Public Holidays 2024: How to Maximise Annual Leave

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With flight prices shooting sky-high post-pandemic, we have to start booking our overseas trips earlier. And that means some strategic planning around public holidays and long weekends to maximise our limited annual leave days in 2024. 

In the coming year, we’ll be blessed with 5 long weekends. That’s down from the 6 long weekends we enjoyed in 2023, but fret not, if we play our cards right, we could enjoy 56 days of vacation while using 18 days of annual leave. Yeah, you read that right.

Now, you might be thinking, “But not all of us have 18 days of annual leave to begin with!”. Well, this is just a guide, so make of it what you will. Otherwise, the new year might also be a good time to consider changing…jobs?


There are 11 official public holidays in 2024 

These are the 11 Ministry of Manpower (MOM) gazetted public holidays for 2024: 

New Year’s Day 1 Jan 2024 Monday
Chinese New Year 10 Feb 2024 Saturday
11 Feb 2024 Sunday
Good Friday 29 Mar 2024 Friday
Hari Raya Puasa 10 Apr 2024 Wednesday
Labour Day 1 May 2024 Wednesday
Vesak Day 22 May 2024 Wednesday
Hari Raya Haji 17 Jun 2024 Monday
National Day 9 Aug 2024 Friday
Deepavali 31 Oct 2024 Thursday
Christmas 25 Dec 2024 Wednesday

Out of these public holidays, we’ll be blessed with 5 long weekends in 2024. That’s 5 x 3-day long weekends for an extra day’s break without using any of your annual leave. Nice.

Holiday Date Day No. Of Days
New Year’s Day 1 Jan 2024 Monday 3 (S, S, M)
Chinese New Year 10 Feb 2024 Saturday 3 (S, S, M)
11 Feb 2024 Sunday
Good Friday 29 Mar 2024 Friday 3 (F, S, S)
Hari Raya Haji 17 Jun 2024 Monday 3 (S, S, M)
National Day 9 Aug 2024 Friday 3 (F, S, S)
Total 15

Chinese New Year is once again 3 days, with the following day on 12 Feb, Mon, a public holiday, so you can continue playing mahjong till the wee hours over the weekend! 

With Hari Raya Haji and National Day falling on a Monday and Friday respectively, you also get a longer weekend without having to use up your leave. 

But now’s the question, how do we plan for the awkward mid-week public holidays?


How to maximise your public holidays in 2024

Firstly, mid-week holidays aren’t awkward if you choose to see the block leave opportunity here.

Holiday Date Day Days To Take Leave No. Of Leave Days No. Of Days
Hari Raya Puasa 10 Apr 2024 Wednesday Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 4 9 (S,S, M-F, S, S)
Labour Day 1 May 2024 Wednesday Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 4 9 (S,S, M-F, S, S)
Vesak Day 22 May 2024 Wednesday Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 4 9 (S,S, M-F, S, S)
Deepavali 31 Oct 2024 Thursday Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 4 9 (S,S, M-F, S, S)
Christmas 25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Thu, Fri 2 5 (W, T, F, S, S)
Total No. Of Leave Days 18 41

There are quite a number of public holidays that fall on a Wednesday next year which gives us the freedom to either take an extra long weekend to make it 4 days on either Mon and Tue OR Thu and Fri. 

Or you could just take 4 days for the entire week and get 2 weekends to make your holiday a total of 9 days!  

So for example, for Hari Raya Puasa on 10 Apr, Wed, if you take 4 days leave on Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, your entire break will be: 

  • 6 Apr, Sat
  • 7 Apr, Sun
  • 8 Apr, Mon (annual leave)
  • 9 Apr, Tue (annual leave)
  • 10 Apr, Wed (Hari Raya Puasa PH)
  • 11 Apr, Thu (annual leave)
  • 12 Apr, Fri (annual leave)
  • 13 Apr, Sat
  • 14 Apr, Sun 

That’s a total of 9 days of vacation. Wee!

If we take maximise these mid-week holidays, we could gain 41 days of holiday—including the weekends both at start and end of the week of the holiday—with 18 leave days. Combine that with the 3-day long weekends above (41+15) and we’re looking at a total of 56 days of holiday for 2024!

Based on the average annual leave allowances of 14-18 days in Singapore, the above infographic shows some suggestions on how best to get the most out of your leave days.


Tips on making sure your travel plans go according to plan

Now that you have some ideas on the annual leave days to take, here are some tips to help you better maximise your days off: 

Don’t travel during peak school holiday periods if you’re not a parent. We know this is obvious but those of us who aren’t parents aren’t always aware of when the school holidays are. 

Avoid March (9 – 17 Mar 2024), September (31 Aug – 8 Sep), June (25 May – 23 Jun 2024), and December (16 Nov – 31 Dec) holidays. Approach at your own risk.

Find some other day besides a long weekend to travel to JB. JB is great for stocking up on cheap stuff but unless you don’t mind the crowds or holding your pee in while stuck on a 12-hour jam on the Causeway, try to steer clear of the long weekends. 

This one is a no-brainer but book your leave early! Especially if your workplace is strict and doesn’t allow more than 1 member of the same team to take leave, it’s best to lock in your leave in your HR system as early as possible. 


Use a digital multi-currency wallet 

Make your dollar stretch further with a digital multi-currency wallet such as YouTrip, Revolut, Wise, and Instarem Amaze. 

It helps to change money earlier when the exchange rate is low (ahem, Japanese yen) and these wallets help you lock in your foreign currencies at a lower rate which you can enjoy spending when overseas. And it’s so much more convenient to tap and pay with a card or phone, saving you the hassle of carrying too much cash around and counting change. 


Use a miles credit card

Miles credit cards award higher points for transactions in foreign currency. So if you’re going to be spending a lot on big-ticket items, you could consider using a miles credit card if your aim is to rack up more miles. 

Choose from the Citi PremierMiles Card, DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card, HSBC Revolution Credit Card and many more! Read our handy guide for the best 9 air miles credit cards to find out the best one for you to maximise your spending.


Get travel insurance 

The last thing you want during your travels is falling sick and having to spend on medical fees. Travel insurance helps cover you for it. Or if your luggage gets lost or delayed (touch wood!) or flight gets delayed and you miss your connecting flight, you’ll be glad to be able to redeem some monetary compensation with travel insurance. 

Plus there are always ongoing promos, so you’ll be able to score some discounts while getting protected. Currently, if you purchase travel insurance from participating providers listed below and meet the minimum premium, you will earn 1 chance to win in MoneySmart’s Wowza Bonanza lucky draw. More purchases, more chances! Prizes up for grabs include: 4 x iPhone 15 Pro Titanium 128GB, 3 x Apple Macbook Air 15″, and more.


Have you started planning your leave in 2024? Share this with someone you’re hoping to travel with!

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