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August 03, 2009


Chris Vaughan

When faced with the choice of a "staycation" or just going in to work, I go to work. At least there the coffee is free, and the maid service takes out the trash.


I love it. Thanks for making me laugh this morning.


You're singing my song here :)

Even an overnight trip a few hours from home beats the whole let's-stay-home-and-pretend-we're-on-vacation thing. I don't even like to use the "stay" word...



Agreed. A few months ago, I stayed in a hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., for a night - my home town. My company had an extra room for a guest who didn't show and didn't want to waste it.
I packed a bag and invited the S.O. He couldn't make it due to a commitment he couldn't get out of.
I had a glorious evening out of the house, luxuriating at a $300+ a night hotel. And even though I had to sit through a work dinner and leave early in the a.m. for another work day, those few hours were delightful.
Staying home is staying home. There's no "cation" about it...


Linda Tagliaferro

Hey, Ellen,

Thanks for the laughs. And yes, I've seen many an embroidered peasant blouse bought up by tourists.... as well as weird alcoholic beverages. I somehow managed to keep myself from buying that bubbly pineapple wine in Maui. I'm proud.

But I think that in the broader sense, "staycation" ('s a lame term some publicist came up with) means staying at a hotel in your town, where yes, the maid will make up the bed for you and put chocolates on your pillow at night.



Ellen, this is great. One thing that makes something a vacation, not a staycation, for me: It involves room service (as opposed, say, to pizza delivery).



Aha. Perhaps this is where the difficulty comes in - the definition of a "staycation." A friend of mine recently talked about "taking a staycation" and he was referring to staying at home.


I love that distinction - room service vs. pizza delivery. Subtle! But tells the story.


Amen! All of this is so, so true. I hate the idea of taking a week off and staying home. I won't do it. That's not a vacation to me. It's a very long, boring weekend.



If they didn't count as vacation days, I'd love having days at home to accomplish the things I never get done (as if they'll then get done...)
But I won't feel rested and refreshed at the end of it. And it most certainly won't be an adventure. So, like you, I hate the idea of doing it. And never have.



Great post, Ellen - and SO true!! I'm going to put a link on my facebook page!


Thanks. Both for the nice comment and the link. That's great.

Rachel Dickinson

You hit the nail on the head, Ellen. Who in their right mind would call staying at home anything other than work as usual? Oh, yeah, the government who wants us to feel better about not having the money to go anywhere.

May the idea of staycation go into the drawer with the pet rock.


Lisa B.

#25 on my bucket list is to tour my hometown as if I were a tourist--a staycation. But I have to admit, nothing makes me happier than planning and packing for a trip far, far away from my daily life! I loved the list! I most confess I am so a #10 on vacation! Happy Travels, Lisa



I didn't buy a pet rock (tho I wished I'd thought of the idea!) and I won't "go" on a staycation.


If you tour your home town, at least stay in a hotel or B and B and get away from home. Then it will feel like a vacation.
(We're ALL a #10 on vacation at some point. lol)



Absolutely adorable! Amanda's aunt rocks.



You're a hoot! Looking forward to our next get-together.



i despise the word stayvacation. You aren't going anywhere! You're home! call it like it is! I'm glad you share my rage.



The worst is, people have started getting used to the word. Accepting it even. As my niece would say..nnoooooo!!!!



Since my away vacations are usually jam-packed seeing/doing as much as I can in the place I'm visiting (who knows if I'll ever get back for a second visit), I generally don't find them relaxing. Exciting, exhilerating, eye-opening, amazing etc. - yes, relaxing - no.

I love to take a week off and stay home and just putter around the house and do things at my own pace. After a week of that, I'm relaxed.



Sounds like you know what you like. And taking a week off to stay home suits you. All I ask is that you don't call it a staycation!
It's a week off from work to relax and putter around the house. ;-)
Like I said, nothing wrong with that.



I dislike the word "staycation," not just because it sounds so utterly stupid but because it's such a vague term that it doesn't communicate anything. It can refer to a wide range of activities, from the "stay home and watch TV" or "stay home and take day trips" you're skewering here, to "stay in a hotel in your home town," all the way to a genuine vacation somewhere a few hours away by car, bus, train, or bicycle.

That said, if you're fortunate enough in these hard economic times to have a choice of vacations beyond a "staycation" (however you define it), that's great. But a lot of people don't have that choice. So they should not be made to feel bad about taking a break from their frustrating job hunt to enjoy a real vacation exploring their home towns, even if they end each day in their own unmade beds.

For that matter, even people who are gainfully employed (for the moment at least) could have a perfectly great time enjoying an inexpensive vacation based on day trips from home. Perhaps for you a vacation requires spending money on a hotel, and that's entirely fine. But for others, all it may take is to proclaim "I'm on vacation!" before spending the day doing just what a tourist would do in their home town. It's the mind that matters. If you buy a guidebook and research your day trips from home as if they were excursions to the other side of the world, you can have a fantastic vacation without breaking the bank (and without using the dreaded "s-word").

I'll certainly agree with your assertion that "staycation" is not a satisfactory substitute for actually going somewhere different from home. But there are times when it's the right thing to do. Your post is still very funny.


Thanks Ted for your nice comment at the end.

On staying home for vacation, it's up to individuals what feels right. For me, if I'm not away, it doesn't completely feel like a vacation. For others it may. We all have to do what we have to do based on our desires and bank accounts.



Fun post!

I am not sure I agree though, just on a pedantic definition standpoint.

I totally agree with you that going away somewhere beats staying at home any day. Especially, if you don't get much holiday per year (something that applies to nearly every American adult).

But I would define "vacation" as time off work or school. (Though where I come from we are more likely to refer to it as "holidays" or in an office context, "annual leave"). When I was a child I didn't go away every time I had vacation from school but I certainly knew the difference between my holidays (even ones at home) and going to school.

And when I tell people at work that I have a holiday/vacation coming up, their first question usually is: Are you going away somewhere? It's not a given that I have to go away in order for it to be a vacation.

But definitely agreed that travel is great and "staycation" is a silly word. You don't need a separate word for staying at home - it's just a different way of spending your vacation.


Great article Ellen! In my mind 'staycation' is somehow much too easily confused with 'stagnation'. To enjoy a 'vacation' - I need to get away - not far necessarily, but definitely away!!



I agree with you in that when I was little, school vacations, or holidays, didn't mean going away. But as a working adult I have never taken off a full week to stay home. That's just me.
Three day weekend? Sure. If work wants to give me a free Monday off (or bank holiday as you might say) I'm content to putter around the house.
But as RM says, staycation is too easily confused with stagnation and I find that happens to me. Too many days at home and I get sluggish.
So I hoard those precious vacation days and figure out some way to get away.

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