This is a travel deal that you can put stock in. Literally. Elite Island Resorts, a chain of Caribbean beachfront hotels in Antigua, Barbados, Grand Cayman, St. Lucia, British Virgin Islands and Nevis, will let you trade in your devalued U.S. stock for an island vacation. I've been meaning to write about this for a while and, luckily, the offer has been extended through March 31. So there's time and here's how it works:
You own stock in company XYZ. Today the stock is valued at $5. But last summer on July 1 - the date Elite has set for the offer - your stock was trading at $50. Elite will give you credit for the higher stock value and accept the transfer of stock as payment for your vacation. The maximum stock transaction is $5,000 per room. The cost of your stay varies depending upon the resort you select, but let's say you stay 10 nights at $500 per night = $5,000 = 100 shares of your stock in XYZ.
There are a few caveats: not every stock is eligible. Elite has a list of 400 stocks it will accept in exchange for a vacation. Secondly, I don't know what the tax implications are and Elite says consult your accountant. Make sure you do. This is a lodging special, so you have to pay real money to actually get to your Caribbean island. And you have to call 866-237-1366 to get this offer. No online booking. That stuff aside, there are no blackout dates for your trip and you can travel any time through Dec. 20.
Of course, once you've transferred your Black & Decker stock (it's on the list) and it triples in value by 2015 and your kid decides to go to Harvard, you can't get it back. But that island vacation sure was swell.
Details at eliteislandresorts.com/stocks.