Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Average Vacation Days Worldwide

Seeing as the holidays have just passed and many people took some days off, I thought this would be appropriate (and interesting). When looking at the world’s developed countries, you can see that the US ranks last for the average number of vacation days given annually. The information comes from the World Tourism Organization, and linked from InfoPlease.

Italy 42 days
France 37 days
Germany 35 days
Brazil 34 days
United Kingdom 28 days
Canada 26 days
Korea 25 days
Japan 25 days
U.S. 13 days

Source: World Tourism Organization (WTO).

My personal thoughts on work is that people work to have time off. In other words, the reason most people work is to pay for their time off work. You look for a place of equilibrium where you work only as much as you need to pay for your time away from work. I remember a very smart economics professor in college detailing a graph on just this topic.

Maybe one of the reasons that people get so stressed out in the US is due to overwork. One of my favorite web companies, 37 Signals has a great philosophy about simple and less actually working better. A quote:

To say you don’t need more time pisses off the bosses whose employees say, “37signals says I only need to work 30 hours a week and I’ll work better.” (read the full BusinessWeek Article)

Fortunately, I work for an organization that allows me to have more than 13 days off per year.


  1. One of the many reasons why we are stressed in the US is overwork but wait a minute , my company had a week off but coming back on the 3rd , enough emails from folks who missed work that much that they felt obliged to work, some even came in to work literaly. What? the Kenyan in me was busy eating Nyama Choma ands still complained the week was too short and had to take a sick day off on Tuesday the 3rd!. I think most people in the US are obssessed with work and fear of losing their jobs hence the non deviant mode and kiss ass even when provided with a free vacation week! I’m moving to Italy or France .Hey how many vacation days do Kenyans have not counting the long lunch hours on Fridays:-)

  2. We have an average of 45 days in the G.C.C., I’m currently living in Bahrain (My second post in the Gulf). This includes the 30 days by law plus the average of 15 public holidays per year. Add to that time off for overtime and canceled offs, I get around 55-60 days per year. Also add to that yearly flights home to my country of passport (Canada) or cash equivalent!! No taxes, free health care and all the other expat goodies. Why would you want to work in North America?
    I take 3 trips to Kenya every year, 1 to Europe and 1 to Asia. I would never have the time to do that back home.

  3. Jama, where do I sign up? Seriously, I’m ready for 1/4 of the year off.

  4. hey, thanks for the post. i want to know what and who you work for and how i can get those overseas posts! i love living and working overseas also, am back in the US trying to find some type of full time gig overseas or a european company that would hire an american since almost no US companies would offer that.

    any info would be appreciated…


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