Staycation – The Latest in No-Getting-Away Retreats

Here is a classic case of "everything old is new again". The Wall Street Journal today reported that the latest in vacations is the "staycation" – staying at home instead of getting away on your personal time off.  The ABA Journal picked up the article with a story about a frugal lawyer who chose to stay at home instead of spending two weeks at a lovely beach.

Staycation?  You mean stay home for a vacation?? Maybe it’s because the folks who were interviewed have little kids, work 60+ hours a week and are so rarely at home that they think it’s fun.  Or, maybe it’s just a sign of the times – high travel prices; $4.00+ per gallon of gas while zipping around in your econoless SUV.  But for me, I love the idea of a pool, sunshine, a huge king-sized bed, room service, first run movies and a gorgeous beach boy who spritzes my face with Evian while handing me an icy, cold daquiri.

And I’m not so sure that a staycation is all that good for stress.  I mean, when you’re home, let’s face it – you still have to clean the house, do the shopping, answer the phone, check your e-mail, answer the door, get the snail mail, and do all the other day-to-day stuff to keep the house running smoothly.  To make matters worse, the firm is sure to know that you’re not going anywhere and more likely than not will call (hating to disturb you of course) for the blankety-blank file and to find out if so-and-so client was actually served. 

Lois Backon, vice president of the Families and Work Institute, reports that 37% of U.S. employees take less than one week of vacation at a time. "Many of those people are choosing to stay home", she says, "to be with family and friends they don’t get to spend time with because of their hectic lives."  I really think you can figure out a way to take them with you. I really do.

It used to be that if you were staying at home, it was a polite way of saying "I can’t really afford to travel anywhere".  Why is it that people think they’re making up a new trend with a new name when the reality is, few today can afford to take the same vacation they took when times were better? Can we just call it what it is?  Can you spell r-e-c-e-s-s-i-o-n?  Let’s drop the pretense and stop being embarrassed. For me, I always hope to go somewhere where the phones don’t ring, e-mails can’t get through and I can cut a few beauty zzzz’s under the palapa where absolutely no one knows me if god forbid, I snore.  If I can’t afford it, well, I guess I’ll just have to be honest. But call myself a staycationer?  I’ve got to think some more about that one.