Staycation

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This article is about a vacation where the people return home each night (or most nights). For a vacation spent in a different part of the same country, see domestic tourism.
Spending time in a backyard swimming pool is one of the activities sometimes enjoyed during a staycation.

A staycation is a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night. They might make day trips to local tourist sites, swimming venues, or engage in fun activities such as horseback riding, paintball, hiking or visiting museums. Most of the time it involves dining out more frequently than usual. Staycations achieved popularity in the US during the financial crisis of 2007–2010.[1][2] Staycations also became a popular phenomenon in the UK in 2009 as a weak pound made overseas holidays significantly more expensive.[3]

Common activities of a staycation include use of the backyard pool, visits to local parks and museums, and attendance at local festivals and amusement parks. Some staycationers also like to follow a set of rules, such as setting a start and end date, planning ahead, and avoiding routine, with the goal of creating the feel of a traditional vacation.[4]

Etymology[edit]

The word staycation is a portmanteau of stay (meaning stay-at-home) and vacation.[5][6] The term "daycation" is also sometimes used.[7] The blog Wordspy.com attributes the earliest reference to this term as coming from a 2003 article in The Sun News.[5] According to a Connecticut travel blog, the word "staycation" was originally coined by Canadian comedian Brent Butt[8] in the television show Corner Gas, in the episode "Mail Fraud", which first aired October 24, 2005. The word became widely used in the United States during May 2008 as the summer travel season began with gas prices reaching record highs, leading many people to cut back on expenses including travel.[9][10][11]

The term was added to the 2009 version of the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.[12]

A closely related concept and term is nearcation, which is taking a vacation to a location relatively close to home.[13][14] "Nearcation" and "staycation" may be used interchangeably since the travel destination may be in the same metropolitan region in which one resides and it is unclear how far away a destination needs to be until it becomes no longer a "staycation".

Nearcation is a portmanteau of near and vacation. The alternate naycation ("nay" + "vacation") has been used to signify total abstention from travel.[15]

Lake Superior State University added the word to its 2009 List of Banished Words. The citation noted that vacation is not synonymous with travel, and thus a separate term isn't necessary to describe a vacation during which one stays at home.[16]

Benefits of a staycation[edit]

Staycations are far less costly than a vacation involving traveling. There are no lodging costs and travel expenses are minimal. Costs may include transportation for local trips, dining, and local attractions.[17] "The American Automobile Association said the average North American vacation will cost $244 per day for two people for lodging and meals.... Add some kids and airfare, and a 10-day vacation could top $8,000."[17]

Staycations do not have the stress associated with travel, such as packing, long drives, or waits at airports.[18]

Indeed, a few people go as far as leaving their home only for their usual errands (such as food shopping). Those with backyard swimming pools have an advantage as they can spend more time swimming without leaving their property and sometimes have as much fun as they might have had going anywhere.

Staycations may be of economic benefit to some local businesses, who get customers from the area providing them with business. In 2008, the tourism bureaus of many U.S. cities also began promoting staycations for their residents to help replace the tourism dollars lost from a drop in out-of-town visitors.[4]

Risks of a staycation[edit]

As staycationers are close to their places of employment, they may be tempted to go to work at least part of the time, and their bosses may feel their employees are available to be called into work. Staycationers also have access to their email (whether personal or business) at home as they would regularly, allowing them to be contacted, and feeling the temptation to keep up with this contact (whether business or social).[18] These risks can be balanced by strictly adhering rules that make the experience feel like a real get-away, such as "no checking email," or "no watching television."

Staycationers may spend money they had not planned as retailers and other advertisers offer "deals" to encourage staycationers to spend money.[19][20] These may include hotels making package deals in hopes of luring planned staycationers to do some travel.[8][21] Staycationers can also finish a stay-at-home vacation feeling unsatisfied if they allow themselves to fall into their daily monotony and include household projects, errands, and other menial tasks in their vacation at home or near home.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Get away on vacation — at home - Family - MSNBC.com
  2. ^ www.whec.com - Staycations popular as gas prices rise
  3. ^ "Staycations Boom Despite Summer Gloom", Sky News, 2009-08-16. Retrieved on 2009-09-01.
  4. ^ a b c The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (and Your Wallet!), Matt Wixon
  5. ^ a b Word Spy - staycation
  6. ^ Buzzword: Staycation: Consumer Reports Home & Garden Blog
  7. ^ www.whec.com - Staycations popular as gas prices rise
  8. ^ a b "Staycation Connecticut Style"
  9. ^ Goldman, David (2008-05-07). "Congress takes on gasoline prices". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  10. ^ Buzzword: Staycation
  11. ^ Summer Staycation
  12. ^ "Locavores," "staycations" get official in dictionary - Reuters
  13. ^ - Nearcation Trend Helps Hershey Park Stay Sweet
  14. ^ - Vacationers travel roads closer to home to save the summer
  15. ^ Elliott, Christopher (2008-12-28). "9 reasons '09 will be the year of the naycation". Elliott: The Travel Critic. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  16. ^ "Lake Superior State University 2009 List of Banished Words", January 1, 2009.
  17. ^ a b Avoiding high gas prices with a 'staycation' - Personal finance - MSNBC.com
  18. ^ a b "Staycations: Alternative to pricey, stressful travel - CNN.com". CNN. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  19. ^ "Retailers promote 'staycation' sales". USA Today. 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  20. ^ Retailers promote 'staycation' sales - Yahoo! News
  21. ^ Valley hotels lure locals with 'Staycation' deals - Phoenix Arizona news, breaking news, local news, weather radar, traffic from ABC15 News | ABC15.com

External links[edit]