Maximize Your Vacation Days for 2024

2024 U.S. National Holidays

Each year, U.S. federal government employees (and a large number of the American public) enjoy a total of 11 federal employee vacation days officially known as National holidays. While these holidays hold different symbolic meanings to different people, there is not a single federal government employee who will turn down a day off of work with pay!

Here is a list of U.S. National holidays for 2024:

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (floating)
  3. Washington’s Birthday (floating)
  4. Memorial Day (floating)
  5. Juneteenth
  6. Independence Day
  7. Labor Day (floating)
  8. Columbus Day (floating)
  9. Veteran’s Day
  10. Thanksgiving (Thursday floating)
  11. Christmas

Five of the holidays above are “floating”, meaning that they always fall on a Monday but the date will vary year-to-year. Thanksgiving is also a floating holiday, but it always falls on a Thursday in November. The remaining holidays fall on fixed dates, although the actual days of the week they fall on will vary each year.

The Golden Zones

With different federal holidays falling on different days of the week each year, there are times, “golden zones” for vacation if you will, that occur when holidays fall astride of weekends or in close proximity thereof. These are the ideal times for federal employees to schedule vacations. You can maximize your total vacation time while burning the minimum amount of vacation (Annual Leave; PTO; etc) days.

Here is a breakdown of how you can maximize your leave in 2024 (yes; the New Year’s dates have already passed as of the date of this post. Sorry!):

  • January 2-5, 2024 = 4 days of leave becomes 9 total days of vacation
  • January 15-19, 2024 = 4 days of leave becomes 9 total days of vacation
  • February 20-23, 2024 = 4 days of leave becomes 9 total days of vacation
  • May 28-31, 2024 = 4 days of leave becomes 9 total days of vacation
  • June 20-21, 2024 = 2 days of leave becomes 5 total days of vacation
  • July 1-3 and July 5, 2024 = 4 days of leave becomes 9 total days of vacation
  • September 3-6, 2024 = 4 days of leave becomes 9 total days of vacation
  • November 12-15, 2024 = 4 days of leave becomes 9 total days of vacation
  • November 25-27 and November 29, 2024 = 4 days of leave becomes 9 total days of vacation
  • December 23-27 and December 30-31, 2024 = 6 days of leave becomes 12 total days of vacation

Conclusion

Federal holidays may not line up perfectly with your ideal vacation time window. If you are planning on traveling near/on a holiday or you just want to maximize your vacation days while minimizing the amount of annual leave you’ll have to use, though, 2024 presents some amazing opportunities. Don’t just settle for three-day weekends; there are several favorable times this year to stack leave days, holidays, and weekends to create the ultimate vacation time block.

Happy travels this year!

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