Part-time Traveller, Full-Time Brummie

Addressing the Staycation Controversy

Staycation. A portmanteau of two words: ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’. It appeared in our lingo in the mid noughties but has become much more commonly used in the past 12 months, when holidays further afield have been restricted. But what does the term ‘staycation’ mean to you? And why have I allegedly been using it all wrong? It’s time to address the staycation controversy.

Looking back over past blog posts, I’ve used the term ‘Staycation’ in three different contexts.

1. Staycation – a holiday anywhere in the UK

2. Staycation – a night spent away from your own home in the UK

3. Staycation – taking time off from work/normal life and doing activities at home or in your local area.

However it turns out that using ‘Staycation’ to describe a holiday taken in this country is offending some people. Apparently it “reeks of classism”. A holiday taken in the UK is still a holiday, argue some, therefore it shouldn’t be given some silly little nickname. They argue that the term staycation to describe a UK holiday is used by spoilt privileged people. Influencers and vloggers and youtubers (oh my). Those that only consider a holiday to be a holiday if you’ve splashed out thousands of pounds to drink sangria in the sun. People on Twitter appear to be getting VERY angry about this. Dara O’Briain was even willing to REPORT people that use the term staycation to describe a UK holiday.

  “A holiday spent at home or in one’s country of residence”

Oxford English Dictionary definition

So let’s get one thing straight. Apart from one week on the Costa Brava in 1989, all of my childhood holidays were taken in England and Wales. Mostly in caravans, on holiday camps with a programme of daytime and evening activities and entertainment. Rhyl. Great Yarmouth. Weymouth. We would take a week away in May, July or September to coincide with the factory shut-down weeks. The excitement would build for weeks in advance. As I got older, a friend or cousin would accompany us, and we would head off to hire bikes, or play air hockey and pool in the arcade or – as teenage hormones kicked in – flirt with lads at the fairground.

I never looked at these as anything but a holiday. And even as I discovered a passion for travelling further afield, I never considered UK holidays as less of a holiday. I feel lucky to be able to travel. A night away in a luxury hotel, a quirky glamping break, reliving childhood holidays in a caravan – these are all holidays. Staying in my own country is still a holiday. Ergo, a staycation. I wrote a blog post about embracing the UK staycation in 2020. And I’m going to continue to embrace it in 2021.

So, UK minibreak. Staycation. Holistay. It’s all just semantics. Just please don’t call them hollibobs.

Where do you stand on the Staycation Controversy? And can we just agree that it’s a silly made-up word that shouldn’t be offensive whichever way you use it?


3 responses to “Addressing the Staycation Controversy”

  1. Rachael Stray says:

    Hollibobs! I don’t get the hatred around staycation to be honest. All my holidays until I was 16 were in Northumberland. We ventured to Blackpool and Torquay once. I love a staycation!

    • emfletche says:

      I really haven’t ever thought of it in negative terms – why can’t you enjoy UK holidays AND foreign travel?

  2. Susan says:

    Absolutely spot on Em I used to take the kids to Butlins camping all sorts we would have so much fun
    Love reading your blog
    Sue xx

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