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staycation also stay-cation

noun [countable]

a holiday in which you stay at home and visit places near to where you live

staycationer

noun [countable]

staycation

verb [intransitive]

'Staycations have become more and more common. Not everyone has the time or money to invest in a long faraway trip. Staying close to home is good for the economy, and probably a lot safer.'

Tribune Express, Canada 1st August 2008

'Staycationers may be reason for increase of visitors at museum … The National Liberty Museum saw a 25 percent spike in visitorship in the first six months of the year.'

Philadelphia Business Journal1st August 2008

'As a fun and exciting way to celebrate the staycation experience, CoCo Key Water Resort is launching a search for the most creative and resourceful ways families have staycationed in the past.'

Marketwatch 18th July 2008

'… this year is a bit different because staycationing – holidaying in the UK – is not only PC among politicos, it has also become achingly hip in celeb-land owing to its right-on lower carbon credentials. Kate Winslett, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman and Jamie Oliver have all been spotted holidaying at home.'

The Herald, UK 2nd August 2008

The annual holiday – those two weeks of the year that we spend the other 50 looking forward to … But imagine a holiday for which there was no packing, no setting up tents in the pouring rain, no passport checks or foreign currency, no sitting in traffic jams or airport transit lounges. Yes, a holiday that begins as soon as you return from work on a Friday evening and shut your front door excitedly behind you. If this sounds appealing to you, how about joining in with the 'hottest' holiday trend of 2008, and taking a staycation?

A staycation is a period when someone, either an individual or family group, stays at home and either relaxes there or takes day trips to local attractions. In 2008, against a backdrop of escalating fuel prices and the economic crisis popularly known as the credit crunch (when loans are less easily available or very expensive, causing a reduction in consumer spending), the staycation is becoming an increasingly popular option.

before you leap onto the staycation bandwagon, beware of the disadvantages, which include 'popping in' to work, 'just checking' work-related emails or being 'easily contactable'

Whether our preferred getaway is a tent in the countryside or a flight to foreign climes, consumers on both sides of the Atlantic are finding their domestic budget squeezed to such an extent that more economical approaches to holidaymaking are becoming increasingly attractive. The financial advantages of a staycation are obvious, but there is also the added bonus of access to home comforts, the elimination of stress associated with travel, and potential brownie points for those of us with a nagging environmental conscience.

Committed stay-at-home holidaymakers, otherwise known as staycationers, may also give a boost to their local economy as they visit places of interest which don't conventionally benefit from booming summer tourism.

Before you leap onto the staycation bandwagon, beware of the disadvantages, which include, 'popping in' to work, 'just checking' work-related emails or being 'easily contactable'. Tips for a successful staycation include making definite plans for each day, as you would for a conventional holiday (hence avoiding complete 'sloth' mode!) and viewing your home town as if you were a happy, carefree tourist, keen to exploit all its potential.

Background – staycation

The term staycation is of course a blend of the verb stay and the noun vacation. Following the use of vacation as a verb in American English, staycation is also used as an intransitive verb, with a corresponding participle noun staycationing. Staycation made its first appearance in American English about five years ago, but in the context of ailing economies on both sides of the Atlantic, has recently gained more significant exposure in both American and British English.

On a related theme, other vacation-based coinages include mancation, a male-only holiday (incorporating stereotypical 'guy' activities like sports, drinking and chasing women!), and microvacation, a very short holiday (such as a weekend away or a day being pampered at a spa).

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 19th August 2008.

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