By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterMarch 2, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Hundreds of people turned out to get the latest information on vacation possibilities in this area and beyond at the Travel Extravaganza Feb. 22.
The 29th annual Travel Extravaganza was held at The Landing's ballroom where 60 vendors set up for people to browse their dream vacations, as well as win prizes ranging from hotel stays, gift baskets and amusement park tickets, all in one convenient location, according to Savery Wile, MWR Central business manager.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Soldiers and their families to see what all is available for their travel needs," she said. "The goal is to show some of the amazing, hassle-free and affordable travel options that MWR Central can help to provide."
As people walked in the doors they were able to take part in the passport scavenger hunt game, which had each participant visiting various booths to have their logos marked off by vendors. Once all of their checks were marked off, they were entered to win a chance at the door prizes.
Vendors from vacation destinations from all over were showing off their wares -- from local getaways to cruises and destinations, including Panama City Beach, Destin and Orlando, Florida; New Orleans; Atlanta; and even the Caribbean.
Sharon Filler, civilian from Enterprise, said she loves to come browse the different vendors to get an idea of what her next vacation destination might be.
"I feel like a lot of times people will do the same vacation year after year, so it's always nice to get new ideas," she said. "When you're stuck in the same place for a long time, you don't really start to see past your own front yard, so it's good to get some external perspective on what we might be able to get into, what we can afford and what we might not have thought of.
"We normally take vacations to the mountains in Tennessee because we love the outdoors and my husband is basically a mountain man," she continued," but I think this time we'll try something different, like a cruise or something, because it's always nice to be able to broaden your horizons and try something new -- you never know what you might really enjoy."
Although the prospect of being on a giant ship in the middle of the ocean didn't seem ideal to Filler's husband, Mason, he said he'd be open to the idea of something new.
"I can't say it would be my first choice of a vacation, but this does give us a good chance to see what ways we can change it up a bit," he said. "I might have to warm up to the idea of the cruise, but I'm open to exploring my options, and I think this is a really good place to be able to do that."
That ability to be able to explore options is precisely what Wile said she hopes the event is able to provide people in the local community.
"We just want to be able (show) people what is out there for them to explore," she said.