The U.S.A. is a great country filled with many great amenities, but often as we look at other countries, we wonder if we could have a slice of that. Europe has many everyday luxuries that Americans would love to have in their country. Here are ten everyday luxuries that Europeans may take for granted but Americans would love to have.
1. A Cheap Glass of Wine
Traveling to Europe means having a glass of wine is cheap in places like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and many other countries. In many places, wine and beer are cheaper than water. It is luxury that Europeans can have, and many American enjoy indulging in when they arrive in Europe.
2. Four Weeks Vacation
Many countries in Europe offer fantastic vacation time. It is mandatory to have four weeks of vacation for every worker. Many other countries go beyond the four weeks, but at least you know you will have four weeks' leave. In Germany, they offer six weeks of vacation time, which is a huge bonus. The work-life balance is important to continue to live a great life.
3. Extra Pay For Vacation Months
In Europe, many countries and companies offer to pay their employees for vacation. It is different from paid time off. It is like a bonus to be spent on vacation. Most companies in Austria will pay an extra half month pay for summer vacation and a half month pay for Christmas. Instead of getting a 12-month pay, you may end up with 13 or even 14 months' worth of salary.
4. Public Healthcare
Healthcare is a no-brainer. Many Americans complain about how expensive healthcare in America tends to be. In Europe, public healthcare is affordable and fantastic to help keep people healthy and not broke. They have some of the best healthcare in the world, which is reasonable.
5. Affordable Universities
As Universities have skyrocketed in price, many people have looked elsewhere to send their children. Students are studying abroad, and parents are finding that their tuition is half the price of the tuition in the states. Many of the universities in Europe can be much cheaper than those in the States.
6. Reliable and Available Public Transportation
Europe is interconnected by trains, buses, and even cheap airlines. It makes travel and transportation to work very convenient. The transportation is reliable and available for those looking to get from point A to point B. It is easy to be jealous of what Europe has and wish for better infrastructure in the States.
7. Local Bakeries With Affordable Food
In Europe, local bakeries have readily available food for purchase, such as sandwiches, pizza, and delicious bread. The great thing is that these bakeries make everything fresh and affordable.
8. Travel To Other Countries Without Days or Hours of Travel
Traveling can be challenging in the states when driving from one place to the next can take hours. Even flying can make things complicated as flights have skyrocketed in price. In Europe, you can jump on a bus, train, or drive for a few hours in a new country with different food, culture, and atmosphere. You can even hop on a budget flight for a few dollars for the weekend. Travel is so easy in Europe.
9. Drinking in Public
In many states, it is against the law to drink in public or on the street. In many European countries, walking the streets with a beer in hand is perfectly fine. There will not be any fines or arrests. Spain and Poland have some laws against public drinking, but for the rest of Europe, having a beer in your hand is commonplace.
10. Paid Parental Leave
Parental leave is a big thing for parents in Europe. Mothers must get at least 14 weeks of paid parental leave, and fathers get two weeks. Each country has other rules giving parents possibly more time with their newborn, but it is a luxury for those living in the U.S.
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.