- Popular traveldestinations differ from country to country.
- In the United Kingdom, France, and Canada, people tend to prefer warmer climates or a trip to the beach, whereas people in India might prefer chilly mountain towns.
- Here’s what summer vacation looks like around the world.
Even people from the most stunning places in the world like to break out of their routine and travel the world.
To see what vacations look like around the world, Business Insider researched travel trends and leave policies and spoke with travel experts from France, Colombia, South Africa, Jamaica, China, Sweden.
Overall, people from around the world share some common desires when it comes to vacations – in the summer, people generally tend to crave beaches, the sea, cities, and mountains. And they often like to go there with their families.
From top travel destinations to how much time people get, here’s what summer vacation looks like around the world.
Turks prefer to visit Europe and go to the Mediterranean or Aegean Seas.
Typical destinations: Within Turkey, people enjoy going to the Aegean Sea or the Mediterranean Sea, said Utku Hukum, a student from Turkey.
A newly-popular winter destination is Kars in Northeastern Turkey, a medieval capital with buildings dating to the 1100s, Hukum said.
International trips usually involve Eastern Europe, the Netherlands, Italy, and England, Hukum said.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 14.5 public holidays and up to 20 days of paid annual leave, according to WageIndicator.org.
Usual months to take off: Summer holidays abroad are popular, while folks stay in Turkey during the winter, Hukum said.
Swedes prefer outdoorsy trips in the summer and flee south during their long, dark winters.
Typical destinations: Swedish winters are cold, long, and dark, so residents prefer to abscond to Greece, Italy, Spain, and France, Alexander Waltner, a Swedish travel blogger, told Business Insider. Swedes tend to stick around in the summertime.
Waltner fondly remembers a childhood trip with his grandfather and his friend in a lake in southern Sweden called Harasjömåla.
“He taught me how to fish and how to prepare it, we hiked along the lake, and at night we made up a fire and grilled marshmallows,” Waltner told Business Insider.
“I remember his stories about his childhood, and what it was like living in that era. It was just like in the classic movies,” he said. “The wisdom and time spent in nature is something that I’ve kept alive ever since.”
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 25 days, according to the European Trade Union Institute.
Usual time for travel: Typically Swedes travel in the winter and summer, Waltner said.
Jamaicans are spoiled with a beautiful island filled with waterfalls, beaches, mountains, and other natural wonders.
Typical destinations: Increasingly, Jamaicans are visiting the less-explored southern coast and hiking the Blue Mountain, the tallest in Jamaica, said Shea Powell, a travel blogger from Jamaica.
But the north and west coasts of Jamaica are most popular. “The waters are pristine, and the sand is just about right,” Powell told Business Insider.
The US, UK, and Canada are the most popular places abroad to visit, Powell said.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: Up to three weeks of paid leave and 10 public holidays, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Usual months to take off: Christmas, Easter, and Heroes’ Day Weekend in October, Powell said.
Thailand boasts fascinating ruins, beaches, and bustling cities.
Typical destinations: Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, is an ultra-popular beach destination for scuba divers. Caves, limestone cliffs, and jungles await those who go to Krabi. While many beach resorts in Thailand are overrun with tourists, Hua Hin is the preferred small-town getaway for Bangkok’s elite, reported TripAdvisor.
The Thai middle class is starting to embrace international travel, reported Southeast Asia tourism website TRR Weekly. Japan and Taiwan are the most popular destinations. Fellow Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam are growing in popularity among Thai travellers, as well.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 13 public holidays and at least 6 vacation days, according to Thailand’s Ministry of Labour.
Usual months to take off: Songkran, the Thai New Year, falls in mid-April. That’s the biggest holiday in Thailand.
Australia are known for having plenty of paid leave and using that time to travel the globe.
The most popular countries for Australians to visit are New Zealand, Indonesia, the US, the UK, and Thailand, according to the OECD. Though, as Australian travel writer Ben Groundwater notes, Australians are known to travel far and wide. “We’re everywhere. And we probably always will be,” he wrote.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 20 days of paid annual leave and seven public holidays, according to the European Trade Union Institute.
Usual months to take off: Summer vacation for Aussies extends from mid-December to early February. Other periods for vacations include early October, the month of July, and the month of April.
Colombia is beautiful and temperate, so people enjoy staying in the country for vacations.
Typical destinations: For a beach vacation, many Colombians visit the Caribbean islands, said 25-year-old Daniel Builes, a chemical engineer from Colombia. In the country, a beach village called Capurganá, which is also surrounded by jungles and mountains, and port town Cartagena are popular. Other countries in South America, Europe, Mexico, and the US are popular, too.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 15 days of annual leave and 18 public holidays, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Usual months to take off: Colombia is comfortably warm year-round, so weather doesn’t motivate folks to go on vacation, said Builes. Typical school holidays are in the end of March and beginning of April, during June and July and November to January.
Builes said it’s common for Colombians to take a family trip to a river during Christmas and make sancocho, a soup that’s popular throughout Latin America. Colombians make sancocho with root vegetable, chicken, pork and beef.
“You have to know your own place then you can travel and see the world,” Builes told Business Insider. “It’s cheaper for us to travel here in the country and it’s very beautiful.”
British people prefer to summer in Western Europe or Southwest England’s beaches.
Typical destinations: Besides visiting London, British people often visit Southwest England’s beaches during the summer, The Telegraph reported. Cornwall, Devon, and Brighton are the most popular beach towns.
The most popular countries for Brits to visit are Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, and the United States, The Economist reported.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 20 days of paid annual leave, according to the European Trade Union Institute.
Usual months to take off: British “holidaymakers” often take two weeks off in July and August, and they may travel to North Africa or the Caribbean in the winter as well.
Cambodians get a whopping 45 days off from work each year.
Typical destinations: Within Cambodia, Angkor Wat is one of the most popular destinations for travel. It’s the largest religious complex the world. Tonlé Sap, a freshwater lake, and the bustling capital of Phnom Penh are also popular spots. People also often visit their hometowns.
Thailand and Vietnam are most popular for international travel,The Phnom Penh Post reported.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: In addition to 18 days of paid vacation for full-time workers, Cambodians enjoy 27 public holidays, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Usual months to take off: The Khmer New Year in April and the Chinese New Year in January or February are the biggest holidays in the country, reported Ecns.cn.
Germans tend to be eager adventurers, taking an average of one trip abroad per year.
Germans are also major globetrotters; they take an average of one trip abroad per year, Der Spiegel reported. Poland, France, Spain, Italy, and Turkey are the most popular destinations.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 20 days of paid annual leave and 10 public holidays, according to the European Trade Union Institute.
Usual months to take off: Summer vacation in July or August is an annual rite, and the average vacation lasts 13 days.
South Africans go to gorgeous islands or visit extended family.
Typical destinations:Ishay Govender-Ypma, a freelance travel, food, and culture journalist from Durban, South Africa, told Business Insider that most middle class families in South Africa stay within their own provinces and spend time camping, visiting dams, safaris, and enjoying the local sight-seeing. It’s also common for South Africans to travel back to their hometowns with presents for extended family.
Travel to islands off the African coast, like Mauritius or Zanzibar, are also growing in popularity, Govender-Ypma said.
Travel trends in South Africa are tied with its fraught racial history, Govender-Ypma said.
“Historically the majority of our population would only travel to return home or for weddings and funerals,” Govender-Ypma told Business Insider. “Repressive racial laws made free movement impossible.”
But enjoying the many cities and regions of South Africa is becoming easier for residents. One of Govender-Ypma’s fondest childhood memories is a month-long road trip with her family in their ’82 Toyota Sprinter.
They still have the car.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 21 days of annual leave and 12 public holidays, according to the International Labour Organisation
Usual months to take off: June/July, the period around Easter, or December, are popular, Govender-Ypma said.
Canadians tend to enjoy escaping cold weather for warmer destinations like Mexico and Cuba.
Typical destinations: The provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta are the most popular places for Canadians travel within Canada, according to Statistics Canada. Ontario and Quebec both boast exciting cities, while Alberta is home to the Canadian Rockies.
The most popular countries for Canadians to visit are the United States, Mexico, Cuba, the United Kingdom, and the Dominican Republic, according to Statistics Canada.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 10 days of paid annual leave and eight public holidays, according to the European Trade Union Institute.
The French say that vacation time is sacred, and they get a minimum of five weeks a year off.
Typical destinations: Camping and holiday homes are common among the French, said Camille Chevalier Karfis, co-owner of French-language tutoring company French Today.
For international trips, Chevalier Karfis said organised trips of 10 days within the US, Asia, and elsewhere are common. Shorter trips abroad may include Spain for a beach vacation or, for younger crowds who like the cheap prices, Eastern Europe.
For Chevalier Karfis, her fondest childhood travel memories involved house-sitting all around France – from northern Brittany to sunny, southern Marseille.
“Everything was so functional and modern: very, very different from my parent’s apartment in Paris and ‘bourgeois’ weekend house in the Yvelines,” Chevalier Karfis told Business Insider. “Going there was a real change from our routine, but since we went there every summer, it was familiar as well and this was very relaxing for everybody.”
Summer homes are an important to many French families, Karfis said.
“The house may be a bit old, not very functional or comfortable really, but it’s full of memories,” Chevalier Karfis said. “We don’t mind a bit of a bohemian lifestyle, and would often prefer the charm and uniqueness of older furniture to modern look-alike housing.”
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 30 days of paid annual leave and 11 public holidays, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Usual months to take off: Several weeks in July or August, long weekends in May, and February, according to Chevalier Karfis.
Indians often flock to chilly mountain towns, Southeast Asia, or Europe.
Typical destinations:Mridula Dwivedi, a professor-turned-blogger, said hill stations, which are high-altitude towns in India connected by rail, are the most popular domestic destination.
Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Thailand are also popular for nearby international trips.
Package trips to Europe are becoming popular, too, Dwivedi said.
Dwivedi has loved watching her children enjoy travel. Her kids try new things boldly, like swimming, and ask endlessly about the cultural norms they see.
“I call them double trouble,” Dwivedi told Business Insider. “You take your kids, you show them, hopefully, that there is more to the world than their own hometown and nation. That’s very precious.”
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 12 days of paid annual leave. Public holidays vary by region, but there are up to 20, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Usual months to take off: Summers and public holidays, which vary by region
South Koreans tend to enjoy eating fish in Busan, camping near Seoul, and travelling around Asia and Europe.
South Koreans frequently travel to Japan, which is just a few hours by plane, for its excellent food and shopping, according to the Korea Tourism Organisation. Beach vacations might include Vietnam or the Philippines. Trips to the U.S. or Europe are aspirational.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 15 days of paid annual leave and 16 public holidays, according to the International Labour Organisation.
There isn’t much vacation time in Japan, but what people get is often spent in and out of the country.
The most popular countries to visit include South Korea and Taiwan, as well as Spain and France, according to JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Co. Hawaii and Guam are relatively close to Japan and are also popular spots.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: At least 10 days of annual leave, according to the International Labour Organisation. There are also 14 public holidays, but the private sector is not required to give those days off.
Usual months to take off: Quora user Takahiro Uzawa wrote that there are four big vacation times in Japan: Christmas and New Year’s; Golden Week in April or May; a week or two for summer vacation; and a few days in mid-September called “Golden Week.”
Spaniards love the beach, mountains, and cities.
Typical destinations: Cities like Madrid and Barcelona are popular among Spaniards, and they love beaches in the southern region of Andalusia and Valencia, an eastern coastal city, according to Cafébabel.
The most popular countries for Spaniards to visit are Portugal, Morocco, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, according to the OECD.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 22 days of paid annual leave and 13 public holidays, according to the European Trade Union Institute.
Usual months to take off: Spain tends to “shut down” in August or July, and there are public and religious holidays throughout the year, according to Cafébabel.
Kenyans enjoy visiting extended family and seeing the country’s standout nature.
Typical destinations: National parks, rift valley lakes, Mombasa and other coastal destinations, and their homes of origin are popular among Kenyans, according to Biche, a Tanzanian and Ugandan lifestyle blogger who lives in Kenya.
For wealthier folks, Biche said international destinations include Dubai, South Africa, the UK, and the US.
Biche said her most memorable vacation in Kenya was at the sprawling Aberdare National Park. She took her mother there for her 60th birthday.
“We spent a night at The Ark, which overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick so we watched animals up close all night,” Biche told Business Insider. “The following day, we went on a walking safari organised by the Aberdare Country Club. Walking through a tower of giraffes is not a memory one easily forgets!”
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 21 days of annual leave and 10 public holidays, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Usual months to take off: Easter, August break, Christmas and New Years’, Biche said.
Travel abroad is difficult for Chinese people, who must obtain visas for most countries. So they enjoy the many cities and terrains their massive country has to offer.
Typical destinations: China is massive, and people like to see regions outside of where they live during their short vacation times, said Yuan Gao, a recent college graduate from the southwest of China. Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong are the most popular cities to visit. Yunnan, with its gorgeous mountains and tropical Hainan island, are also famous for their nature.
Travel abroad is complicated for Chinese residents, as they need visas to go to most countries. Japan, Thailand, and South Korea are the most popular options for travel in Asia, according to Nielsen. Western Europe and North America are becoming more popular to visit, too.
Gao said she loves to travel now, but she didn’t do much of it as a child.
“My parents were busy and they are not particularly interested in travelling,” Gao told Business Insider. “But I went to Hainan Province once with my family when I was young. I loved it. They have beautiful beaches, which is unusual because we don’t really have beaches in China, with Chinese culture background.”
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 11 public holidays and up to 15 days of paid annual leave, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Usual months to take off: February, May, and October, according to Gao.
Italians often ask each other, ‘Mare o montagna?’ As in, ‘Are you going to the beach or the mountains this summer?’
Typical destinations: Italians pick between sea or mountain when travelling in their famously-beautiful country, reported The Telegraph in 2017. Southern Italy boasts pristine beaches among the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, and Puglia. The Alps also covers one’s need for terrain.
Fellow countries in Southern Europe are popular among Italians, like Spain, Greece, Albania, or Croatia, said Quora user Gianmarco Prete. Denmark and Norway are common destinations for those wanting a different sort of European culture.
Amount of vacation time mandated by law: 20 days of annual leave, 13 public holidays, according to the European Trade Union Institute.
Usual months to take off: July and August are the classic vacation times, and Italians who live in resort areas often travel during the winter, according to The Telegraph.
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