2018 is upon us, and with it a new year of public holidays. Long weekends are great to use for your travels, but it pays to plan early since you probably won’t be the only one with the idea. We tell you when and where to go to make the most of the public holidays in 2018.
The US government recognizes 10 federal holidays, from New Year’s Day to Christmas Day. In addition, individual states have a multitude of statewide public holidays, from Mardi Gras in Louisiana and Alabama to “Family Day” in Nevada (on November 23, in case you were wondering). You can find a list of the holidays in your state here. We’ve compiled a list of all federal holidays in 2018 with some tips on how to make the most of your paid vacation.
Where to go?
Of course, holidays aren’t just days off work, but have traditional and religious significance. You might be more likely to plan a trip to visit family on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and a city break with your partner on Memorial Day or Labor Day. But when to go where?
New Year’s Day has already passed us by, but there is still Martin Luther King’s Birthday on January 15 and Presidents’ Day (officially called Washington’s Birthday) on February 19. These weekends are a great time to escape the cold and head for a short break to a southern destination like Mexico, Hawaii or Puerto Rico. This is also a great time to celebrate the 2018 tricentennial of New Orleans – the Big Easy has pleasant daily highs in the mid-60s at this time of year. If you’re into winter sports, check out our list of the best ski resorts in the US. And it’s never to early to start thinking about Christmas 2018. If you book soon you could snatch some fabulous deals to see the Christmas markets in Europe.
From May to September, federally regulated long weekends come at regular two-month intervals. Memorial Day in May is a great opportunity to grab a good travel deal, considering it’s in the shoulder season – check out our handy Where to go? feature to find some inspiration. Are you wondering what’s the best city to catch Independence Day fireworks? We’ve put together a list for you. And Labor Day is perfect to catch one of those last hot days on the beach.
Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day are good times for leaf peeping in New England. There are some handy online maps on which you can follow the explosion of color and decide where to go. If you’re the urban type, October and November are also shoulder times for a city break – even top destinations like New York or San Francisco are less busy than in summer and might offer some good accommodation deals.