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The information presented on this page was originally released on March 1, 2012. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Use technology to plan a spring break 'staycation'
With the price of gasoline on the rise, many families are opting to stay close to home for their spring break vacation, and planning is as important for a staycation as it is for an overseas trip.
To ensure a fun time is had by all, even the youngest in the group, create a staycation passport using either your computer’s clip art or the site http://tinyurl.com/staycationclipart.
When you plan your vacation, consider including activity days, rest days and volunteer days. Do you want quality family time or a little rest and relaxation? If rest and relaxation are on your to-do list, consider visiting a state park. You can reserve a cabin as near or as far from home as you would like at sites such as http://mississippistateparks.reserveamerica.com/.
Other outside adventures, such as canoeing at a local lake, are posted to websites such as this one maintained by the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/noxubee/noxnews.htm. Be sure to check out Mississippi’s Tourism website at http://www.visitmississippi.org/ to see sample itineraries and get ideas of places to see and visit.
If planning a staycation leaves you at a loss for ideas, consider checking out Paul Tocknell’s e-book 101 Great Staycations, available at http://www.staycationidea.com/documents/101GreatStaycations.pdf. This free resource has tons of supplemental activities and things to do to make your staycation go off without a hitch.
If staying house bound is more up your alley, consider heading on over to your local library to stock up on books and movies. Many libraries also offer audio books if you plan on hitting the open road. Another fun thing to do as you putter around your house is to turn your kitchen into a spa. Make your own brown sugar body scrub by following the simple recipe at http://tinyurl.com/dominoscrub, or create your own Kool-Aid inspired lip balm using the recipes found here: http://tinyurl.com/makelipbalm.
If, like me, you enjoy conducting science experiments in your kitchen or just want to entertain kids, check out http://www.seriouslyfunnyscience.com/ or http://www.sciencebob.com/ for lots of explosive ideas. Be careful, though, or you could end up with some firefighter “visitors” and a hands-on, real-life lesson in fire safety.
Be sure to check with your local Extension office for upcoming workshops as well. They offer a variety of workshops for children on subjects from gardening to sewing to cooking (yes, really!); they also offer many fun activities for the whole family.
Even the best staycationer will have to hit the open road to get from one place to another, so be sure to check out http://tinyurl.com/mississippigas or www.gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest gas in your city. GasBuddy also has a free mobile app that can be downloaded to your smartphone.
Mississippi is the birthplace of Jim Henson, John Grisham, B.B. King, and William Faulkner…in other words, we have a lot to see and do right here in our own backyard. Save money and still have fun with your family staycation.