Vacation ‘Vocab’ for the New Millennium – or What’s In a Name?

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Everyone is familiar with the word Stay-cation by now. It was invented to describe staying home instead of traveling during vacation time from work. It’s all about mowing the lawn, feeding the cat, watching TV, ordering pizza…yawn…are we bored yet?

The genius who created this little hybrid word started a trend; one that is almost out of control today. New names are popping up like mushrooms for all kinds of specialized vacations. Allow me to bring you up to date.


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For a male who occasionally gets the urge to bond with guy friends, a Man-cation might be just the ticket. Fueled by testosterone, this is a vacation with hair on it. It could be about golf, sport fishing, camping, some friendly wagering, good natured ribbing, a few pranks and other activities common to all-male gatherings.

Conversely, the ladies might be in the market for an all female getaway…a Fem-cation, if you will. These are probably estrogen driven outings of some kind…I wouldn’t know for sure….some things are still a total mystery to those of us burdened with the Y- chromosome.

How about a Nude-cation – a trip for the uninhibited, those who just can’t wait to take it all off…leaving their swim suits and modesty at home. Unfortunately, this too often includes people who just don’t look very good naked anymore. One thing is for certain; however, nude-cations are a bonanza for sun block vendors and mosquitoes.

A Space-cation – Just visualize the fun and excitement…the count down…blast off…weightlessness…vertigo…nausea…little globules of vomit floating around the command module.

Seriously, this could be something as simple as a space camp for kids; or, for adults, an official NASA sponsored astronaut training down at the Cape in Florida.

The crème de la crème of the space-cation experience? If you have the required six or seven figure budget at your disposal, it is a real, actual trip into the blackness of outer space. (Hmmmm…wonder if the standard 10% commission applies?)

Got clients with young children? How about a Kid-cation – something just for kids? Could be as simple as staying at a hotel or resort that caters to youngsters – indestructible wallpaper, Jell-O, mac & cheese, hamburgers and Cokes at every meal, etc. This is a great way to go for families…but best to avoid long drives in the mini-van, especially if you are allergic to the phrase “are we there yet?”

The ultimate kid-cation, of course, is a six day pass to Disney World…or a cruise of one of the Disney ships.

And, yes Virginia, there are Procreation Vacations – very popular with those who are ready to start a family. Part fertility clinic, part luxury resort, these destinations provide the perfect romantic environment… including couples massages, special diets, magic potions, specific exercises, ointments, pagan rituals…whatever it takes to guarantee that making whoopee will make a bay bee!

Then there is that getaway wildly popular with Baby Boomers – Medical Travel – known today as Medi-cations. No doctor’s prescription is needed. These little junkets are all about traveling to other countries to seek treatment for whatever ails you…even if it is just an excess of wrinkles or worn body parts where looks and/or performance is just not up to par.

How about a Luxura-cation? A trip for lovers of luxury, pampering, spa treatments, total indulgence…trips for those who believe anything worth doing is worth over-doing. A topnotch luxura-cation provides endless opportunities for sensory overload.

Last but not least is the unbelievably popular category, Educational Vacations or Edu-cations. These are all about learning, attending lectures, studying or going to school while traveling. This segment is experiencing exponential growth…especially on cruise ships…so much so that a future article will be dedicated exclusively to this category. (Holland America pioneered this field. HAL ships now have dedicated on-board facilities that feature high interest offerings such as Culinary Arts taught by well known Master Chefs.)

In closing, I strongly urge you to familiarize yourself with these terms, because…to put it bluntly, simply asking clients if they are ready for a “vacation” is sooooo last century.

Why not demonstrate that you are in tune with the times by indulging in a little vacation name dropping? It won’t hurt and just might help business.

Here they are again for your edification and review:

– Stay-cation

– Man-cation

– Fem-cation

– Nude-cation

– Kid-cation

– Space-cation

– Medi-cation

– Procreation Vacation (see also – Pregna-cation)

– Luxura-cation

– Medi-cation (Medical Tourism – not to be confused with travel to the Mediterranean)

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