Spring arrived, so is too early to start thinking about vacation? Not if you live in Europe. The 4 weeks of paid holiday is one of the greatest perks about working abroad. Most European countries have statutory minimum of 25-30 days plus national holidays. Some countries, like France, even guarantee four weeks, plus an additional two weeks after the age of fifty. In every country in Europe, workers get 20 days and in some, like France and Finland, 30 days. Austria has the most vacation days with a statutory minimum 25 days, plus 13 days off for public holidays.
By law minimum number of vacation days in Switzerland is 20, but the alpine state also has 9 public holidays. Recently, the industrious Swiss voted down a bill to guarantee six weeks of vacation, because of the fear of losing their jobs and also because most people thought that it was not needed.
In these tough economic times, the travel budget is often the first luxury to go.
Unfortunately with dollar at all time low and Swiss franc stable, for Americans, a trip to Switzerland is anything but low budget. The Euro is also lower though, which could make other EU countries travel destination appealing.
Even if you aren’t allowed time off and can’t afford a trip abroad, don’t despair. Join me on a free ride, a virtual tour to a couple of my old European neighborhood stomping grounds. Next stop Normandy!
Are American shortchanged when it comes to time off? What’s your opinion?