What's the difference you ask? Europeans take them. Americans don't. Well, not in the same way. Let me explain. When Europeans go "on holiday" aka take a vacation they go for a week or more. Not only do they go for a generous amount of time, they do this multiple times a year - Christmas, February, and August. Possibly springtime too? They also tend to go to the same places each year, like skiing in February and the beach in August. These holidays are just that, holidays. Strictly for leisure and pleasure, they are not traveling.
You may be tempted to explain this simply by the number of vacation days Europeans have. Which is around 6 weeks a year, not counting the large handful of bank holidays. But I believe it is more than just time allowed. It is a different way of living. Vacationing is an expected part of the culture here. Regular vacationing.
If you are American, think back to the last time you vacationed for a week or more. Do you do this annually? Do you do this more than once a year? I'm willing to bet you don't. Americans take vacations once in a while and typically only once a year. We fritter our vacation days away creating long weekends or going to our cousins' weddings across the country. We do it differently. I bet many of you use your vacation days to stay around the house to complete home improvements. It's different. Are you getting it?
Last week we embraced our temporary identity as Europeans and migrated to the Alps to go skiing for a week because that is what you do here in February. We shared the road with thousands of other station wagons, complete with rented rocket boxes just like ours, from the UK, France and Belgium. We had a magnificent time. Ah, when in Rome . . .
~~Does this resonate with you? Tell me about vacationing where you live~~
Read about all of the Little Differences here.