For 37% in the EU, Vacation a Dream, Not Reality

July 13, 2010

Flags of the Nordic countries - from left: Fin...
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According to a recent newspaper article about a German Census Bureau survey, 9% of all EU citizens cannot afford to buy adequate food, heat their apartment or have a car. In the land of vacation, a whopping 37% of all EU member citizens couldn’t afford to take even a week’s vacation somewhere (Poland tops the list with a full 63% not being able to do so). In Germany, thinks look a little brighter. Only 2.6% say they don’t have enough to live on, 26% can’t afford to go on a week’s vacation and only 5% said they can’t afford a car. Not surprisingly, Greece has similar numbers.

It seems to pay off to live in Scandinavia. In Denmark, Sweden and Norway, only 1% couldn’t afford to heat their apartment with only 10%, 11% and 6%, respectively, not able to go on vacation for one week’s time.

According to the 2010 International Vacation Deprivation Survey by expedia.com, Germans have an average of 27.5 days off annually, two of which get left on the table. So what does roughly one-quarter of the employed German population do that cannot take off for some sun and fun? Staycations have become a reality for a lot of people.

We’re staying close to home for the majority of our summer vacation as well. Singular day trips here and there with some time in Italy at a low-cost resort are all we’re doing. I realize as well that’s a lot more than some people get to do. No matter where you go this summer, go slow. A season pass to the community pool can be just as enjoyable and a lot more affordable than a package tour for thousands of bucks. As Financial Times Slow Lane columnist, Harry Eyres recently wrote, “spartan or quasi-monastic accommodation has its advantages” and is sometimes more relaxing anyway!

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