Staycation: new word, old concept

Merriam-Webster recently announced their new words for 2009. In addition to many tech-related words such as vlog and webisode, one of the new words added to this year's version of the dictionary is staycation.

stay·ca·tion Pronunciation: \ˈstā-ˈkā-shən\ Function: noun Etymology: blend of stay and vacation Date: 2005 : a vacation spent at home or nearby — stay·ca·tion·er \ˈstā-ˈkā-sh(ə-)nər\ noun

While the word may be new, the concept is an old one. Not to date myself, but when I was a kid, air travel seemed like a luxury–we even dressed up to fly! Most of our "vacations" consisted of driving to a relative's or friend's house for the day (which I guess is now being called a "daycation"; however, that word hasn't made the dictionary yet!) Staycation is a buzz word right now because people are stretched financially. But no matter what the economy is like, I think there are a lot of benefits to exploring your own backyard. Every state has things worth exploring and we tend to take them for granted. Would you believe that I lived in Arizona for eight years before ever visiting the Grand Canyon!?! If you haven't taken a good look around lately, visit the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Bureau to find out about free or low-cost entertainment and activities. You may be surprised to discover museums, community concerts, annual festivals, art exhibits, fairs and craft shows to enhance your summer without breaking your budget. Or consider some free "old-fashioned" fun like fishing, hiking, or biking.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.