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Riley Heruska
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I know, I know, we all wish we were jetting off to some exotic location for 2017’s spring break with sunscreen and swimsuits in tow. Unfortunately, the reality is that many of us aren’t able to abandon all of our responsibilities in favor of a luxurious vacation. Having said that, whether you’re staying home to avoid busting open your piggy bank or because you have little ones to care for, don’t resign yourself to springtime monotony just yet. There are plenty of options for every Texan that are both cost-effective and refreshing. Here are some tried and true suggestions. 

Take a Day Trip Somewhere

Yes, you’re staying “home,” but that does not mean that you and your family are on house arrest for the week. The beauty of living in a state like Texas is that there are dozens of different road trips one can take in a day. Our state is home to more than a few gorgeous national parks, and spring break provides the perfect opportunity (and hopefully weather) to try your hand at hiking or camping. Not into the whole nature thing? San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin all provide an abundance of activities for any traveler. Bars, museums, outdoor activities, restaurants, you name it, they've got it. Staying “home” doesn't require lounging around in your living room watching Netflix. Take the free time to finally make some road trips around the state.

Go Camping - In Your Backyard

This idea is especially perfect for families, but teens and couples might also enjoy stargazing from the comfort of their own yard. Backyard camping is both cost-effective and convenient: no packing up the car with campfire supplies and 27 bottles of bug spray, and no camping permits! Simply drag a tent and some sleeping bags outside and commence with the cookouts and campfire songs. Who says your own backyard can’t become a vacation destination?

Do Something Touristy

I have lived in the Dallas area my entire life, and I have never visited the JFK Museum. Sad, right? Chances are, you (like me) haven’t taken time out of your busy day-to-day schedule to act like a tourist in your own home. Well, if you can’t be a tourist somewhere new, why not embrace the opportunity to treat your hometown like an unfamiliar city? Visit that one monument where every tourist takes cheesy pictures or look up the top activities for your area on Trip Advisor. You’ll be surprised by many of the experiences your seemingly-boring home can offer.

Plan a Day at the Lake

Sure, none of the lakes in Texas really rival exquisite Hawaiian beaches, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful. Nothing will make you feel more like you’re on vacation than jet-skiing over waves or exploring hidden caves along shoresides. Plus, when you head back to work or school, you might even have that sun-kissed glow that everyone works so hard to achieve over the break. To find the best lake near you and to learn about state regulations for fishing and more, you can visit Texas Lake Finder.

Make a Spring Break Bucket List

Before the break even begins, make a to-do list, and not one full of chores. This is your chance to finally do some of those fun things you’ve been meaning to do for so long. Yeah, there’s the typical spring cleaning that can be done, but open your mind to other ideas. What about that Oscar nominated movie you’ve been meaning to see for months? Or the new shop with to-die for dresses that opened recently? Come on, you know you've been wanting to visit the zoo for years. Whatever it is, there’s some to-do that can add a splash of color to your staycation. Consider asking your children, significant other, or family members for ideas that you can do together. 

Attend a Musical or Sporting Event 

A concert, game, or other event can be a great way to break the week up. Even children can enjoy big events, and they might even develop a new love for a sport or style of music. After all, I was only like 12 when I went to my first Kelly Clarkson concert, and I still remember it very fondly. Although tickets to professional sports games and big-name musicians’ concerts can be a little pricey, the experience is usually worth the cost. If you really want to pinch pennies, consider sitting on the grass at an outdoor concert. Even bad seats at an awesome game or concert are better than no seats!

Treat Yo’Self

Despite what you may think, pamper sessions are not just for housewives or Elle Woods. Everyone deserves to indulge a little bit every now and then, regardless of age or gender. Men can consider visiting a fancy barber shop while women enjoy a much-needed manicure. Not into that kind of stuff? Shop, spend a day reading, or get your clothes dry-cleaned. Just pick one meaningful treat and refuse to feel guilty about it. If you’re trying to treat your kids, you might let them stay up late one night or make a special meal. It’s not about the price or the extravagance, as long as its something enjoyable that you rarely do. 

So, maybe a staycation doesn't call for tears or excessive TV binge-sessions. What will you guys be doing with your time off? Feel free to comment with any of your ideas! 

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