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The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't offer a minimum of Paid Time Off (PTO) days at a national level. Meaning, according to federal law, employees are entitled to 0 vacation days! Absolutely mind-blowing, right!?
However, if you're one of the lucky ones whose employer offers a set number of vacation days, and work a Monday to Friday job, this article is for you! Since the country-wide average for paid vacation is 11 days, and a lot of public holidays land on Mondays this year—we've combined weekends, public holidays, and the average 11 days of PTO to maximize your vacation time in 2024. We'll show you below how to turn 11 days of annual leave into 44 days of vacation.
It's no secret that the US has a work-heavy culture. Americans often envy other countries around the world that offer a minimum of 24 vacation days (not including days off for public holidays) to their full-time workers. You may feel that making room for lots of travel in the next year is near to impossible without quitting your job, but we are here to show you that's not the case and how you can take the most advantage of your vacation time next year.
*Please note that the below example dates are made assuming you work a Monday-to-Friday schedule.
First, let's go over the National Public Holidays in the U.S.—These will be combined with the 11 days of PTO and weekends to maximize your vacation time.
New Year's Day: Monday, January 1st, 2024
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Monday, January 15th, 2024
Presidents' Day: Monday, February 19th, 2024
Memorial Day: Monday, May 27th, 2024
Juneteenth: Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
Independence Day: Thursday, July 4th, 2024
Labor Day: Monday, September 2nd, 2024
Indigenous Peoples' Day: Monday, October 14th, 2024
Veteran's Day: Monday, November 11th, 2024
Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 28th, 2024
Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25th, 2024
Here's our suggestion for what days to take off and where to go;
Since New Year's Day is a Monday, we recommend grabbing a trip from Saturday, December 30th - Tuesday, January 2nd. This gives you a four-day weekend to spend on vacation. Plus, you only have to take off one day.
We know that you already took some time off in the month of January, and this is something you may have to mull over with your boss, but if you're really looking to extend your vacation time, we really recommend taking advantage of Martin Luther King Jr. Day always landing on a Monday. Similar to your New Year's Eve weekend trip, you can extend this trip to a Tuesday.
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in January?
Though Valentine's Day isn't a public holiday, Presidents' Day is and this year it lands on Monday, February 19th, just five days after Valentine's Day. Why not take Friday the 16th off and extend your trip through Monday, the 19th? Grabbing four more days of vacation time.
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in February?
Though you haven't been able to really travel in March or April, May marks the perfect time to plan your next trip. With Memorial Day landing on Monday, May 27th, summer is just around the corner and this is the perfect chance to snag another four-day weekend. We recommend maybe traveling to the Caribbean or somewhere else outside the country as a lot of popular U.S. destinations will be packed.
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in May?
Juneteenth lands on Wednesday, June 19th next year, so, you're going to want to reserve two days off. Perhaps Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st and extend your trip through the weekend. Wednesday, June 19th through Sunday, June 23rd (five days in total).
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in June?
Next year, Fourth of July lands on a Thursday. Make the most out of this summer holiday and take Friday the 5th off, making it a long weekend.
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in July?
Summer has come and is nearly gone. Labor Day next year falls on Monday, September 2nd. Take the following Tuesday off and make it another four-day weekend.
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in September?
In October, we are going to avoid taking a day from your annual leave bank, but instead, you'll get to enjoy a three-day weekend with Monday, October 14th off.
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in October?
Veteran's Day is a public holiday on November 11th, so grab but this time we are not going to take a day away from annual leave and just keep it a three-day weekend.
As with every year, Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November. Take Friday, November 29th off as well and extend your vacation through the weekend, grabbing another four-day trip.
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in November?
Now, we come to the end of the year, but arguably the most wonderful time of the year! Finish off the year with one last public holiday that you can turn into a five-day weekend. Next year, Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday, so you'll want to take Thursday and Friday off along with the weekend.
Looking for suggestions on where to travel in December?
Time to start booking those vacation days, Pirates!