The average American spends only 4.3 nights of vacation away from home, down from six nights about 25 years ago. Microvacations are all the rage, ranging from a few hours at a spa to a weekend jaunt. Weekend trips compose more than half our leisure travel. Of course, there are practical reasons for the difference. More continental Europeans than Americans live in cramped flats, so they want to get out, while more Americans tend to own their own homes with backyards and are less inclined to leave. Second, we have a much higher proportion of families where both spouses work, so it's not easy to organize private time for a long family vacation beyond much more than a week or two, especially when you factor in schools, summer camps, and the like. And third, Americans tend to work longer hours because, by and large, they enjoy it while many Europeans do not.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman, "All work and no play," U.S. News & World Report, September 8, 2003
Marty Goldensohn, "No, Really, It's High Concept," Newsday, April 27, 1988