What genius coined the word ‘staycation’? We think it sucks. Vacations are a time for relaxing, exploring, renewing! You should be shedding responsibility and giving life’s everyday worries a rest! But: staycation? Uh-uh. This term gives us an icky, static, stuck-in-the house feeling… it’s a command for a bitch (not you sugar, we mean your dog), not an invitation to depart from the everyday.

But OK, the question remains. How do you relax, escape, and enjoy your precious week off from work when you’re grounded? After all, if you’re staying home you’re likely to fall victim to all those insidious, humdrum, low-key yet wildly irritating aggravations that daily life dishes out.

So be a complete bitch and set the rules.

1.  Dignify your week off.  Be serious and call it a vacation.

2.  No monotonous daily duties allowed: cooking, dishwasher unloading, laundry, raking.  Leave it!  (You. Not Rover.)

3.  If you have small children, ask your mom/mom-in-law to mind the kids. Set a schedule; make it formal.

4.  Get a babysitter if plan #3 is not possible

5.  Board cute little Fido or get a friend to watch her (trade turns).

6.  Do not touch your incoming mail or mile-high stack of bills—remember this is escape time.

7.  Shut off your land line. Hide your cell phone. Pull the plug on the computer.

8.  Go to the movies in the morning.

9.  Go to the museum. Lunch at a chi-chi restaurant. Drink wine. Go home. Nap, have sex, nap, and go out again at night.

10. Make reservations at the fanciest restaurant in town on Tuesday night, the hippest restaurant on Thursday, a fun low-key one in the university area another. Yes, you’ll blow some cash on good food, but you’ve spent zilch on travel or airfare.

11.  Go to the bookstore or library and snag a local guide book. Pick the top three must-sees you’ve somehow missed and go visit them.

12.  This is critical: tell everyone you have gone away. Really.

13.  When you see a friend downtown who says, “I thought you were out of town,” say, “I am! Have you been drinking again?”   Shake your head sadly and turn the other way.

Stay at home is all the rage.  But what you do with a stay at home vacation makes all the difference. Follow these rules and let go of the everyday.  Put some fun back in your life!