According to my online dictionary, ‘A staycation, or holistay, is a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within day trip distance of their home and does not require overnight accommodation.’ I’ve never heard of the word ‘holistay’ before but staycation is one I have heard of and the context in which it is often used can really make me angry.
When I hear people saying, ‘We’re going on a staycation this year by having a week in Cornwall’, I find myself muttering, “But that means you’re literally going on holiday. Going on holiday is not a staycation.’
A staycation is going to an historic building for the day (no ta) or a day at the seaside. It’s a different context entirely.
What people really mean is that they are not going abroad and because they are not going abroad it’s somehow not a holiday: it’s a staycation. Absolute tosh.
If you’re going away and staying away, you’re on holiday. Simples.