Today I saw the English word stay-cation (holidays spent at home) and marveled at its shortness and precision to describe a holiday spent at home or doing sightseeing in your hometown.

In German I only know Urlaub auf Balkonien. Are there other, preferably shorter words or clever portmanteaus to describe it? Heimurlaub sounds too military. Hausurlaub sounds too much like house arrest. Heimreise already has a different meaning.

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    Kürzer wäre "Urlaub daheim", aber das ist nicht so griffig wie "Balkonien".
    – IQV
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 9:15
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    What came to mind when I read the title was suggested by you in the body of the question. I can't remember having ever heard anything other than "Balkonien".
    – Em1
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 9:28
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    Shorten "Urlaub auf Balkonien" to "Balkonien" only. Everyone will know what you're talking about. And I don't think it gets any shorter (It is already shorter than staycation).
    – tofro
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 12:08
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    Come on, for German language "Urlaub auf Balkonien" is not long. I've never heard "Heimurlaub", but "Heimaturlaub" is a common word. However, it means something different: If you are living in an other city and visiting the town where you grow up/your parents live, that is called "Heimaturlaub".
    – Iris
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 12:45
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    Bad Meingarten ist äquivalent zu Balkonien.
    – Robert
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 15:56

4 Answers 4


After your question, I research a little bit if there are other words than the ones, you have already written. What I have found is Urlaub zu Hause.

I also found an article about this topic and the author of the article likes the word Stay(va)cation and he meant that there is no corresponding word in German.


I do not know whether it is meant joke but there is also another word, similar to Balkonien. It is Terrassien. For difference of these words, please see the comment of "Tom-OliverHeidel" below.

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    I will explain 'Balkonien' and 'Terrassien' shortly. The first word comes from 'Balkon' (engl. balcony) which refers mostly to people living in a city (hope it is obvious why especially in contrast with the next word). The next one is coming from 'Terrasse' (engl. terrace) this one refers to people living in houses or in rural regions. Both words are somehow made up [words] tho being in the duden. In my knowledge those saying were common before 2000 and more used in the east. @Ad Infinitum ich weiß, dass du Deutscher bist. Nur als Zusatz für andere. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 9:42
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    @Tom-OliverHeidel Thank you very much for your addition. No, I am not German :) but I learn German language with passion.. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 10:05
  • Accepted as an answer, although "Hierlaub" and the other suggestions by @Crissov are also very nice.
    – chiborg
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 11:09
  • @chiborg I think the suggestions of Crissov were imaginary and they are not used in everyday language. Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 12:25

Spending vacation at home is not unusual even for Germans who are known to travel a lot. Close to the English example staycation we may hear of a German's travel to a ficitional country Balkonien used as a joke. It means we "travel" to our own balcony.

But this is not used too often. Mostly we would just say:

Wir bleiben hier.
Wir fahren nicht fort.
Wir bleiben daheim.

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    I would disagree that "Balkonien" is seldomly used. I hear it very often and not just as joke but as an idiom.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 12:53
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    @jonathan.scholbach not too often != seldom ;)
    – Takkat
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 12:55
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    As an anecdote: In Switzerland, we have UHU Ferien, which means "ums huus ume", which translates to "Um's Haus herum".
    – SBI
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 14:37
  • @SBI nice - I guess it doesn't get any shorter than that. But also not anymore cryptic ;)
    – tofro
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 15:26
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    Ever been to Rundumhausen? Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 15:44

It seems to me that Balkonienurlaub would be a reasonable option.

  • Better just say wir verbringen unseren Urlaub auf Balkonien (we will spend our holiday in Balkonien) Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 20:52
  • That sounds great, except the OP was asking for a short word - yours is anything but short! ;)
    – Redblur
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 15:49

Sparen refers not necessarily to vacation but is short and at least a possible answer to

Was macht ihr dieses Jahr im Urlaub?

Think result

Since no short german word for staycation seems to exist we have to build one too:

Bleiben + Urlaub = Blurlaub

This is the new normal.

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    You might want to revise this answer as it doesn't look like an answer to me...
    – tofro
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 15:27
  • @tofro: Thinking ...
    – Pollitzer
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 20:40
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    As for portmanteaux and other neologisms or puns other than Balkonien, I’d go with something like Ferhierien, Hierlaub, Urfürlaub/Fürlaub, El Sparenal, Sparien, Hierkei, Vordertürkei, Karhierbik, Nahreise, Fernsehreise, Heimtel, Costa Nixa, Lago di Baggero, (Stadt-/Kur-)Parkistan, Stadtteilrand statt Thailand, Autobahnkreuzfahrt, Couchingtrip, Sofari
    – Crissov
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 9:55
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    @Crissov +1 for hierlaub :) Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 10:09
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    (Schreber-)Garteneriffa, Südfriesland / südfriesische Inseln, Aldiven, FKK-Urlaub = Fahren keinen Kilometer … @AdInfinitum Ich fand Vordertürkei und Sofari eigentlich am besten.
    – Crissov
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 10:12

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