Vacation, in English-speaking North America, describes recreational travel, such as a short pleasure trip, or a journey abroad. People in Commonwealth countries use the term holiday to describe absence from work as well as to describe a vacation or journey. Vacation can mean either staying home or going somewhere.
Canadians often use vacation and holiday interchangeably referring to a trip away from home or time off work. In Australia and the UK, holiday can refer to a vacation or a public holiday.
The Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Carnegies, Huntingtons and other fabulously wealthy industrialists built their own spectacular “great camps” in the Adirondacks of upstate NY where they could disport with their families in private luxury. The American vacation was born—quite literally. The scions of New York City took to declaring that they would “vacate” their city homes for their lakeside summer retreats, and the term “vacation” replaced the British “holiday” in common parlance.
In Hungarian, the word vakáció can mean both a recreational trip, an officially granted absence from work (generally in warmer months), and the summer (longest) school break. For absence from work, the word szabadság (freedom/liberty) can be used, possibly as betegszabadság (sickness freedom/sickness liberty) when the reason of absence is medical in nature.