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The Birchbox Man Guide to the Staycation

Now that you know how to strategically unplug, how to make the most of your lunch break and, crucially, how to grow and maintain the perfect vacation beard, you're ready to graduate to seriously advanced escape artistry: getting away from it all… without going anywhere. Truth is, you don't need to throw money at expensive flights and hotels to truly unwind. The trip you've been dreaming of is right under your nose. Here's how to staycation like a pro.

Staycation Rule #1: Don't Just Unplug—Kill the Breakers

First things first: Disconnect entirely. Vacation is about getting away from it all, and these days “it all” primarily means your cellphone. Turn it off. Give it to a neighbor. Set up your autoreply and avoid email like the plague. No one at work will be the wiser that you're right around the corner, matching up mai tais for every TPS report they send off. Oh, and shut off the TV.

Staycation Rule #2: Go “Further”

There's a difference between “farther” (physical distance) and “further” (figurative distance). Since you're not traveling farther, go further. Vacations are about appreciating difference, and that's something you can do locally. Ferris Bueller didn't just lounge around Sloane's house all day, did he? Carpe that diem. Go to the park. Introduce yourself to that curious, attractive person reading that book you've read. Lend an ear to that old man as he tells you a tale and doles out advice. Hijack a parade. But whatever you do: Don't be a Cameron staycationer. Get out of bed.

Staycation Rule #3: Treat Yourself

If Bueller is your staycation spirit animal, let Tom Haverford be your financial advisor this staycation. Don't stick all the money you saved by not travelling under your mattress. You should splurge a little. Try living like a temporary millionaire for a couple of days. Eat at a fancy restaurant or two. Heck, turn yourself into a cashmere-velvet candy cane if that's what makes you feel good.

Staycation Rule #4: Make your Home a Destination

If you're not going to a beach, bring the beach to you. Get a coconut, lop off the top, add a little umbrella, and drink everything from it all staycation long (water, coffee, you name it). If you want to go the extra mile, pick up a tarp, some sand, tiki torches, and an inflatable swimming pool from Home Depot. Just relax and transcend the tackiness. (Note: Do any and all Home Depot shopping prior to the start date of your staycation.)

Staycation Rule #5: If All Else Fails, Nearcation

If you've tapped out your own vacation digs, the change of pace you need can sometimes be found as close as the next town over. You'll see new sights, meet new people, and staying in a hotel means you won't have to clean up after yourself. Read up on your new temporary home, and then throw away the guidebook. Explore a bit. If you happen upon someone dressed as a cashmere-velvet candy cane, sipping from a coconut while hijacking a parade, be sure to congratulate him on a successful staycation.

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