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Old 12-29-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,718,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
Still, the average American is better off financially (higher disposible income) than the average European (Swiss and Norwegians included). I have read numerous posts here about large houses, 3-4 new cars per family, boats and so on. I guess 1-2 weeks of unpaid vacation is possible for many?
Most people just go to someplace like Florida when they take a long vacation.

That's why half the states coastline is filled with mysterious condo and hotel buildings
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:20 AM
 
Location: 59N
5,217 posts, read 5,872,309 times
Reputation: 3998
Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
It takes years, maybe even decades, to accrue enough time to make an international trip feasible.
Ok. That does not sound very appealing to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
My wife and I planned on going to Italy for our honeymoon a couple of years ago, and with airfare, hotels, food, and activities, it was north of $8,000. That's approaching the value of a brand-new car, and unlike purchasing a new vehicle it's all up-front. And consider that while the US is a prosperous nation, most Americans still aren't wealthy enough to make traveling abroad a realistic option more than once or twice in their lifetimes. I count myself incredibly fortunate to have been able to see other parts of the world, and even got to travel with a buddy to New Zealand a few years ago. We were able to do it because we found a fantastic airfare deal and had relatives to stay with, saving us at least a couple thousand dollars.
It is equally expensive for Europeans. I spent nearly $5,000 for three weeks in the US two years ago. Traveling is very expensive. Remember, everything is much more expensive in certain parts of Europe, especially cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
US airports are a positively awful experience - poor layouts, security, customs, you can have it. Few airports outside the US are as messy as American ones.
The security check is more thorough but I do not think the airports (SFO, JFK, EWR, LAS) are that bad. Try Marco Polo in Italy. What a mess.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:31 AM
 
1,613 posts, read 1,939,351 times
Reputation: 871
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
In general, Americans get MUCH LESS paid time off than their European counterparts:
Yeah, I have always heard those stats, but I don't believe them.

The claim is "the average professional job in the U.S. has 16 days off, including holidays".

I have never had a job that had less than three weeks vacation, plus around 10 holidays (New Years Eve/Day, MLK Day, Memorial, 4th, Labor, Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas) at a minimum. Many job also include Presidents Day, Veterans Day and (in the Northeast, especially) Columbus Day.

My current job gives me 4 weeks vacation annually plus all overtime is converted to comp time, which is essentially vacation time. I have over 300 hours vacation, even though I take three vacations per year of at least one week, and one of those always abroad.

My wife is the same. Never had a job with only 16 days off, even though she has had some jobs with less-than-good working conditions. My brother is also the same. I don't know these "average professional jobs" that are being claimed. Even non-professional office jobs tend to give minimum 2 weeks vacation, which along with minimal holidays would put you above the 16 day claimed average.

And Americans have more disposable income than Europeans, which means that Americans can afford to travel much more than Europeans.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:35 AM
 
83 posts, read 104,811 times
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It costs money to travel overseas plus I hate long flights plus I like relaxing on vacations rather than doing the tourist spot thing.

Italy and Greece are really the only two that appeal to me.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:35 AM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,718,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiVegas View Post

And Americans have more disposable income than Europeans, which means that Americans can afford to travel much more than Europeans.
But have you seen how busy Vegas, Yellowstone, Florida, Myrtle Beach etc... gets?
People seem to be spending that money vacationing within the US.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,840 posts, read 36,186,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
Still, the average American is better off financially (higher disposible income) than the average European (Swiss and Norwegians included). I have read numerous posts here about large houses, 3-4 new cars per family, boats and so on. I guess 1-2 weeks of unpaid vacation is possible for many?
It's not just a matter of taking unpaid leave from a job. Many jobs will not ALLOW unpaid leave, or they greatly discourage it. It's not generally good for one's career, especially not in the earlier years. Of course, with seniority we tend to get more vacation and more flexibility, which is one reason why you see more middle aged Americans traveling internationally (the average age of an American international traveler is 47).

Also, large homes are less expensive here than in most of Europe, so you really can't go by that. The average home size in the US is 2500 square feet. It's the norm. In many places, there literally aren't that many homes on the market that are in the smaller square footage range that Europeans are more used to. It would be considered a negative for resale value and therefore not a particularly wise investment.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:41 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,251 posts, read 19,550,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
Well that's great. For me, a flight to Dubai would take just under 24 hours getting there, and 36 hours getting back. That's TWO AND A HALF DAYS out of my vacation, being tortured on some airline, crammed in like sardines. Back in the day when flights weren't so full ... it might have been worth it. Today, not on a bet.

To Singapore, 24 hours each way. The shortest flight to Oslo is 18 hours. To London, 12 hours. To Sydney, 20 hours.
This is a good point and worth noting.

It seems to me that it's considerably harder to travel to a lot of desirable places internationally if you live in the western United States. That's one reason I am reluctant to live there. It is very isolated feeling.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,840 posts, read 36,186,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiVegas View Post
Yeah, I have always heard those stats, but I don't believe them.

The claim is "the average professional job in the U.S. has 16 days off, including holidays".

I have never had a job that had less than three weeks vacation, plus around 10 holidays (New Years Eve/Day, MLK Day, Memorial, 4th, Labor, Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas) at a minimum. Many job also include Presidents Day, Veterans Day and (in the Northeast, especially) Columbus Day.

My current job gives me 4 weeks vacation annually plus all overtime is converted to comp time, which is essentially vacation time. I have over 300 hours vacation, even though I take three vacations per year of at least one week, and one of those always abroad.

My wife is the same. Never had a job with only 16 days off, even though she has had some jobs with less-than-good working conditions. My brother is also the same. I don't know these "average professional jobs" that are being claimed. Even non-professional office jobs tend to give minimum 2 weeks vacation, which along with minimal holidays would put you above the 16 day claimed average.

And Americans have more disposable income than Europeans, which means that Americans can afford to travel much more than Europeans.
I didn't say that average PROFESSIONAL job - nor did the articles I posted. We're simply talking about American workers IN GENERAL.

I was in banking for many years - one of the most generous careers when it comes to vacation time and paid holidays. I got 10 paid holidays and the first year I got one week of vacation, then for the next five years I would have received two weeks of vacation (in a professional position) - however, when I moved into management that went to three weeks of vacation per year, with four weeks after five years. But that was a LOT more vacation time than most people outside of banking had that I knew - even at the professional level. Now let me qualify that - sometimes after 7 or more years some people had three or four weeks, but the average person I knew had two weeks of vacation time for years, sometimes up to a decade, before they could move to more than that.

One year I had pretty serious surgery and a long recovery time, and that took up all my sick leave and most of my vacation time. Another year, we moved and I took most of my vacation time getting the house in order. And like I said in an earlier post, my immediate family is in Arkansas, Texas, Ohio, and at the time I was in banking, also Alaska and Idaho. That's immediate family - some with grandkids in fact. Now, let's see... should I go to Italy or go see the new grandbaby? Oh,speaking of that, one year I had a grandchild born very early with serious complications, and I took my vacation time to go help my daughter, who also had a two year old - and at the time I was packing for that trip, the doctor told me to be sure to pack clothes for a funeral since the baby's chances of living were only about 30 percent. Hmmmm....daughter or France?

Prior to banking, I worked as an HR consultant and actually wrote the vacation policies for literally hundreds of employers. Two weeks was the norm, the average, with an average of 6-10 paid holidays a year.

The thing about the paid holidays is that they often fall in the middle of a week, so though it's a nice day off, it's hard to build a vacation around many of those holidays.

Professional level jobs are the most generous, but there are more non professional jobs out there than there are professional.

Now I'm self employed, and I can take a vacation any time I want. And my husband has probably the best vacation schedule I've ever heard of - he works two to three weeks on and then is off two weeks in a row - all year, every year! Of course, he also often works holidays for no extra pay, but considering that he's basically OFF nearly half the year, who's complaining? NOT US!

This is why I'm self employed now rather than working in banking or HR - we love to take little four or five day vacations to all sorts of cool places in the US. We only go overseas about once every three years or so, because it's tough to pack up, take the travel time (at least one full day), then rest up, then do the activities, then travel again, then get home and unpack and rest up, and be back at work in just two weeks. We've done it a few times but my husband hates going straight back to work a day after an international vacation - that's rough. We've tried shorter trips (1 week) but that cuts down on the quality of the time we can spend anywhere. And since he gets paid by the day, to extend a vacation for another week, or even a few days, is very costly to us.

So as you see, everyone's situation is different. You've got a good set up, but take us for instance - even though on the surface it would seem that we have LOTS of vacation time (20 weeks a year or so!) and plenty of money to go on international vacations, and we both LOVE to travel and enjoy visiting other countries (my husband has been to over thirty countries and I've been to about 15 at least) the two week constraint STILL causes a problem.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:25 PM
 
83 posts, read 104,811 times
Reputation: 59
If the countries to the north and south of the USA were more exciting than Americans would travel more. lol
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,390,618 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
It is the same for European tourists that wants to visit California.

London - Sydney: 22 hours
London - Los Angeles: 11.5 hours
Sure, but then, I'm not complaining about them not making the trip, and choosing to vacation in Europe instead.
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