25 Things Americans Consider Luxury But Are Quite Common In Europe

Published 6 months ago

Travelling abroad allows us to experience different lifestyles and cultures that we wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to in our homelands. It allows you the chance to expand your perspective and to experience the different ways of dealing with the same issues. Whether it be food, travel or social niceties, there are significant differences from country to country. 

Recently, American Redditors got together online to discuss the things they appreciated most about living in ‘European’ countries. Below is a list of things that Europeans themselves consider as part and parcel of normal life, but to outsiders, it’s almost a luxury as they rarely get to enjoy these benefits. 

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#1 Healthcare that doesn’t bankrupt you upon using it.

Image source: joe_ordan, Accuray

#2 The bread. Coming back from Germany recently and all the bread back home in the US feels like I’m chewing on a kitchen sponge instead of giving my jaw a workout.

Image source: Full-Ad6660, Angelo Pantazis

#3 Chocolate. I lived in Finland for a bit at 18 and their basic Fazer chocolate made our Hersheys taste like wax. They had no idea how much better it was.

Image source: Ilovefishdix, Egor Lyfar

#4 Job security. In the EU, there are certain rules employers must comply with for terminations, including advance notice. There is also a works council process in some cases that employers must comply with before layoffs can take place. In the US, they can pretty much terminate you same day in many cases.

Image source: BaldingMonk, Marten Bjork

#5 Mandated employer supported vacations.

Image source: QuothTheRaven222, Pascal Meier

#6 I’m an American living in Europe, so.. Affordable healthcare

28 days paid vacation

Sick leave

Affordable quality public transportation

Higher food/water/environmental standards

Seriously, I can never go back. Americans should be raging in the streets all the time.

Image source: Alladin_Payne

#7 Appropriate drinking age (this whole have to be 21yo is f*****g stupid. Can die for the country and drive a killing machine, can own a killing machine, but can’t handle a drink? Stupid).

Image source: Overlandtraveler

#8 Those nifty towel heater / dryer racks.

Image source: SwiftKnickers, Michiel van Kaam

#9 The ability to fly out to major world cultural and historical sites for just a weekend and have it cost relatively little. I did a study abroad program in London, and the ability for me to book a weekend trip to Berlin on RyanAir for like 40 pounds never got old.

Image source: drewhead118, Nathan Cima

#10 Affordable and effective public transit.

Image source: tbone338, Dele Oke

I love visiting Europe. I can pop on a street car, bus, or underground and get to where I need to go. No dealing with traffic, no money for gas, no worry about being late. Europe public transit is very time efficient.

Not just speaking of city public transit either. For the price of a tank of gas or two in America I can pop on a train and go through 3 countries.

Not to mention Japan’s public transit with the Shinkansen. Couple hours and you’re hundreds of miles away. It’s wonderful and very easy to do.

#11 Being able to walk. To the shops, gym, school. Just f*****g walking anywhere without needing a car.

Image source: jakash, Nick Shandra

#12 Reasonable gun laws.

Image source: Creepy-Floor-1745, Markus Spiske

#13 Good cheeses.

Image source: AsIfIKnowWhatImDoin, Gabriella Clare Marino


As a European that was what I missed the most, when I spent a few months in the US.

#14 Pretty sure some European countries have free university and that sounds nice, I wouldn’t mind going back and learning more skills but it’s crazy expensive here.

Image source: Kruppe0, Dom Fou

#15 Better work/life balance.

Image source: evil_burrito, Priscilla Du Preez ??

#16 Not having to worry so much about getting shot at work or at school, or anywhere for that matter.

Image source: miss_poetflowerr

#17 Fewer additives in their food. There’s a reason I lost 19 pounds when I studied abroad in London. The only way I was able to lose weight in America was through weight loss surgery!

Image source: degrassibabetjk, Davide Cantelli


Food not filled with crazy chemicals. A lot of additives allowed in the US are banned in other countries

#18 More time off. When my wife gave birth to our child, she had to use all her vacation and sick pay as “maternity leave”. This was a government job.

Image source: shartnado3, Djordje Petrovic

#19 European here but Americans won’t come up with it, so I’ll help.

*the Erasmus program*

It isn’t reserved only for Europeans (I met a Mexican girl and a Korean girl and plenty of Turks who are and are not European depending on who you ask) but generally it’s mostly European centric program and a major privilege IMO.

For student exchange – you can broaden your studies and move to another uni to have an entirely different skill set than anyone in your coutnry. The system of international events is so well developed that you’ll do things you’ve never dreamed of. Social aspect is also important. It’s fun of course, but you also build an amazing network without having to be rich. You find a short event in Paris two years after exchange? No problem, your friend Pierre will lend you his couch. You get a monetary scholarship so you aren’t really that worried about money you’ll need to move. It’s really amazing.

There’s also Erasmus internship which helps with the problem of unpaid internships. As long as you’re a student, you can take part in an internship and Eramshs will give money to you and your employer. They now have a reason to actually teach you and you actually get paid for your full time job.

Erasmus also does plenty of other shorter projects for younger and older people so it’s not only reserved to uni students. The accommodation and food is usually paid and you do amazing things.

Image source: ltlyellowcloud

#20 Cubicle toilets. Public bathroom door gaps are uncomfortably wide.

Image source: ScSM35, Possessed Photography

#21 Less sugar in products.

Image source: GODHatesPOGsv2024, Ulysse Pointcheval

#22 Rad architecture, lots of great food, exposure to a bunch of different cultures and languages without having to take a long flight.

Image source: Derp_State_Agent, Flo P

#23 I’d like to add: no high fructose corn syrup in pretty much every product must be nice.

Image source: -nabtab

#24 Access to ubiquitous and fast rail travel.

Image source: grandwahs, Daniel Abadia

#25 Bike-able cities. When I lived in Munich it was a paradise for biking. I could take my bike almost anywhere in the city and region without much concern and I loved doing it. Not every city in Europe is like that obviously, and Munich is probably one of the best, but almost every major city I visited in Europe had a lot of people on bikes, and good infrastructure for it. Also intercity rail and bus travel. The US has both of course but just not in the same league.

Image source: ConstantinopleFett, Murillo de Paula

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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americans, Europe, luxuries, mundane things considered luxury, regular luxuries, travel, Us
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