Trippin' Out

No kidding: IRS-approved vacations
Magazine Contributor
4 min read

This story appears in the November 1999 issue of . Subscribe »

You need a vacation--and don't tell us you haven't got the time or the money. That's because we're going to show you what seasoned, smart entrepreneurs know: Often, a reviving holiday can be had in a place where you're apt to meet other businesspeople who can help grow your business. Which means the vacation just might qualify as a tax deduction, too. Sound tasty? Read on.

A proven, shrewd way to combine travel with valuable networking is to attend a trade show in an exotic locale. Where to find trade shows? Let your mouse do the searching at ExpoGuide ( and Exhibitions 'Round The World ( Both sites allow for fast searching by industry or region, as well as voluminous lists with plentiful shows worldwide.

Perhaps a weekend spent exploring the boundaries of intuition sound compelling? How about a few days spent doing that while hiking through the rugged hills of Big Sur, California? First-class retreats abound, and they're sure to recharge exhausted batteries. Find out more at:

  • Esalen Institute ( The granddaddy of New Age retreat facilities, Esalen offers a primo benefit--its spectacular Big Sur location. A three-day workshop on "The Art of Group Leadership" costs $485, including food and lodging.
  • Seminar Finder ( Loaded with links, this site will point you to seminars in everything from empowerment to "Thunderbolt Thinking."
  • Training and Seminar Locator ( Type key words in the search form, and whoosh, you're presented with dozens of classes. Keep sorting until both the class and the destination suit your needs--and do it fast at this briskly paced site.

    If you'd prefer learning from your favorite sales trainer or motivator, you're in luck: They like to travel to exotic places, too, and many of them offer at least one workshop yearly at a great destination. Case in point: Success Guru Anthony Robbins teaches classes everywhere from Fiji to Kona, Hawaii ( Have another favorite guru? Check his or her Web site and, odds are, you'll find they, too offer at least a few workshops a year in fun locales.

    Exotic locations also work best if you're trying to learn a foreign language. And since fluency in a second language is a major business plus, maybe it's time you learned the lingo among the natives. Delve into available classes at Berlitz ( Learning Vacations (http// and Shawguides (

    Get more ideas for learning vacations from these books:

    Fodor's Great American Learning Vacations (Fodor Travel Publications, $17,800-726-0600): These 336 pages are filled with foreign-language immersions courses, New Age centers and more.

    Vacations That Can Change Your Life by Ellen Lederman (Sourcebooks Trade, $16.95,800-727-88660):Features 448 pages of soul-and-mind-enriching retreats, workshops and seminars.

    As all things involving taxes, consult with your CPA before counting the money you've saved. But the general rule is, if a trip is primarily for business, all business-related expenses are deductible-and that includes travel to Hawaii and Paris. What are legit reasons for travel? For details, read IRS publication 463, Travel, Entertianment, Gif and Car Expenses, at

    In the past year, Robert McGarvey (a 1985 graduate of Jack Canfield's facilitating skills workshop) has made tax-deductible business trips to Hawaii and Ireland, and even taken his girlfriend on a nine-day cruise in the Greek Isles. For his sake, we hope the IRS believes him.


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