The top low-tax travel destination deals
Looking to save money on your next holiday without putting forth any extra effort? With Budget 2012 coming into effect this weekend, hotel price comparison site trivago.co.uk presents the world’s top low-tax destinations. Many of which are regarded as “Tax Havens,” these breathtaking destinations are the perfect places to take your next holiday.
To settle your woes, trivago has put together a list of low and tax-free destinations to help ease your mind and your wallet, just in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. From a hidden country on the Italian Peninsula, to Central America’s only official English speaking Island, to the adventurous Isle off the coast of Ireland—these one-of-a-kind, tax-friendly holiday destinations are a perfect option for those looking to spend wisely.
Nestled within the eastern Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain is one of Europe’s tiniest nations—Andorra. Due to the fact that it is not an official member of the European Union and often regarded as a Tax Haven, visitors to Andorra are able to enjoy the benefits that the EU has to offer without the traditionally high costs—including the use of the euro. Its “duty-free” status is not only intriguing to visitors, but also a big factor which pulls them to the rugged, alpine country. With the average hotel accommodation price at £73 this month – as reported by the trivago Hotel Price Index in April 2012, it’s easy to see why so many tourists feel as though they’ve found a hidden European secret in Andorra. No wonder the life expectancy of the people in Andorra is one of the highest in the world.
49% Discount – 4-star Hotel Rooms available starting at £19* per person per night, via olotels.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
Central America’s southernmost country, formally known as the Republic of Panama, is one of Latin America’s most beautiful and economically prosperous. For British travellers, Panama is a great option, as the average hotel accommodation price this month is only £90 – as reported by the trivago Hotel Price Index in April 2012. With endless beaches, multi-canopied rain forests, tropical weather and a unique mix of Latin American, Native American and European culture, Panama is has something for everyone. To add to the experience, Panama offers a rich local cuisine, an abundance of regional festivals—with vibrant Panamanian colors and hand-crafted masks—and what seems to be a never-ending desire to dance.
51% Discount – 3-star Hotel Rooms available starting at £16* per person per night, including breakfast, via Expedia.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
Like Andorra, Luxembourg also offers tax saving benefits for travel goers to Europe. Often regarded as “tax-free” but in fact with a 15% VAT, it’s easy to see why visitors opt for Luxembourg over its next door neighbor, Germany, which instead collects 19% in value-added tax. Although one of the smallest countries in Europe, Luxembourg in fact has one of the wealthiest populations per capita. This is evident in the fact that the country has more Michelin-starred Restaurants per square mile than possibly any other country in the world. Visitors come from all over the world to Luxembourg for its famous Moselle wine, Villeroy & Boch porcelain and high-quality chocolate.
68% Discount – 4-star Hotel Rooms available starting at £36* per person per night, including breakfast, via olotels.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
Breathtaking beaches and unexplainable oceanic wonders are not the only reasons to visit Belize. Formally known as “British Honduras,” Belize offers tourists a culturally rich society in which many cultures, languages and even ecosystems come together. For British travellers, Belize is a perfect tropical escape, as it is the only country within Central America where the official language is English—due to the fact that its heritage originates from Britain colonialism. Situated just to the east is the Caribbean Sea, Belize neighbors roughly 450 islands and islets and offers natural wonders such as the Great Blue Hole (shown above) and the Belize Barrier Reef—the second longest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef—as well as ancient Mayan ruins. Considered a Caribbean Tax Haven, Belize offers strong advantages for travellers looking to save.
29% Discount – Cabanas available starting at £17* per person per night, via Hotels.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
5. New Hampshire, USA
Unlike most states in America where sales tax may be set as high as 10%, New Hampshire has no general sales tax to speak of—and in a country where time is money, every penny counts. For travellers, this means saving money during on your next trip without even knowing it. And in a state where the slogan is “Live Free or Die,” it’s easy to see why financial freedom is an important part of this serene state. Despite the cost-saving practices New Hampshire exercises, the actual intrigue has little to do with anything material related. In fact, it is the state’s natural beauty and historical heritage which keep visitors coming back year after year.
27% Discount – 3-star Hotel Rooms available starting at £29* per person per night, via lastminute.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
From its breathtaking beaches on the Karpass Peninsula, to the ancient Tomb of the Kings (which dates back to the 4th Century BC), the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is one of the most beautiful and historically impressive in the world. With strong heritage rooted in both Greek and Turkish culture, Cyprus’ identity is as alluring as it is intriguing. In terms of the cost of visiting Cyprus, tax rates can be very low for non-Cypriot nationals. In fact, this tax haven, like Luxembourg, also has a 15% VAT. It is no wonder that it is said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty and pleasure in Greek Mythology—the island’s pristine beauty and effortless affordability are the perfect makings of a great getaway.
35% Discount – 4-star Studio Rooms available starting at £36* per person per night, including breakfast, via Bookcyprus.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
7. Isle of Man
In the Irish Sea, not far off the coast of Great Britain and Ireland, lies the Isle of Man—a quaint, cultured, self-governing Crown Dependency of the Irish Kingdom. Unlike its neighboring cities, the Isle of Man reports having only a 17 per cent VAT— while Dublin instead has a 23 per cent VAT and London a 20 per cent. For residents, the Isle of Man does not have any capital gains tax, inheritance tax or wealth tax to speak of. The family-friendly, nature-rich island is great for coastal diving, exploring shipwrecks, swimming with sharks, rock climbing, fishing, golfing, biking, hiking and much more. The Isle of Man is a great alternative for travellers looking for a cheaper, more adventurous, yet still uniquely Irish holiday.
14% Discount – 3-star Hotel Rooms available starting at £85* per person per night, including breakfast, via Booking.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
8. Nevada, USA
The City of Sin isn’t the only pull tourists have to come to Nevada—in fact, one aspect that makes this specific destination so desirable is its low accommodation cost. With the average hotel price this month is only £76 –according to the trivago Hotel Price Index report for April 2012—why not put Nevada at the top of your lists of places to stay in 2012? In addition to the Las Vegas, Nevada also has the rustic Mojave Desert, which is perfect for those looking to experience nomadic camping on the open America plains. If spending time in a hot desert or gambling is not your scene, Nevada also has the famous Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, as well as Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains which boarder Nevada to the West.
17% Discount – 4-star Hotel Rooms available starting at £25* per person per night, via Dizzygoat.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
9. San Marino
Tucked tightly into the surrounding Italy on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains, sits the tiny enclave of San Marino. Also known as the “Most Serene Republic of San Marino,” this ‘microstate’ is not only one of the oldest sovereign states, but also one of the world’s smallest republics—with a total area of only 24 square miles. The isolated nature of San Marino is arguably what has kept its culture, history and moreover, economy, so intact. With one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe and a budget surplus, it’s no wonder world-famous traveller Rick Steves once said, “As sales tax is about half that of surrounding Italy, shoppers have long come here [San Marino] for the savings.” For those looking to experience Italian culture without the high prices, San Marino is an affordable and alluring alternative.
35% Discount – 4-star Hotel Rooms available starting at £32* per person per night, including breakfast, via Booking.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).
10. Hong Kong, China
Few would predict that the hustle and bustle that makes Hong Kong what it is today, could have been built on a system which in fact requires no sales tax, no withholding tax, no tax on dividends, no capital gains tax to speak of and even no tax on one’s estate. For travellers, this means 0% VAT—or in other words, paying the stated price for goods purchased while in Hong Kong. But the lack of tax isn’t the only point which makes Hong Kong a great choice for travellers; the densely populated Chinese region is also famous for their impressive skyline and beautiful natural harbor. For those looking for more beach time, should visit Hong Kong’s neighboring islands of Taipa and Coloane. Macau, China’s other “Special Administrative region” in addition to Hong Kong, is also just across the Pearl River Delta and is known for their gaming industry and Portuguese flair.
53% Discount – 4-star Hotel Rooms available starting at £37* per person per night, via hotels4u.com over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (1.06.12 - 4.06.2012).