n. A stay-at-home vacation.
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Amy and Adam Geurden of Hollandtown, Wis., had planned a long summer of short, fun getaways with their kids, Eric, 6, Holly, 3, and Jake, 2. In the works were water-park visits, roller-coaster rides, hiking adventures and a whirlwind weekend in Chicago. Then Amy did the math: their Chevy Suburban gets 17 miles to the gallon and, with gas prices topping $4, the family would have spent about $320 on fill-ups alone. They've since scrapped their plans in favor of a "staycation" around the backyard swimming pool.
—Linda Stern, “Try Freeloading Off Friends!,” Newsweek, May 26, 2008
Worn down, feeling deflated as a bad tire? Consider a "staycation," a stay-put vacation where you absorb the budget-minded, healing powers of home sweet home. It's trendier than a Balenciaga handbag — and at knockoff prices. …

A proper staycation is about doing what you want to do.

Don't even think about scheduling home projects during a staycation.
—Dan Vierria, “Home for your holiday,” Sacramento Bee, May 05, 2008
2003 (earliest)
By definition, a "vacation" should involve vacating, as in going away. Mine was more like a "stay-cation" — nine glorious days and nights in Myrtle Beach.

Millions of tourists do the same, and understandably so. But when you live here year-round, the last thing you want to do is go through the summertime blues in your own backyard, even if it happens to have an ocean.
—Terry Massey, “Sports world doesn't stop for vacation,” The Myrtle Beach Sun-News, July 11, 2003