The travel media's coming clean: that whole staycation trend of the last couple of years? It was largely made up by bunk writers who needed to fill publications' travel sections at a time the economy was in the tank and Americans couldn't afford to take vacations.

"Man, I had some use-or-lose vacation days to burn and I couldn't afford to go anywhere, so I just stayed at home working on stuff around the house like mowing the lawn and getting the upstairs toilet to stop running," said Joe, a call center employee in Charlotte, N.C. "It wasn't a relaxing vacation or anything."

"Next thing I know I got some writer for CNNN on the phone, telling me I'm part of some big trend. When he said 'staycation,' I just heard the last part of the word and was like, 'Yeah, I'm doing some of that too.'"

"It's true," said the CNNN reporter who interviewed Joe. "My editor said our travel advertisers wouldn't be keen on buying space around a piece titled 'Americans too damn poor to travel this year,' so we need to snazz it up."

In reality, he confessed, people he interviewed who were taking vacation days to stay at home weren't resting but rather were working around the house, wishing they were back at the office where they could goof off and get away from their spouse.

Joe also admitted that the travel media has largely fabricated the voluntourism trend too. "Americans get two lousy weeks of vacation a year. You seriously think they want to give up part of it to dig a pit in the sand where turtles can !@#$?"

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