Cultural - How do Polish people spend their summer holidays?
Summer vacation is officially over now.
School starts in full force today. Yesterday was the opening school meeting and today classes start.
So, what does the average middle class Polish family do for summer vacation?
A variety of things are very popular.
By nature of our geography - we have the Baltic Sea to the north and mountains to the south - we have some natural places here in Poland that people enjoy going to.
The seaside towns are popular resort and get-away areas for many Polish people! There are campgrounds -as well as various hotels, schools, and hostels where people can stay a night or a month.
There is also a region of Poland that is called the lake region. It is relatively close to us and many, many people from our area rent a cabin and spend a week or two in nature, enjoying hiking and playing in the water - many people know how to sail and swimming is popular.
Many do go to the southern part of Poland where we have mountains. If you are into winter sports, you may be aware that Poland has a very good ski jumping or ski flying team. That's because our mountains often get snow and while more like the Appalachians than the Rockies, they are high enough to have ski jumping hills!
Then, because Polish summers are notoriously fickle when it comes to the weather, people often like to travel where it will be warm for sure -
Many people get in their cars and head for Spain or Italy. Or they take organized bus tours.
There are also various travel agencies that organize groups and go to places like Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Morocco and Egypt from Poland. They fly charter, and the prices are usually quite good. They usually sell one week or two week packages. You can stay in a hotel for that week or two including 2 meals a day or full board or what they call "all inclusive" - including all the drinks and meals and snacks and everything the hotel offers - except for maybe special fruit drinks - fresh squeezed type of drinks.
Many people take these kinds of trips -
Many kids in Poland go to one camp - or even two or three. Camps often last longer than one week - 10 days is not uncommon.
Overall, Most people here in Poland go somewhere for 2 weeks - away from home. I am sure this isn't true in the farming communities or place that specialize in holiday or vacation activites. In that case, those people take holidays in "non prime time". The average person with official work is given 20 days of paid vacation per year for the first 10 years of employment. After 10 years, it's 26 days. PLUS they have 13 paid public holidays. If you are a college grad, those years count towards your retirement years and also towards things like paid holidays.
Prime time holidays here are July/August, with early August seeming to be the actual "height" of the time that it feels like most people are gone. But that's certainly not official - that is just what it feels like from what I see and hear around me.
So now you know!
Since school is out the fourth Friday in June and back on September 1, you can understand that the prices of those organized tours are highest in July/August. It's simply the law of supply/demand.
To summarize -
Most Polish people - especially what we would call "the middle class" - go somewhere for at least one week, usually two, some time during July/August - either they stay here in Poland and drive, or they drive to another part of Europe, or they fly, using one of the organized tour agencies. Obviously there are all variations as well - people who fly to the states, organize their own tours, or just go camping somewhat locally.
And now you know!
Have a great day, wherever you are reading this!
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