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Americans love their cars, A/C and giant food portions. But our friends across the pond think we can do better. From valuing history to relaxing on vacation, here are 19 habits Europeans often wish Americans would adopt or dial back. The US could stand to be more global, health-conscious and live a little, according to our European counterparts. While America has its perks, a few lessons from Europe could make life so much better.
Europeans highly value work-life balance, with policies that support paid time off and parental leave. Many wish Americans would follow suit.
Life often moves at a slower, calmer pace in Europe compared to the high-pressure American rat race. Taking time to enjoy life is embedded in many European cultures.
Taking Vacation Seriously
In Europe, taking a vacation is seen as a right, not a luxury. Many Europeans wish Americans would embrace the idea of taking time off without feeling guilty.
From cycling to work to using reusable bags, Europeans often prioritize sustainability more than their American counterparts.
With such a rich history, Europeans often wish Americans would show a deeper appreciation for historical sites and stories.
Less Reliance on Cars
Many European cities are designed for walking or cycling, and public transport is efficient. They often wish Americans would reduce their car dependency.
Siestas and Late Dinners
The concept of taking a midday break and having dinner late is common in countries like Spain. It’s a rhythm some Europeans wish Americans would understand.
Less Sugar in Food
European desserts and drinks often have less sugar compared to their American counterparts.
The idea that healthcare is a right and not a privilege is a sentiment many Europeans wish Americans would adopt.
In Europe, tipping isn’t as obligatory as it is in the US. Service workers often receive a living wage, making tipping less essential.
Shoes Off Indoors
In many European cultures, it’s customary to remove shoes when entering someone’s home.
Many Europeans are multilingual and wish Americans would place a higher emphasis on learning multiple languages.
The “bigger is better” mentality is less prevalent in Europe, where minimalism and quality often trump quantity.
Longer Maternity/Paternity Leaves
European countries often offer extended parental leave, allowing parents to bond with their newborns without financial stress.
Emphasis on Local Produce
Farm-to-table isn’t just a trend in Europe; it’s a way of life in many parts.
Less Air Conditioning
Europeans often prefer to open a window rather than cranking up the AC.
More Public Spaces
From plazas to public gardens, Europeans value communal spaces where people can gather and socialize.
Smaller Portion Sizes
European meals tend to be smaller and more balanced, focusing on enjoyment rather than overindulgence.
While Americans often prioritize politeness, Europeans might communicate more directly, valuing clarity over potential misunderstandings.
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Michelle Harler is the founder of Guide2Free, a website dedicated to finding and sharing freebies, product testing opportunities, and other ways to save money. With over a decade of experience in the industry, her expertise in finding quality offers makes Guide2Free an invaluable resource for anyone looking to try new products and save money.