Meet me at the hotel

There’s no need to empty your wallet to take your summer squeeze on a vacation when you can fake it.

Fort Lauderdale is a great getaway spot, but as locals, we don’t get to enjoy it like the tourists do. At the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, though, you can just show up in some crazy outfit and do just that.

Dress like you’re from out of town with some obnoxious tropical prints and a huge backpack, and just have a look of awe on your face the whole time. No one will question whether you’re from here.

Try out Aloha Watersports, a beach sports equipment rental company located on the beach at the resort. There are metal detector, boogie board and surfboard rentals, as well as the water weenie ride, a long, tube-shaped object you straddle, for $20 to $50 a person for each activity.

If you want to splurge a bit, they also offer rentals on boats, waverunners, parasailing, and scuba or snorkeling dives that are by reservation only. Be prepared to spend between $70 and $200 for the rentals and another $200 for the dive reservations.

After some exciting ocean adventures, take it easy for a bit on the beach’s hammocks or shaded lounge chairs.

This kind of special treatment is what any girl wants to enjoy, and you’ll feel like you’re living the life of luxury when the booze cart comes around for you to purchase made-to-order drinks without leaving the beach.

Make sure you spend some time by the pool because cookies and lemonade are given out around 3 p.m.

Once you have your snacks, make your way over to the abundant seating available on the enormous outside patio area. This will give you some alone time in a more secluded setting. If the day is going well so far, it will probably get better.

When the sun starts to set, your minivacation isn’t over yet. Just a 10-minute walk down the street is the bar-happy area of Fort Lauderdale at State Road A1A and Las Olas Boulevard.

You can go back to being locals and enjoy the oceanfront strip. Places like Fat Tuesday usually have a good college crowd. It’s known for its frozen concoctions, and when you purchase a drink in a signature cup, refills are available at a discount — even when you bring it back the next time.

If you want to make it a real vacation and rent a room at the Marriott, it will set you back about $300.

So grab that blanket from your car and spend a bit of time on the beach in the dark. Since you’re on vacation, it doesn’t matter who might see or hear you because you can use the golden excuse: “I’m not from around here.”

FOR GUYS

Follow most of these guidelines as well, but wear a simple-colored pair of board shorts and maybe get a cheap tank top with some annoying neon slogan like “I’m in Miami, Bitch” on it to show that you got a souvenir already and you’re proud of it.

How to crash and get away with it.

Just your clothing can tell people that you’re not a local. Here are a few pointers on getting together your tourist costume.*

Hair: Be simple with your hair — pull it back or braid it. You can even get a hair wrap or two for that cheesy effect.

Sunglasses: Cheap shades can be found anywhere. Just find a pair that looks slightly ridiculous — the more awkward they look on you, the better.

Backpack: As an adult, wearing a brightly colored backpack will pretty much put you out of place anywhere.

Pamphlet in hand: Having any sort of map, pamphlet or booklet is a dead giveaway that you have no idea where you are and you don’t have a clue as to where you’re going.

Dress: Floral print? Check. Obnoxiously bright color? Check. Not too revealing length? Check.

Beach towel: Any beach towel will do, and hanging it on the side of your backpack will give the added “I’m a traveler” effect.

Sandals: Don’t be too flashy with your footwear – simple flip-flops will do, because people up north don’t really have a need for them most of the year.

The Marriott Harbor Beach

3030 Holiday Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 525-4000
www.marriottharborbeach.com

Aloha Water Sports

3030 Holiday Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 462-7245
www.alohawatersports.com

Fat Tuesday Beach Place

17 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 525-6090
www.fat-tuesday.com