Normal life in Europe may seem somewhat unusual to people from other countries. The same is true of Europeans visiting other parts of the world. The following are some of the simple, daily experiences you might encounter than may vary from your homeland:

Homes and Apartments

You can expect homes and apartments to be of a more modest size. Many European countries are relatively small. As such, they have to fit more people in a smaller amount of space. You can also expect quite low door frames in older homes and buildings. If you take a shower, be prepared to take a quick one if you want hot water. The hot water tanks are significantly smaller than in other countries. Be aware that you may have to flip a switch to use an outlet. Fridges are often smaller. As such, they do not refrigerate many items you would at home.

Dining Out

In many parts of the world, including various Asian countries and in North America, it is common practice to make the dining experience a more efficient one. In Europe, dinners are long and last for hours. You can also expect that tipping will be much lesser than in other parts of the world. If a European does tip, it will often be between 5% and 10% at a restaurant. You can also anticipate that you will eat later than you might normally eat at home. In places like Portugal and Spain, locals might not go out for dinner until 22:00.

Customer Service

Customer service in the commercial area seems to be far superior in some European countries. They seem far more eager to right a wrong so that you do not have to argue for 20 minutes for them to do the right thing. For example, a cancelled flight compensation might include a hotel room and food and drink vouchers to make up for the trouble they caused. In other countries, you might be lucky to get a food voucher after putting up a fight. In other European countries, customer service is significantly less customer friendly. Customer service consistency throughout Europe seems to be lacking.

Work-Life Balance

Europeans take their work-life balance quite seriously. Many employers provide at least a month of vacation time from the day you are hired. It is even six weeks in some European countries. Many Europeans do not take work home with them. When their mandatory work hours are complete, they are done for the day. Most shops will be closed on Sundays. It is still important for Europeans to spend quality time with friends and family each week. You will see people playing in parks, fishing, taking walks and generally enjoying leisure activities on Sunday.

You will experience some unusual things as you travel throughout Europe they consider perfectly normal. Try to adapt to some of these new cultural norms as you travel. You might learn something new about yourself and your homeland in the process.