Is your paid vacation similar to other countries?

Last modified 20.03.2022 | Published 08.07.2014Travel

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It comes as no surprise that paid vacation time varies throughout the world. But how much?


The infographic

The people at has set up a nice little infographic. Not surprisingly, European states offer the best benefit for their citizens while North America is lagging far behind.


This image links to the story called “Vacation Time Around the World” at Click it to launch and zoom in on the original.


Highs and lows

Canada is worst off, with only 19 days of combined paid vacation and public holidays. In the United States the corresponding number of days add up to 25, although there may be variations. By contrast, several European countries have up to 38 days of paid days off work.

My own country, Norway, is not figured on the chart. We have 36 days, 25 of which are paid vacation. This corresponds to five weeks of fully paid vacation. The rest are public holidays, some of which may be annulled if they fall on Saturdays or Sundays. Examples are Labour Day (May 1st) and Constitution Day (May 17th). I suppose that would be the same in many other countries as well.

One more interesting fact from this infographic is that in the U.S they not only have a meagre 14 days of paid leave (after several years on the payroll) but Americans only tend to use 10 of them. The Japanese and South Koreans are worse off in practical terms, they only take 7 days of vacation. I guess that cultural habits, and perhaps economic necessities, are to blame for this.


Final reflections

In my view, and personal experience, vacations are necessary on the individual level to reload one’s batteries and to grow as a person. On the collective level vacations are good to promote relaxation as well as exploration, if you convert them into travelling.