Staycations and Fakecations

Hey remember back in October when I wrote about made up words like “Infotainment” and “Mancations?”

A lady at work recently told me she was taking a “Staycation.”  That’s when you stay in your hometown and combine relaxing family time with some local touristy things. (Basically what I’m doing with my Mom this weekend.)   According to MSNBC this term is now firmly cemented.   If you have time off but are restricted by a tight budget then by all means exploring new sights around your own city and state is a great idea.  I just find it amusing that this concept demanded to be assigned a name.

I was about to write more snarky comments on “Staycations” when I read ANOTHER made up word: Fakecations.  Actually Fakecation isn’t in the lexicon quite yet, but its refined and almost ready for launch. There are only nine Google entries, including a reserved site at dreamfakecation.com.  I predict there will be countless more fun personal interest articles based on this non-word.

This Wall Street Journal Article won’t just come out and say it.  Come on:  FAKECATION!!!   But this story tells us how to construct a “Fakecation” including buying foreign postcards, loading up your CD changer with tropical music, and decorating your house like a hotel room. (Not sure how exactly that SAVES money.)  By visiting ethic eateries, buying exotic foods, and watching subtitled films you too can take your very own “Fakecation.”

The Bason family in Oakland, Calif., passed on their trip to Hawaii this year for a camp-out in their living room. Clem Bason and his wife, Francoise Barton, set up a tent in their living room (the yard was too small) so that their three-year-old and one-year-old sons wouldn’t miss out on the adventure of travel. They cooked s’mores over a candle and ate hot dogs prepared in the kitchen. Camp stories were read in the tent. And Mr. Bason took a lamp from his older son’s room and placed it in the living room to create the effect of moonlight on a summer’s night.

I don’t know if this is an ingenious solution to wanderlust in our troubled economic times, or a pathetic view inside the window of how Americans prioritize travel, but either way it makes me grateful for the foreign locales I have visited in recent years, and especially grateful when recollecting those long family road trips as a kid:  The wood paneled station wagon towing the pop-up camper, hot summers, AAA triptiks, bug spray, fighting with my sister in the back seat – all without any iPods or DVD players.   We didn’t eat at fine restaurants or stay in fancy hotels, but the happy memories are still with me, proving how truly great those real VACAtions really were.

p.s.  Hostels are still cheap, and there’s still Priceline…

by James Van Dellen

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