At work, I am fairly stressed. I edit documents, organize productions, and when I’m really unlucky I have meetings to attend as soon as I arrive- thus skipping the sacred breakfast. When it’s all said and done, work sucks. This is why vacation was invented. Vacation is a luxury to some and but a healthy requirement for all. Great news for Europeans- you have the highest number of paid vacations in the world!
In a recent court ruling Europeans are now entitled to earn even more days off to compensate sick days during a vacation. By comparison, Americans receive no mandatory annual paid leave from the government. In fact along with Japan, we are least likely to use up our vacation days.
Despite the startling contrast with the US, one can’t assume that Europeans, namely the French, are luxurious travelers or take cruises along the Côte d’Azur. In fact, this summer many are opting for self-inflicted frugality- the STAYCATION. This is a trend that is injuring the sacred travel industry in Europe. Tui Travel, a leisure travel firm recently suffered a 73% fall in profits. This finance report forecasts a grim future for tourism. Four out of ten French people will not go on vacation this year. The cause is a result of euro-crisis austerity measures and tighter purse-strings. However, the company reports that in neighboring countries like Holland, Germany and the UK, profits did not fall.
On the global scale where do you compare with your vacation days? Are you as hard-working as the Japanese? Or do you make travel a priority?
Let’s here from our respondents:
André, Accounting- same days of vacation an as average French person.
Days off: 30. I am spending time salsa dancing in Cuba, Savoie, London.
Zach, CEO of SyndioSocial– same number of vacation days as a South Korean.
Days off: 10-20. I feel pretty good about my productivity. I don’t really get official vacation time so I sort of take time off when its convenient. Sometimes I like that I have so much flexibility, but I can go months without vacation and if I go away I mostly do weekend trips, or take an extra day or two off when I’m travelling to work.
Razvan, Musician- same number of vacation days as an Australian. G’day Mate!
Days off: 20. I have felt pretty productive lately. I am fine with my vacation time- I’m going to Romania.
Expedia administers an annual Vacation Deprivation Survey to show us metrics on vacation leave on a global scale. If GDP is taken into account, days off doesn’t necessarily mean less productive. Maybe the “work-hard/play-hard” theory does make sense.