What IS a Vacation?

What IS a Vacation? Do we really need them? “Vacation” according to the Free Dictionary By Farlex:


Coming from Latin vacation/vacatio, from vacare

“to be free, empty; to be at leisure,” around 1395, this term entered Old English, meaning “rest and freedom from any activity.”

It’s interesting that in most parts of the English speaking world the term “holiday” (as in “Pee Wee’s Big Holiday”) is used instead of vacation. But in the wacky, good ‘ole U.S. of A… we are attached to the idea of vacating our immediate area, going somewhere else, and having a good time, thus we use “vacation.”

My little obsession with the word was sparked awhile back when I attended a live CE (continuing education) on happiness by Dr. Brian King (author of The Laughing Cure). During the CE he did a comparison of taking a vacation vs. buying something for the home. According to his research, taking a vacation makes people happier than buying a TV / Stereo / Hot-tub, because the experience brings the family closer together. The photos and souvenirs we keep, remind us of the good times and feelings we had as a family – they keep us in a happy mindset. Alternatively, a new appliance sits there, maybe gets used by individuals, and may actually cause conflicts within a family.

I found this information to be especially interesting, considering the term “stay-cation” was entering popular use. When I look back at the changes we’ve made around the house, things we’ve bought, and trips we’ve taken… I would rather take another trip to the beach or SeaWorld with my kids.

Ditch the big screen, forget the new furniture.


Spending time with family is where it is at.


Even a family game night is better than watching TV and movies. I highly recommend Exploding Kittens.

So while a full vacation might be too expensive, and a “stay-cation” is a bad idea, take a day-cation and get away, even if it is only for one day.



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