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<<< Though I hated to do it, I submitted to doing so. And it's not like my job was so irreplaceable or pivotal: it was just because my higher up needed to have his security blanket because I wasn't conveniently down the hall. >>>

You could have lied.

"Oh, yeah. Our original flight got canceled so we decided to take the next flight out to anywhere and ended up in Cancun! It was so liberating to go so spur of the moment like that!"

Pixiecakes, yes, I know, and in fact many people have told me to do so since then. But like the OP said,
"Most have simply complied and moved on. It was suggested to me that I just give false information. I will not do that for a number of reasons but I will also not provide them with any details of my trip. It's none of their business."

I am not in the habit of telling lies because it suits my purposes. Because my employer or superiors seem to have difficulty understanding the difference between appropriate and inappropriate divulgences between workplace and personal time/activities does not mean that I personally don't know the difference between ethical and unethical conduct. Nor does their "wrong" justify the means if I deliberately choose to be unethical.

One alternative - probably not a good approach if you're travelling with kids or visiting hot tourist areas during prime season - is to make less specific plans.

"Oh, we're spending two weeks in Europe in April. Where in Europe? Oh, we'll decide that when we get there."

(Note, not lying.)
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