Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a holiday in which you stay at home and visit places near to where you live, or a holiday in your own country

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun staycation is formed by combining the words ‘stay‘ (or ‘stay-at-home’) and ‘vacation’, making it a portmanteau word or blend. It was first used in the early 2000s.


The term staycation originated in North America, as is indicated by the ‘vacation’ part of the word. It was originally used to refer to the activity covered by the first half of our definition, meaning a holiday in which you stay at home and enjoy all its comforts while visiting places nearby. In British English it has come to be understood mainly in the meaning in the second half of the definition: a holiday taken in your own country. The use of the term ‘holiday’ is significant. Brits generally refer to time spent not working or studying as a holiday while American English refers to this as a vacation, reserving ‘holiday‘ for a fixed day of celebration when people do not have to go to school or work. In the days before cheap air travel and package holidays the term staycation would have been mostly unnecessary because most people took their holidays at home, with foreign travel reserved for a small minority. Someone who goes on a staycation can be referred to as a staycationer. The traditional term for this was ‘holidaymaker‘. The humorous term ‘daycation‘, which actually antedates staycation by a couple of decades, is what most of us would refer to as a day out or a day trip.


“The era of austerity and the staycation saw the British population visiting museums in their droves.”

“With the staycation trend set to continue, businesses are preparing to maintain new customers.”

“The capital city has a lot to offer staycationers this summer with many planning a mini break in Dublin to attend various events.”


You can read Stan Carey’s humorous piece on Vacation Variations here. Kerry Maxwell wrote about staycation  in a Buzzword article back in 2008.

Related words

getaway, minibreak, excursion

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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