FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Even though Punxsutawney Phil recently forecasted six more weeks of winter, hundreds from Fort Rucker and the surrounding areas set their sights on warmer climates as they planned their vacation possibilities.

Fort Rucker and MWR Central hosted the 30th annual Travel Extravaganza Feb. 6 at The Landing where people were able to envision their next vacation getaway by browsing more than 50 vendors with destinations ranging from local to abroad.

The vendors included hotels, convention centers, amusement parks, water parks, dinner theaters, cruises and various destination locations, and for Jessica Hargrove, military spouse, the possibilities were endless.

"It's always nice to be able to come out and dream about what your next vacation is going to be," she said. "I've got three children and I go to school, as well, so even just thinking about where I can go to get a little bit of vacation time is almost like a little vacation itself."

Hargrove said that trying to come up with a vacation plan can sometimes be stressful, as well, so being able to browse options and ask questions makes the process that much easier.

"When you plan a vacation there is a lot involved -- you've got to book the rooms, try to get time off, figure out what amenities they provide, talk about travel plans -- it all really can get overwhelming," she said. "That's why sometimes we just avoid vacations that are too involved because sometimes it doesn't seem worth the hassle."

But the Travel Extravaganza provided her the unique opportunity to ask questions and get some answers, said the mother of three.

"With everyone here, you can get so many specifics and figure out what exactly you'd be paying for," she said. "Some of the vendors even have videos to show you of what to expect and it's just really nice to talk to the people that have the knowledge to help rather than looking around online for the best deal."

Karen Key, acting MWR Central business manager, said although the event highlights various destinations that people can travel to, it was also meant to highlight what Fort Rucker's own MWR Central can do for its patrons.

"The goal of this event is to not only show some of the amazing, hassle-free and affordable travel options that MWR Central can help to provide, but it also shows the community all that MWR Central has to offer," she said.

In addition to the Travel Extravaganza, MWR Central continues to offer savings to the Fort Rucker community with upcoming day trip opportunities, like the annual Mardi Gras day trip to Mobile Feb. 10; the annual Spring Break Getaway cruise March 24-29; and a planned trip to the Florida Caverns in Marianna, April 14.

For more information on upcoming day trips, visit or call 255-9517 or 255-2997.