I read a recent book on the art of vacationing and the author, who spent a month in Italy, noted something sad. A tour guide at an old church ask him how long they are in Italy for, and when he responded a month, the guide was surprised and noted that for American’s it is almost always a week, and on occasion, maybe two, but a month was unusual. On the other hand, it was not all that uncommon for people from other parts of the world including Australia, Europe, and even Asia to take a month or two vacation.
A quick Google search of “Do Americans take enough vacation” brings back a range of websites but a common theme… no, we don’t. Often times at our jobs, we are given two weeks of paid vacation, but how many actually ask for more than that, even if it is unpaid?
I personally think that is where American’s are different than the rest of the world. We spend so much on our day to day lifestyles with fancy gadgets, nice cars, and big houses, and we go so far into debt, that we often don’t have the money available to take unpaid time off from work.
This is something that the wife and I have been talking about for quite some time now. In the past, we have used up all of our vacation time just going up to visit my family in the UP over several weekends a year. This year, we are making two trips. One in the summer and one in the winter, both around a long holiday weekend so not to use our time off. In the next few years, we want to progress into the idea of taking a month long vacation where we would actually rent a house for a month, but we need to get debt free before we can accomplish that.
Why is it that other countries have a different mind frame than the US in terms of vacationing, or as they call it, going on Holiday? Do you take more time off than just your paid vacation time (in one lump sum?) Being that this is a global forum board, I would be interested in knowing what people overseas think about this topic. There have been several cyburbians who have traveled the world, and one who even stopped into say hi to Stan & Stan a few years ago. But she was from New Zeeland, not New Jersey.
What say you?