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How to Make the Most of an Overseas Vacation on the 4th of July

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

If you’re like me, you might be sitting around this 4th of July kind of wishing you could go anywhere, like seriously 113 and counting that I’ve not left a 2-square mile radius of my apartment over here!

Maybe by next year we’ll have the option of going to a 4th of July baseball game, Foo Fighters DC Jam, or to see fireworks (people, for real, please don’t this year). Maybe Europe will even let us in again!

Should you ever decide to burn some vacation days overseas for 4th of July, here are some fun ways to celebrate and also surely annoy the people you are traveling with!

“But, other countries don’t celebrate the 4th of July,” you may be thinking to yourself!

It’s true, they don’t, but you know where does?

The Hard Rock Cafe.

Hop into any Hard Rock Cafe on the 4th of July and you will find American flag streamers, margarita deals, and Whitney Houston’s G.O.A.T. National Anthem performance playing every hour or so. It will be a great time had by all! Though after one marg and one Whitney National Anthem your friends will be ready to go AND be asking themselves why they invited you on this vacation in the first place.

The photo evidence of these July 4th celebrations is lost to time (I used a film, like the kind you had to develop, camera in the early/mid/late 2000s), but I did find these gems of times I took pictures of Hard Rock Cafes in Europe...because…???

The Hard Rock, Amsterdam
The Hard Rock, Copenhagen

Whatever. Many friends know I will still go to Hard Rock Cafe anytime because their nachos are delicious.

If Hard Rock Cafe is not your jam (see what I did there), you always have the option of getting a hot dog or sausage from a street vendor and taking a photo holding up four fingers to remind yourself that *this hot dog* was the one you ate on 4th of July while in Munich.

The 4th of July in Munich, 2008.

And finally, you can go see a great American rock band and embarrass yourself with your lack of knowledge about your own country.

Last year, I spent the 4th of July holiday in the UK. We flew over to see the first ever major league baseball game played in Europe between the Red Sox and the Yankees. In a heat wave!! While trying to teach the Brits sitting next to me about baseball, I explained that both teams scoring 6 runs each in the first inning was not normal, nor considered particularly good baseball. They left after 3 innings.

A few days later, in Edinburgh, we went out to watch the USWNT match against England and stumbled into a pub quiz that was America-themed in recognition of our upcoming holiday.

Even though we were the only two Americans in the pub, we did not win the pub quiz about America.

We came in 4th.

Thankfully the USWNT beat England that night so we left with some dignity intact.

I moved on to Glasgow to see the Eagles in concert on July 4. Don Henly aptly noted that America and the UK shared the common challenge of being led by slightly unstable yellow-haired men and hoped times would get better.

He did not get the memo on 2020.

Wishing you all a safe and social distanced holiday weekend!

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