personal bus. Even with gas prices at relatively reasonable rates, it's got to cost an arm and a leg to fill up a recreational vehicle. But the fuel factor apparently isn't a problem for a lot of folks. Refurbished RVs are making a comeback. The ubiquitous Winnebago Industries' first motor home model. This... Read more →


Everybody's a critic, even the New Jersey's chief economic officer if one state senator's tax credit for performers is enacted. Republican Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. this week renewed a push for his bill that would provide a tax break for so-called A-list performers in the Garden State. 50,000 fans packed the beach in Atlantic City to see to see pop band Maroon 5 and its popular front man Adam Levine. Click image for full story and video from Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI. The bill is designed to boost amusement offerings in Atlantic City. Under S. 2721, qualifying acts, which include... Read more →


For many international travelers, exploring another country offers a bonus: picking up a few items at the airport's duty-free store. Duty-free shopping at the Oslo, Norway, airport; image courtesy Wikimedia Commons OK, for some travelers, the tax-free airport shopping is the best thing about their trips. And they buy much more than a few items. In case you've missed this experience, duty-free shops sell products without collecting the local import tax. In Europe, duty-free shops in airports and ports are tax-free shops, too, which means you don't pay the value added tax, or VAT (aka Europe's version of sales tax),... Read more →


A tax battle between the nation's capital and seven online travel companies has ended with the websites being ordered to pay almost $61 million in sales taxes. The taxes, which apply to Washington, D.C., hotel rooms booked from 1998 to 2010, could be the largest tax settlement ever paid to the District of Columbia government. It also ends a tax fight between the national capital's tax collector and the online room reservation agents at Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity and Travelscape that began in 2011. Retail taxes due: At issue was the tax difference between applying Washington's 14.5 percent... Read more →


The only certainties in life, to paraphrase a Founding Father, are death, taxes and the last-minute way Congress does, or doesn't do, its job. The Highway Trust Fund is set to run out of financial fuel at the end of May. Congress is scheduled to be on its annual Memorial Day holiday break when that deadline arrives. So lawmakers are crashing to get some roadway deal done. And, true to form, it's not a long-term or permanent fix, it's a short-term, kick the can down the road extension. The House on Tuesday, May 19, voted 387-to-35 to extend federal funding... Read more →


The next time you're in Sin City, take a break from the casinos to check out The Mob Museum's "Follow the Money" exhibit. The display opened April 17 and is a permanent part of the downtown Las Vegas museum. It spotlights the work of legendary agents in the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Unit. You know the ones, the Treasury Men or T-Men who palled around with Elliot Ness. They were key in taking down mobsters such as Al Capone, who eventually was convicted and sent to jail not for alleged murders and other violent crimes, but on tax charges... Read more →


It's a crazy day. I'm trying to get a lot of stuff done before I head off to New Orleans tomorrow for FinCon14, the annual conference for personal finance bloggers. By this time tomorrow, I'll be at the hotel that's hosting the get-together. It's handy to stay on premises. Plus I like room service and a chance to sample premium television channels we don't get at home. A lot of folks, however, whether they travel for business or pleasure (or a combination!), prefer smaller, independent accommodations. Many also look for a homier experience and stay in personal residences that are... Read more →


I'm on a business trip this week in Orlando, attending the Internal Revenue Service's final Nationwide Tax Forum of 2014. The hubby and I have been here many times on pleasure travel. You're right, we have no kids, but we're kids at heart. What can I say; I loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride long before Johnny Depp created Capt. Jack Sparrow. We talked about tacking on a few days to this Sunshine State visit to see how Mickey and Harry Potter have held up since we moved from the state in 2005. But after much consideration, the hubby... Read more →


Next week I'll be at the final Internal Revenue Service Nationwide Tax Forum of the year. Guess where it is? Orlando, Florida. Guess what might hit Florida? A tropical storm system. Yep, those are the potential paths (courtesy of South Florida Water Management District) of what right now is known in the weather world as Invest 96L, or Storm 96 for short. If 96 gets its act together, it could become the third named storm of the 2014 Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season. I'm hoping that there won't be a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Cristobal. Cristobal's coming: However, the latest... Read more →