Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a family holiday (or vacation) which is spent with grandparents in an effort to share costs

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun greycation is a a portmanteau word or blend formed from a combination of the words ‘grey‘ and ‘vacation’. It was first used in the early 2000s.


Greycation (graycation in American English) is one of the humorous terms coined on the back of ‘daycation’, another of which, ‘staycation’, we looked at in a previous post. Another is haycation, a holiday spent on a farm. These different types of holiday could of course be combined: it would be perfectly feasible to have a staycation that was both a greycation and a haycation. The definition given in the entry, which was added to our Open Dictionary as long ago as 2010, seems a little narrow. While a desire to share costs may play a part, there are surely other motivations involved. Harassed parents get the chance to relax a bit, with the grandparents sharing the childcare and perhaps even babysitting while the parents have a night off. For the grandparents, there is the pleasure not only of helping out their offspring, but of spending quality time with the grandchildren. The latter get the benefit of having double the usual number of adults to play with them, talk to them, spoil them and whatever else it is grandparents do with grandchildren. In short, it seems like a win-win-win situation.


Taking a holiday with the whole family in tow is now called Greycationing.

“As families continue to find money short in the fallout from the recession, millions more are rediscovering the greycation.

Related words

getaway, minibreak, excursion

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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