If you’re not from The United States, the title might perplex you. Don’t Americans get at least two weeks of paid vacation? The truth is, not really.

It would be nice to take all that time off without worrying about employment, but American work culture is unlike most places. In fact, Travel Noire referenced a study last year that found that two in three Americans can’t enjoy vacation due to pressure.

Let’s face it, a week anywhere is rarely enough. By the time you get acclimated to your destination, it’s time to go home. If you’re able to get away for a longer time, you can get to know your surroundings.

Live To Work Versus Work To Live

While other countries typically have more respect for work-life balance, Americans often live to work.

According to CNBC, “The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee paid time off. Many European countries have paid holidays as well, giving workers there even more paid days off.”

One user on Quora summed up the American relationship with work quite well: “Americans are culturally molded into believing that work is everything. Our lives revolve around the work we do. To the point that when one American asks another, ‘Who are you?’ the questioner is not asking for the name, but the work title.”

If Americans got more vacation time, here are some of the countries they would visit:


Photo Credit: Junior Moran

If you’re looking for a country brimming with ancient history, nature and ample adventure activities, check out Peru.

This coastal South American jewel is home to Cusco (or Cuzco), the historic capital of Peru. After spending a few days exploring this city, with its indigenous and colonial accents, take a scenic train ride to Machu Picchu. Be sure to have your camera with you because the views are something to behold.

Science buffs might be interested to know that Peru has 14 national parks, 15 national reserves, 1,800 species of bird and 3,500 varieties of orchids, all waiting for you to explore.


Photo Credit: Matthew Schwartz

It takes forever and a day just to fly to Thailand, and the flights can be pricey.

But you don’t have to spend much more to have a memorable time. First, there’s the food, which is flavorful and delicious, and there’s something for most dietary preferences. If you’re in Bangkok, Bamee Kon Sae Lee is a popular noodle restaurant where you can eat well on a budget.

Speaking of Bangkok, make time to visit The Grand Palace. Please note that you’ll have to dress conservatively, or you might not get in. For a unique spin on the shopping experience, check out the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, where you can buy various wares. It’s about an hour from the capital, and you should go earlier in the day to beat the heat.

Also, hire a tour guide to get a history of Thailand and learn about interesting sites in the provinces.

Kenya and Tanzania

Photo Credit: Sergey Pesterev

We’ll pair these two since they are neighbors and top safari destinations. Instead of having to choose one country to see wild animals, why not both?

Both countries offer amazing scenery, opportunities to see wildlife, and many bucket-list activities suited to the most adventurous travelers, like chimp trekking in Tanzania.

Additionally, The Great Migration spreads across The Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara ecosystem in Kenya. You’ll want to do research on tours for this in advance, not only for safety but to ensure you’ll have the best possible view.

If mountain climbing is of interest, book a Kilimanjaro tour. To be clear, this isn’t something you can safely do in a day or even two days because of the altitude changes. There are multiple routes to the summit, but guides will recommend anywhere from five days to about 10 to lessen the chances of altitude sickness.


Photo Credit: Zan

While you could cover a fair amount of ground in a week, two weeks is better for a Colombia visit.

San Basilio de Palenque, or simply Palenque, was the first free town for former slaves in the Americas. The residents are proud of their African heritage and customs. Some of the Palenque locals (Palenqueros) travel to sell fruits and sweets in Cartagena, a city popular with Black travelers.

If you seek thrills beyond the city setting, Colombia has just about everything. Take your pick from paragliding, hiking, bike riding and diving.

If you have a diving certification and zero fear, Malpelo Island offers the chance to swim with hammerhead sharks and other marine life.

Spain and The Balearic Islands

Photo Credit: Jorge Fernández Salas

The Spanish mainland offers plenty to see and do.

There’s elegant Madrid and quirky Barcelona. Segovia is home to one of the ancient Roman aqueducts, and you can take a day trip there by train from the capital.

The Basque city of San Sebastián offers great food and nice beaches. While you can get paella anywhere in Spain, it’s best to have it in Valencia, where the dish was created.

And don’t sleep on the Balearic Islands. The four major ones are Ibiza, Mallorca (or Majorca), Menorca and Formentera, and each has its own personality.

If hard partying is on the itinerary, go to Ibiza. Some of the best clubs are there, and they attract top dance music DJs.

If you want the chance to party and relax in turns, try Mallorca, the largest of the Balearics.

Looking for unspoiled beaches and less crowds? Hello, Menorca!

Finally, there’s Formentera. It doesn’t have an airport, so you’ll have to get there by ferry. This might appeal if you’d like to escape most of the tourists.