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Guilt Trips on the Rise

At the beginning of every year, like many travelers out there, I make planning my vacation days a priority. So, for the most part, I already know where I’m going in 2009, who’s going with me, and how much money I need to save to get there.

But I’m feeling a little awkward about those plans this year. In light of the recession, many a naycationer has given me a funny look when I’ve said I’m not planning to cut travel in 2009. I could tell them it’s because there are great deals everywhere, because Europe is cheaper than it’s been in a long time, because I have ready-to-expire caches of frequent-flier miles and flight vouchers; mostly, I just gloss over details and change the subject. In fact, sometimes when people assume a trip I’m taking is for work, I sort of let them believe that. My travel guilt hit a new high the other day when someone I hadn’t seen in a few years told me he’d heard I’d joined the Peace Corps. No, I had to tell him, just been traveling…a lot.

2009: Year of the “NAYcation” or “YAYcation”?

I’m all for a good pun—especially in a bad economy, they come cheap. That’s why “staycation” works for me as a vacation term for last year. But I refuse to accept the “naycation,” which I’ve started seeing in the press as a word to characterize travel in 2009. First, I don’t believe it. Yes, the economy is down, but the bargains are better than ever.