In Europe, vacation days stay

People enjoy an outdoor bar along the banks of the Spree river as a boat carrying tourists passes by on May 15, 2013 in Berlin, Germany.

Almost a quarter of Americans get no vacation at all, says a new report from the Center for Economy and Policy Research.

That’s not the case in Europe, says Matina Stevis.  She covers European economics from Brussels for Dow Jones.

“On average, you would get around 25 [vacation] days in a year.” And August is a particularly popular time for Europeans to use their vacation time -- Stevis says it’s always quiet on the continent that month.

And Europe may be in economic crisis but Stevis says it’s unlikely they’d ever give up their vacation time. “The point people are trying to make here in Europe is that, if you’re not rested and if you haven’t had some proper time with your family and some time, this is actually going to catch up with the quality of your work.”

Stevis originally hails from Greece, which has a jobless rate is 27 percent. But that doesn’t mean the Greeks won’t go on vacation, albeit on a budget. “Greeks do tend to stay in Greece for their holidays. When everyone else is coming to your country for a holiday, why would you choose to leave?”

And Greeks are hoping other Europeans will head to Greece for their vacations too. Tourism is very important to the Greek economy says Stevis. She says early signs for tourism in the country are good. A bustling season would especially benefit smaller, family-run hotels and tourism dependant businesses.

For Americans looking for a European vacation that’s budget-friendly and mostly tourist-free? Stevis recommends Croatia. They’ll join the European Union on July 1st, later this year.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk covering sustainability news spots and features.

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