In major cities across Europe, particularly in Spain and France, a major exodus occurs in August. In Madrid, for example, traffic becomes quieter, restaurants close and offices lie empty as locals flock to the coast to escape the stifling heat. These holiday migrations are the norm in both countries where people can easily take them for granted. There are exceptions, however, with new and depressing data from Eurostat showing that holidays are simply unaffordable for large numbers of Europeans.
The highest share of people who could not afford a one-week holiday away from home in 2018 was recorded in Romania at 59 percent. Croatia came second with 51.3 percent while Greece and Cyprus were tied for third with 51 percent. Large proportions of the population in Italy (43.7 percent), Ireland (35.3 percent) and Poland (34.6 percent) also said a one-week holiday was out of their financial grasp. Even in Spain where long holidays in August are typical, 34.2 percent of people said they still could not pay the costs of a week-long break.
This chart shows the share of the population who could not afford a one-week holiday away from home in 2018.
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