The secret to turning 25 days off into 54 days holiday!

This blog post relates to the annual leave for the USA calendar, but the theory is essentially the same for other countries.

Once the frantic Christmas season is far behind us and the novelty of the ‘new year, new me’ wears off, January can sometimes feel like a bit of a stagnant month. The excitement of the holidays has long since vanished and the winter blues has most definitely settled in. One of the best ways to get out of a post Christmas slump is to organise your vacations for the year, giving yourself lots to look forward to!

But have you ever wondered how some people can fit in so many holidays with only 25 days annual leave? Well, we’ve uncovered the secret! Strategically placing your annual leave around national holidays can increase your days off from 25 to 54! Now you’ll have time to take that 2 week tour of Asia, go wine tasting in Italy or see the famous Cherry Blossom season in Japan. The world is your oyster!

Sound complicated? Don’t worry, we’ve done the brunt of the leg work for you. Just follow the calendars below, book off your time and wait for those extra days off to roll on in. And In case you need a bit of inspiration, I’ve added in a few tours that Tucan Travel recommend for those times of the year. Happy holidays!

January 2019

January is an underrated but hugely beneficial time to go on vacation. Prices of accommodation, flights and attractions are often at a low, and tourist numbers are much smaller than in summer. Europe is particularly beautiful at this time of year, with countries like France and Austria often draped in a blanket of white snow.

Thanks to Martin Luther King Day, if you book the 4 days after you will have a total of 9 consecutive days off!

Public holidays:

  • Monday 21st January – Martin Luther King Day

Days to book off:

  • Tuesday 22nd – Friday 25th January (4 days)

When to take your annual leave in America







Here are our top picks for holidays in January:

May 2019

May is one of the best times to travel, especially if you’re going to Europe. Spring has just sprung bringing with it a sea of multicoloured blossom, sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. It’s also an ideal time for hiking and trekking tours. Climb the rolling hills of Romania or trek the many Croatian islands in search of the perfect beach. Prices tend to be much cheaper than visiting in summer too!

Book the 4 days following Memorial Day as annual leave and take a total of 9 days off!

Public holidays:

  • Monday 27th May – Memorial Day

Days to book off:

  • Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st May (4 days)

When to take your annual leave in America








Here are our top picks for where to go in May:

  • Vietnam Highlights 25th May – 1st June
  • Walking Croatian Islands 25th May – 1st June
  • Walking Romania 25th May – 2nd June
  • Cuban Highlights 25th May – 2nd June
  • Berlin to Milan 25th May – 2nd June
  • Highlights of Turkey 26th May – 2nd June

July 2019

Due to school holidays, July tends to be one of the most popular times of year to go away. Summer in Europe can be very warm, which is one of the main draws for travelling during this time. Perfect for a picnic under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, dining alfresco on the streets of Rome or spending the day exploring the national parks of Croatia.

Independence day on the 4th of July brings another opportunity to use up only 4 days annual leave to get a lovely 9 day break!

Public holidays:

  • Thursday 4th July – Independence Day

Days to book off:

  • Monday 1st – Wednesday 3rd & Friday 5th July (4 days)

When to take your annual leave in America








Being the middle of summer, there are lots of places which are great to visit in July, but here are our top choices:

September 2019

September is becoming the new time to travel, especially if you want to bag a bargain! The weather is often a lot more bearable in Asia at this time of year, and with autumn beginning to settle in, Europe is awash with warming, autumnal colours. The crowds are much less than in August which makes the prices dramatically drop back down. Wander the leaf-strewn cobbled streets of Bruges, sit beside the burning log fires in an old pub in London, or hike the perimeter of Lake Bled in Slovenia.

Labor Day on the 2nd September brings yet another opportunity to increase 4 days of annual leave into a total of 9 days off!

Public holidays:

  • Monday 2nd September – Labour Day

Days to book off:

  • Tuesday 3rd – Friday 6th September (4 days)

When to take your annual leave in America








Here are our top choices for using up your new found 9 days of holiday in September:

  • Vietnam highlights 31st August – 7th September
  • Walking Croatian National Parks 31st August – 7th September
  • London to Berlin 31st August – 7th September
  • Paris to Berlin 2nd September – 7h September

November 2019

November is another great time of year to take a vacation. Prices are significantly lower, the crowds are much, much smaller and the cities are all painted in warming autumnal colours. Christmas markets are beginning to pop up in Western Europe, Romanian castles look magical in the first signs of snow and the thrill of ski season in Bulgaria has just begun.

Thanksgiving provides another great opportunity to turn a measly 4 days annual leave into a glorious 9 day adventure! Forget the turkey and travel instead!

Public holidays:

  • Thursday 28th November – Thanksgiving

Days to book off:

  • Monday 25th – Wednesday 27th & Friday 29th November (4 days)

When to take your annual leave in America








Here are our top tours for places to go in November:

December 2019

December is possibly one of the best times of the year to go on vacation. On top of the low prices and small crowds, you can really maximise your annual leave to get an epic 16 days off! Finally, a chance to do that tour of Sri Lanka you’ve been looking at, or travel around Iceland chasing the Northern Lights. Europe is also particularly magical at this time of year. Castles covered in snow, fires roaring in pubs, comforting stews and hot chocolates. Bliss!

By using up 4 days of annual leave you can take 9 days off and have the Christmas of a lifetime! Or if you still have days left to use up, book another 4 days annual leave and turn your holiday into an epic 16 day adventure!

Public holidays:

  • Wednesday 25th – Christmas Day
  • 1st January – New Years Day

Days to book off:

  • Monday 23rd, Tuesday 24th, Thursday 26th & Friday 27th (4 days) & / or
  • Monday 30th, Tuesday 31st, Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd (4 days)

When to take your annual leave in America









If you’re turning your 4 days annual leave into 9 days off, here are our recommendations for December breaks:

Turning your Christmas break into an incredible 16 day adventure? Here’s our suggestions of the best tours running at this time of the year:

Make 2019 the year you finally tick off some of those bucket list destinations. Climb Machu Picchu on a trip to Peru, chase the Northern Lights around Iceland or spot wildlife on an African Safari. Make it the year for exploring. For a full list of adventure tours and travel inspiration visit

Roxy is part of the marketing team for Tucan Travel. She has been travelling solo for years, predominantly around Asia, Indonesia and Europe. You can find her on LinkedIn here.

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