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  • Photo: B Garrett via Flickr

    Nothing announces your ambition to unshackle from the grind of daily life like posting up dockside at a lake house with a book, a fishing rod, and a cooler full of cheap beer. No itineraries. No gear lists. Just the kids and the dog. But it’s not easy being lazy. To pull it off, you need a strategy—this strategy.

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    1. Go Small

    Rent a cabin that’s a little too cozy. It forces you to talk, play card games, stare at the lake. You’ll be surprised at the conversations you have. Plus, it will make you want to be outside. Because everybody gets tired of talking.

  • 2. Turn Off Your Phone

    There’s a landline for emergencies; everything else can wait.

  • Photo: J.K. York/Shutterstock.com

    3. Unpack Everything First

    When you arrive, don’t check out the dock. Don’t test the hammock. Pick your room, and put away your clothes and bathroom essentials. You want to feel like you’re at home, without the yard work.

  • Photo: Scott Prokop/Shutterstock.com

    4. Stock Up.

    Buy everything you need—hamburger meat, buns, watermelon, marshmallows—the first day. You don’t want to make unnecessary forays to the store for Capri Sun pouches.

  • Photo: Fred Fokkelman/Shutterstock.com

    5. Dress Appropriately

    Swim trunks or shorts at all times. T-shirt and sandals are optional. No socks.

  • 6. Claim Your Territory

    Sure, you’ll paddle around the lake and swim with the kids. But above all, you should bring a lawn chair and set it up with a view of the lake. Think of it as a declaration of intent: When I’m sitting here, whether I’m reading or taking a nap or having a beer, I am not to be disturbed. Your father probably did the same thing. There’s a reason for that. Now it’s your turn.

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