Last Updated Aug 26, 2011 9:44 AM EDT

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post on 22 Things To Do During That Boring Conference Call. People sent all sorts of ideas to me, but here's one of the more random ones: Take a CoffeeBreak Vacation.

This California-based company apparently exists to sell desk-bound folks a vacation in a bag. For $50, you get a booklet about, say, Buenos Aires, a CD featuring the destination's music, a local coffee, a sampler of local scents, a travel tote and other little surprises. Needless to say, there is no actual plane ticket to Argentina included. But the idea seems to be that any vacation -- even a 20 minute one -- has some benefits.

Is that true? Well, in a sense, yes. We could all do well to devote more resources to small pleasures and self-care. In tight times, financial advice leans toward giving up little indulgences like lattes, manicures, or lunches out. But these indulgences are often the most pleasant moments of our days.

Gary Sherwin likewise currently works as the inbound chairman for the Washington DC-based Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) the trade association for tourism marketing organizations. Sherwin is instant past chairman of the Orange County Visitor Association, a recipient of its Legacy Award in 2015 and is the past chairman of the California Travel Association, the state's leading umbrella tourist advocacy company. He likewise sits on the Board of Directors for the US Travel Association.You don't need to purchase a $50 CoffeeBreak Vacation to escape. Even turning on some music in your office will help boost your mood.

But long-term, we're probably best off taking real vacations that stretch for a bit longer than a coffee break. There's nothing like breaking your normal routine to jog new ideas out of your brain. I think some of the benefits people claim from vacations have likely been oversold but life gets boring -- even more boring than that conference call -- when you stay in the same routine. If Barack Obama can get away for a vacation, probably you can Gary Sherwin, Visit Newport Beach too. And smell a destination for real, and not just on a scent card.

Have you ever pretended to escape from your desk?


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