A vacation or holiday is a leave of absence from a regular occupation,
or a specific trip or journey, usually for the purpose of recreation
or tourism. People often take a vacation during specific holiday
observances, or for specific festivals or celebrations. Vacations are
often spent with friends or family.
A person may take a longer break from work, such as a sabbatical, gap
year, or career break.
The concept of taking a vacation is a recent invention, and has
developed through the last two centuries. Historically, the idea of
travel for recreation was a luxury that only wealthy people could
afford (see Grand Tour). In the
Puritan culture of early America,
taking a break from work for reasons other than weekly observance of
the Sabbath was frowned upon. However, the modern concept of vacation
was led by a later religious movement encouraging spiritual retreat
and recreation. The notion of breaking from work periodically took
root among the middle and working class.
2 Impact of digital communications
3 Regional meaning
6 In popular culture
7 See also
9 External links
In the United Kingdom, vacation once specifically referred to the long
summer break taken by the law courts and then later the term was
applied to universities. The custom was introduced by William the
Normandy where it facilitated the grape
harvest. In the past, many upper-class families moved
to a summer home for part of the year, leaving their usual home
Impact of digital communications
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Recent developments in communication technology—internet, mobile,
instant messaging, presence tracking, etc.— have begun to change the
nature of vacation.
Vacation today means absence from the workplace
rather than temporary cession of work. It is now the norm in North
America and the
United Kingdom to carry on working or remain on call
while on vacation rather than abandon work altogether. Office
employees telecommute whilst on vacation. Workers may choose to unplug
for a portion of a day and thus create the feeling of a "vacation" by
simply separating themselves from the demands of constant digital
communications. Antithetically, workers may take time out of the
office to go on vacation, but remain plugged-in to work-related
communications networks. While remaining plugged-in over vacation may
generate short-term business benefits, the long-term psychological
impacts of these developments are only beginning to be understood.
See also: Tourism
Vacation, in English-speaking North America, describes recreational
travel, such as a short pleasure trip, or a journey abroad. People in
Commonwealth countries use the term holiday to describe absence from
work as well as to describe a vacation or journey.
Vacation can mean
either staying home or going somewhere.
Canadians often use vacation and holiday interchangeably referring to
a trip away from home or time off work. In
Australia and the UK,
holiday can refer to a vacation or a public holiday.
The Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Carnegies, Huntingtons and other
fabulously wealthy industrialists built their own spectacular “great
camps” in the
Adirondacks of upstate New York where they could spend
time with their families in private luxury. The scions of New York
City took to declaring that they would “vacate” their city homes
for their lakeside summer retreats, and the term “vacation”
replaced the British “holiday” in common parlance.
In Hungarian, the word vakáció can mean both a recreational trip, an
officially granted absence from work (generally in warmer months), and
the summer (longest) school break. For absence from work, the word
szabadság (freedom/liberty) can be used, possibly as betegszabadság
(sickness freedom/sickness liberty) when the reason of absence is
medical in nature.
Family vacation refers to recreation taken together by the family. The
intended purpose of family vacation is for family to get away from
day-to-day chores and to devote time specifically for the relaxation
and unity of family members.
Family vacation can be ritual—for
example, annually around the same time—or it can be a one-time
event. It can involve travel to a far-flung spot or, for families on a
tight budget, a stay-at-home staycation. Some examples of favorite
family vacations might include family cruises, trips to popular theme
parks, ski vacations, beach vacations, food vacations or similar
types of family trips.
Many large corporations have generous vacation policies, some allowing
employees to take weeks off and some even allowing unlimited
According to the U.S.
Travel Association, Americans collectively did
not use 662 million vacation days in 2016. More than half of all
working people in the
United States forfeited paid time off at the end
of the year. Two-thirds of people still do work while they are on
In popular culture
Family vacation and vacation in general has become a common theme in
many books, films and movies. Writers often draw on common occurrences
that take place during a vacation such as bonding and disasters.
Paid time off
^ Harpaz, Emily Swanson and Beth J. "This is the No. 1 thing Americans
want to do on vacation". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved
^ All Things Considered (17 June 2009). "The History Of The Vacation
Examined". NPR. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
United Kingdom University Term Times and Vacations". Retrieved
^ Williams, Ray (6 May 2012). "Why It's so Hard to Unplug From the
Digital World". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
^ "Making the most of your Stress-free, Budget Staycation". Traveling
Mom. 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
^ "Destination Food Towns In America, Suzy Strutner". Traveling Mom.
2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
^ Vanderkam, Laura (3 October 2015). "Here's why unlimited vacation
may be too good to be true". Fortune. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
^ Slayton, Kaylene (27 November 2015). "15 Companies With The Best
Vacation Policies". rantfinance. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
^ Zillman, Claire (2017-05-23). "Americans Are Still Terrible at
Taking Vacations". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
Look up vacation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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