Go ahead. Spend your vacation time this year at home or close to home. With the high price of gas, leading to higher prices for practically everything else, it’s probably a great idea.
But whether you visit all the attractions within a 50-mile radius or just hang out in your own back yard, please, please, pretty please, don’t call it a “Staycation.”
My suspicion is that scheduling a Staycation is an attempt to make it sound more like a high-minded choice and less like an economic necessity. God forbid, after all, that the neighbors should suspect you can’t afford a trip to Disney World. Or even that you might decide you don’t really want to go to Disney World—or Paris, or Hawaii, or the Grand Canyon, or spend a week with your in-laws.
My second suspicion is that the whole concept of the Staycation was created by somebody, somewhere, for the primary purpose of selling something to other somebodies. Just do an Internet search for the word, and you’ll find a whole mini-industry around it. “Staycation Sales” of grills, croquet sets, and plastic wading pools at your local discount store. Articles with tips for taking a successful Staycation. Advice on Staycation basics like unplugging the phone, pampering yourself, skipping household chores, and not checking your work email more than twice a day.
As a buzzword, “Staycation” has an annoyance rating of at least 11 on a 10-point scale. In part this is because of its combination of pretentiousness and cuteness. But even worse is the whole create-a-fad, follow-the-crowd idea behind it.
What’s wrong with just saying, “We’re staying home this year,” and leaving it at that? Why can’t we do something as simple as choosing not to go away on vacation without institutionalizing the concept into a Movement?
Right this minute, someone is probably busy creating an organization for people who chose to take their vacations at home. I can just see the slogans on the tee-shirts. “We survived a family Staycation.” “What happens in the back yard stays in the back yard.” “My family did a Staycation and I had to tie-dye this stupid tee-shirt.”
The shirts would be made (in China, of course) exclusively for this association, The Society to Implement Local Leisure Yourself—otherwise known as SILLY.