Top Ten: Things to do if you're staying home over spring break

Ah, spring break. The air is warming up, days are getting longer, and after midterms we all deserve to slow down and focus on something other than class and GPAs. Not everyone has the money or the resources to go out of town, so here are some great ideas to get your stay-cation on. Whether you’re traveling back to your home state or kicking it in Tuscaloosa, this top ten will ensure that you don’t miss out on spring break fun—and of course, you’ll have something original to brag about when school is back in session!

1. Unplug (No, Seriously!)

With no reason to check your student email, this is a perfect time to go off the grid. Turn off your phone, and hide the laptop and TV remote; breathe a sigh of relief and relish the silence. There’s no better sound during break than the absence of responsibility—especially with no pesky chiming around. Off-the-grid vacation spots are steadily increasing in popularity—get on board with this trend and unwind!

2. Develop a Talent

Do you paint, sing, or write? Are you a budding photographer or a comedian? Chances are, as busy students are prone to do, you’ve been neglecting your hobbies in favor of studying or social events. Take time to do something you enjoy that you don’t usually have time for—or even pick up something new.

3. Go to a Spa

Every hometown is bound to have some place for relaxation nearby, even if it’s not a “real Spa”, where costs can pile up quickly. Treat yourself and indulge! Get a massage, have your hair professionally styled at a salon, or get a manicure and pedicure. Many places will have spring break specials or student discounts, and some offer packages that are very cost-effective.

4. Relax DIY Style

Don’t have the money for spa treatments? Make your own! A quick Google search can reveal a treasure trove of do-it-yourself ideas. Buy some ingredients and make a face-mask or special skin treatments. Use a tennis ball or foam roller to help with muscle knots and tenseness and then take a hot shower or bath. Bonus points if you do several treatments in a row!

5. Visit an Amusement Park

Park tickets can be surprisingly cost effective if you research deals and pricing. Find a park close to home to save gas money, and spend all day riding rides and enjoying the classic thrill of theme parks. Without hotel prices, excessive gas prices, and with a food budget, you’ll definitely get more bang for your buck.

6. Try Geocaching

Geocaching is like a real life scavenger hunt—the official website says, “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” There are local groups online—research and participate in an exciting new pastime.

7. Tour your hometown

Google and find your local museums, theatres, zoos and aquariums and outdoor parks. Plan to spend a day in your town like a tourist—read reviews and find the best spots for food, culture, and fun.

8. Go Camping

Camping is a super cost-effective way to get a full vacation for less. Many campsites cost less than twenty dollars, and equipment like camping hammocks are both fun and comfortable. Get cozy with nature and spend some time reflecting under the stars in the fresh air.

9. Hold Your Own Film Festival

Research movie genres and pick multiple movies that sound interesting. Grab some snacks and sweatpants and enjoy some lazy time that takes Netflix binging to the next level.

10. Make Something

Get crafty. Try to sew a piece of clothing, build a birdhouse, or get down to finally making that tree swing you’ve been wanting in your backyard. Many find crafting to be stress relieving and fun. If you unlock your inner creative genius, open an Etsy shop and share you talent with the world!

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