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How to Have a Fabulous Staycation

Just because you can’t spring for pricey plane tickets and a hotel doesn’t mean you can’t get away. This weekend, plan a vacation… without ever leaving your hometown.

Photo: Getty

Secret 1: Turn your home into a boutique hotel
Outfit your bed There’s nothing like crisp white hotel linens (go for 300 thread count; it’s worth the investment). Make the bed like hotels do: Fold the top sheet six inches over your blanket. Then fold your duvet three-quarters of the way down for an inviting look.
Spa out Upgrade your sweats-and-tees to plush white terry robes. Stock the bathroom with a luxe body wash to try together.
Create a mini bar What’s an at-home oasis without munchies? May we suggest: gourmet Potato chips, salty cashews, water, bubbly and your liquor of choice.
Order room service Keep your fave take-out menus by the phone. Think omelettes, waffles with berries and cream, plus freshly squeezed juice (use wine glasses like hotels do). Bonus points for eating it on your china while still in bed.
Tune up Hook up your iPod to portable speakers in your bedroom. Chill, lounge-y tunes to try: Hotel Costes: Best of Costes.
Watch movies in bed Schedule a Netflix delivery right before the weekend begins. It’s cheaper than a hotel’s pay-per-view, and you won’t waste any of your time browsing.
Put chocolates on your pillow Splurge on decadent treats you wouldn’t usually buy for yourself. Hint: If they’re unwrapped, put ’em on tissue.


Secret 2: Act like tourists (minus the fanny packs)
Be a ticket master When was the last time you went to see a show? Exactly. Go to your local box office for same-day discounts.
Hit a vino bar What do people do on vacation? They order drinks in the afternoon. Cheers!
Eat exotic You’re in a foreign city, remember? Try a new cuisine for dinner (think: Korean, Indian, Argentine).
Have a night (or day) at the museum Okay, it may not be as memorable as ogling Michelangelo’s David on that trip to Italy, but check it out anyway.
Don’t go local Explore a new part of your city or day-trip to a neighboring town.
Make it monumental Space Needle? Gettysburg? Visit a historic attraction in your area that you’ve ignored since the day you moved (yes, you can make fun of the real tourists).
Bargain shop When you’re on vacay, er, staycay, there’s an unwritten rule: You’re absolved of shopper’s guilt.
Get snap happy Start a Facebook staycation album (just make sure those tub photos aren’t too European).

Secret 3: unplug, unplug, unplug
Go straight to voicemail Before you hit the “eject from society” button, just tell your inner circle that you’re “off duty” so they don’t think you died or drove cross-country to audition for American Idol.
Log off Checking your Gmail? Not so fast, trigger finger. The exception: to get the addresses of new restaurants and attractions in your city.
Ignore the mail There’s no way you can relax knowing that you owe $140 to Time Warner Cable.
Be fluff-free Have pets? Enlist a friend, neighbor or family member to watch them for the weekend. Take your spouse for a walk instead (we’re actually serious).
Enforce a BlackBerry ban If you hear your spouse making teeny typing noises at midnight, you’re entitled to one free foot-rub.
forget the alarm clock Use the most old-school wake-up call in town: the sun.
quit your job (for now) Your boss makes you crazy. You’re worried about the project due next week. Will you even be employed next month? Stop! Yapping about work all weekend will crush those happy staycation vibes—so zip it!

Check out more Travel for Two tips.

-- Riann Smith

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