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How do Europeans approach/think about a short vacation?

How do Europeans approach/think about a short vacation?

Mar 3rd, 2011, 03:45 AM
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How do Europeans approach/think about a short vacation?

For those that live in Europe, do you do take short 4 day vacations, or maybe take an extra day off to add to the weekend? Here in the US I try to stretch my vacation by taking a number of "3 day" weekends instead of one or two longer term vacations. We like to go someplace not too far away maybe just to shop, or see a museum, or local crafts and enjoy some time away. Public transportation is usually not available so we have to drive. Do you do anything like that? I have friends and family in Bavaria that take weekends hiking or head to Austria where they have a small camp. Do you hotel or get a "Zimmer"?
norrisken is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 03:53 AM
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I get so much more vacation working in the UK than I did in the US that I'm able to take many 3 or 4 day weekend breaks in addition to 2-3 longer term vacations. Most of my friends do the same. It's rather impossible to generalise about 'Europeans', but most people I know do take long weekends and long term vacations.
lizziea06 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 04:01 AM
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We occasionally take a 3 or four day weekend but for a variety of reasons (including parking the dog somewhere!) it is easier, and better for my husband, to have full weeks off and to get away completely. Weekends away tend to get cancelled due to work commitments.
We usually go away for two to three weeks, plus maybe a week somewhere at a different time of year.
Even doing that he doesn't use up his full leave quota.
He is now saving it up towards his retirement.

When we do a long weekend we try to find a small family run hotel, or a B&B, either in the Netherlands or in Germany.
hetismij is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 04:16 AM
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Yup, we definitely do 3-4 day weekends. We get more vacation time than N America (5 weeks in the UK) but less bank holidays. So when we do get bank holiday weekends we tag on a day or two and head somewhere.
jamikins is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 04:51 AM
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Very very common in the UK. I usually do a couple of (what we would call) long weekends somewhere in the UK, such as camping in Cornwall or staying in a country hotel in Yorkshire (my 2 most recent UK trips) plus a trip or two to the continent – such as a 'City Break' somewhere like Paris, Rome, Seville, as you can very easily jump on a low cost flight and be somewhere glorious in two hours. Two weeks ago I took a last minute trip to Boulogne by taking the channel tunnel car train – UK-France in 30 mins, amazing!

I try to have two longish holidays as well (last year was two weeks in Italy in July, and a week in Wales in September).
Kate is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 05:09 AM
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At least once or twice a year, in addition to a longer summer break, for anyone with a reasonable income and a decent leave allowance. I know a couple who are quite well off and largely self-employed who are always gadding off somewhere, but that's exceptional. The "city break" market in the UK is enormous, or seems like it, both for packages and self-organised trips - especially since the likes of Ryanair and Easyjet have been in business. And increasingly in London one sees what looks like the equivalent inward traffic from our European neighbours.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 05:45 AM
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In Denmark it often comes down to whether you have kids or not. Parents with children end up with certain weeks where they 'must' take vacation. Basically, there is no such thing as private childcare, so during school breaks (not counting summer), at least one of the parents needs to be off to look after the kids. I think kids also change the equation in that it is simply more of a hassle to travel with them, with much of that hassle in the transport phase. Throw in the extra cost of plane tickets, and it makes more sense to take one or two shorter trips.

And, of course, there is the income issue. Several shorter trips will often be more expensive than fewer longer trips, so those that are watching their pennies are less likely to take a bunch of short trips.

So, as a general rule for Denmark, shorter trips are positively correlated to income and negatively correlated to having young children.

As for myself (not European, but live in Europe), I tend to take quite a few weekend trips. I average maybe 1 or 2 per month. However, many of these are of the leave Friday, come back Sunday variety, and so doesn't impact my vacation. I also have no kids, so it is easy for the wife and I to get away whenever we want.
travelgourmet is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 05:55 AM
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It's quite common in Germany to take off on Friday afternoon for a 2 1/2 day weekend, especially when it's just a quick drive to Austria (when you live in Bavaria) or to the sea (when you live in Hamburg or elsewhere in the North).
When you live in Munich, you can see the cars piling up to a standstill on the 3 to 4 southbound lanes of the Autobahn.

Friday afternoons are also extremely busy at Munich airport.
As Kate said, flying is not expensive and I need 90 minutes or less from Munich to London, Paris, Copenhagen, Budapest, Rome, or Barcelona.

London is probably the most popular short-trip destination, and I know many people who hop for €30 on an Easyjet flight just to do some shopping there and spend one or two night. Some do it even as a day trip..
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 06:50 AM
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I second what Cowboy said. Most Germans get so many vacation days that we often take one or two days off before/after weekends and do short trips - beside the longer vacations.

And sometimes, ehem, I even take a day off when it's gotten late after opera the night before. Like today ;-)
Ingo is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 07:40 AM
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It's true that if you have children it isn't possible to do short trips. In the Netherlands children cannot have time off school outside the assigned school holidays, which means people with kids do go for shorter trips - but only in the school holidays.
Those without kids or with adult kids can go when they want.
We have even less public holidays than the UK and no compensation days for when they fall on a weekend (like they all do this year), but if that public holiday coincides with a school holiday then people will grab a long weekend away - maybe at a bungalow park (Centre Parcs type of thing) if only to save up the rest of their vacation days for a longer trip in the summer.
hetismij is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 02:48 PM
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Awesome, thanks everyone. I love learning how the life is for people besides myself. Sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in how life is where I'm at.
norrisken is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 11:41 PM
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Much depends on family - status - no children - children single and age . of course economic condition.
For example Austria - my home-

Schools have numerous holidays religious and national.

Usually July and August for summer - perhaps 10 days or so during the Christmas New years time - a one week winter holiday in February- 5 days or so at Easter - etc. Thus many opportunities for vacations long and short.
Most employees have a good measure of vacation too.
Many work just until 12:00 or so on a Friday making short vacations possible.
Many also receive special pay packages - an extra salary in summer - for vacation or more and also a extra at Christmas time - allowing the choice of more vacations.

Numerous elderly / pensionists specials abound too. Some especially at off peak vacation times at substanial discounts.

many by >Vienna - go to places for eaxample in Hungary for cheap spa/wellness days, hairdressing at chaep rates and even less expensive dental work.
Thusly , many opportuniteis for various travel .

Add the many offers of discount airlines - train combination holidays including hotels and you have the makings for many opportunities.

Many say here " We work to live " perhaps some other societies live to work
molker is offline  
Mar 4th, 2011, 12:15 AM
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Of course, some of us are retired and can nip off whenever we like, especially not a peak holiday times.
I know my offspring are really looking forward to the Royal Wedding ;-)
MissPrism is offline  
Mar 4th, 2011, 12:31 AM
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I get 42 days holidays a year (includes public holidays) we have to keep some of these days for Christmas and New year so the buildings can close down over that period.
I usually have at least 2 full weeks of at a time and a couple of weeks of,the rest of my days are taken on long weekends taking the friday and mondays off.or I use days for arranging repairs to the hiuse or deliveries of various household items.
i usually have one longish holiday abroad and maybe one or sometimes 2 long weekends away either in the UK or mainland Europe.I also have family living in various parts of the UK and abroad so we have getogethers in various parts of the country for birthdays ,christenings,weddings etc.
last year we had an 18th birthday party in Liverpool and a wedding in Bournemouth, so I do get the chance to travel around a bit.
unclegus is offline  
Mar 4th, 2011, 02:13 AM
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When France went to the 35-hour work week with 'RTT' compensatory days added to vacation time (since most people still work 39 hours), the entire travel industry had to restructure itself due to the exponential increase in demand for 3 & 4 day getaways. I have 55 days holiday a year (44 vacation days plus 11 compensatory days), and that doesn't count the public holidays.
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