Do You Go on Holiday or Take a Vacation?

Holiday or Vacation? What do you say?

This question might seem like a no-brainer to you, but did you know that whether you say holiday or vacation in this context will very much depend on what side of the Atlantic you were born.

Holiday Versus Vacation

The term “holiday” in the US and Canada is the name given to what were originally seen as “holy” days as defined by the Christian calendar. These were days when no work was done and people would dedicated time to recreational festivities. Traditionally, these would be times of both prayer and celebration.

Holiday or vacation
 Posto di Falchi in Positano, Italy doesn’t discriminate between holidays and vacations!

Today, official public “holy-days” in north American refer to Christian observances such as Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Therefore, in North America, it is only common to use the word “holiday” when referring to such dates. Hence, the “Happy Holidays!” Christmas greetings.

Vacation, on the other hand, describes the act of traveling or taking an extended period for recreation and leisure activities. You may well choose to take a vacation during holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas but you might also take a vacation at anytime of the year.

Going on Holiday

In the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, the common vernacular for “vacation” is “holiday”. People would rarely say, “I’m taking a vacation to Portugal”. Rather, they would say “I’m going on holiday to Portugal” or “I’m going to Portugal on holiday.” A holiday to Portugal would probably involve a couple of weeks laid out on the sand, drinking cocktails until the skin has turned a nice rosé colour. It could happen any time of the year, not just during the “holy-days”.

Holiday or vacation
Vacations or holidays in Portugal with Tripwix are fabulous no matter what you call them!

Likewise, when the semester ends, schools and universities break for the summer holidays, the Christmas holidays and Easter holidays, not spring break or the summer vacation. To confuse matters more, holiday is often referred to as “hols”: “I’m off on my hols…!”

The Good News!

The good news is that it really doesn’t matter what you call it: holiday, vacation, getaway, trip or sojourn, Tripwix will make sure its a unique and unforgettable experience. Remember, any day can be a holiday; it’s just an attitude.

Want to turn your holidays into a vacation? Email us today, or call:

USA / CAN: +1 (877) TRIPWIX / +1(877) 874 7949

EUR: +351 962 031 231

MEX: +52 322 135 5983

Deborah Buley

Originally from the UK and an avid globetrotter, Deborah has lived in Mexico for nearly 10 years, having honed a successful writing career that specializes in sassy travel, upscale interior design, classy hotels and high-end real estate. Among other projects, she collaborated with a renowned Mexican architect to pen a glossy book about the interior design and architecture of a local villa as well as produced a variety of promotional materials for luxury hotels and elite residences in Mexico.