Vacation Hack: Maximize on Your Statutory Holidays in 2018

By Andrew Wong,

Living for the long weekend and living for vacation time. In spite of ranking only ahead of Japan and the US when it comes to annual paid vacation days, we sure love the idea of making the most of our statutory holidays and mandatory 10 vacation days a year.

Canadian Statutory Holidays 2018

  • Monday, January 1, 2018 is New Year’s Day across Canada
  • Monday, February 19, 2018 is Family Day (in AB, SK and ON), Louis Riel Day in MB, Heritage Day in NS and Islander Day in PEI. Monday, February 12, 2018 is Family Day in BC
  • Though not an official statutory holiday, students and parents can look forward to March Break around this time
  • Friday, March 30, 2018 is Good Friday nationwide (except QC)
  • Monday, April 2, 2018 is Easter Monday (optional in AB)
  • Monday, May 21, 2018 is Victoria Day a.k.a the May Long Weekend a.k.a. the May 2-4 nationally except NS
  • Monday, July 2, 2018 is the observed day-off for Canada Day across the country
  • Monday, August 6, 2018 is the August Civic Holiday and August Long Weekend in AB, BC, SK, ON, NB and NU
  • Monday, September 3, 2018 is Labour Day nationwide
  • Monday, October 8, 2018 is Thanksgiving everywhere but NB, NS and NL
  • Monday, November 12, 2018 is Remembrance Day across Canada except MB, ON, QC and NS
  • Tuesday, December 25, 2018 is Christmas Day nationwide while Wednesday, December 26, 2018 is Boxing Day just in ON
  • Tuesday, January 1, 2019 is New Year’s Day in all provinces

By playing it right, we show you how you can hack your paid time off to get 8 four-day weekends, and 2 five-day weekends. “How?” you ask. By strategically tacking on your 10 days to national and provincial statutory holidays. We also pick out an ideal long weekend trip for each cluster of time-off where the hotels are at their cheapest of the year and the weather is a sure bet.

 

Family Day 2018

Statutory Holiday: Monday, February 19, 2018 goes by multiple names across Canada.

It’s known as Family Day (BC, AB, SK, ON), Louis Riel Day (MB), Heritage Day (NS) and Islander Day (PEI). For British Columbians, your Family Day falls a week earlier on Monday, February 12 this year.

Ask for: Tuesday, Feb 20th or Friday the 16th unless you’re in BC, then ask for Tuesday the 12th or Friday the 9th off

With Valentine’s Day falling midweek this year, the romantic in you might want to save the big charm sesh for a blown-out romantic weekend away. Make the most of a four-day long weekend away by swooping your better half off to a romantic inn or bed & breakfast nearby.

Statutory Holiday February Long Weekend Family Day breakfast table coffee

What to do on the Family Day Long Weekend?

For those out West, we can’t think of a better spot than Osoyoos for a relaxing four-day weekend of wine tasting and canoodles. Similarly, from Toronto, we would recommend a foodie getaway to Cambridge or some skiing up north. And finally for those in the Ottawa area and Quebec, our eyes on set on some casino fun!

 

Looking to indulge in a week-long trip to the sun? 

 

Easter 2018

Statutory Holidays: Friday, March 30, 2018 is Good Friday and Monday April 2, 2018 is Easter Monday

Ask for: either Thursday, March 29th or Tuesday, April 3rd

With a potential five-day long weekend in the bag between March and April, this is your chance to escape the slush, the snowbanks and the frozen windshield wipers for warmer climes. Book yourself into Easter or Passover down south. Goodbye frostbite and hello suntan.

Statutory Holiday Easter Lond Weekend florida beach drone

What to do on the Easter Long Weekend?

Take a page from a Snowbird’s travelogue and plant yourself in a tried-and-true US sun destination. When all the soul needs is Vitamin D and creature comforts, spots across Florida and Arizona are the perfect way to ease you into spring — with hotel savings thrown in for good measure.

 

Victoria Day 2018

Statutory Holiday: Monday, May 21, 2018 is Victoria Day

Ask for: Tuesday, May 22nd or Friday the 18th

We’ve made it to the May 2-4 weekend and we’re almost ready to pack away the down jackets for the summer. Toast to Queen Vic, not just with a fireworks display but by exploring the wilderness of her Dominion.

Statutory Holiday May Victoria Day long weekend hike whistler

What to do on Victoria Day and the May Long Weekend?

Long known as slush season at Canada’s ski resorts, visitors in the month of May are treated to lighter crowds, a gamut of non-skiing outdoor activities and killer hotel savings. Save over 20% off of peak season prices in Mont-Tremblant while the real savings are out west in Whistler where high season hotel prices get slashed by 58% on average in May.

 

Canada Day 2018

Statutory Holiday: Monday, July 2, 2018 is the stand-in day for Canada Day

Quebeckers, it’s an extra short week for you with the observed day for St. Jean Baptiste on Monday, June 25th

Ask for: Tuesday, July 3rd or Friday June 30th

Happy Birthday Canada! Celebrate the land of rim rollers with a four-day weekend tacked onto the Friday or Tuesday. If you’re like most Canadians, your eyes are probably locked on cracking open a cold one by the water. Why not go for a complete change of scenery by spending Canada Day in another part of the country?

Statutory Holiday Canada Day Long weekend Golfing Teeing Off La Malbaie Fairmont Manoir Le Richelieu

What to do on the Canada Day Long Weekend?

You might not know it by name, but La Malbaie is everything you can expect from Quebec’s Saint Lawrence wonderland. Perfectly situated for town hopping around Charlevoix or whale watching, this north shore town is also home to the bucket list worthy Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu (which will have hosted the G7 the month before).

 

August Long Weekend 2018

Statutory Holiday: Monday, August 6, 2018 is Civic Holiday in AB, BC, SK, ON, NB and NT

Ask for: Tuesday, August 7th or Friday the 3rd

With banks, post offices and liquor stores closed, it’s time to leave town this August Civic Holiday. Make it a four-day weekend and savour those long summer nights before they’re gone!

Statutory Holiday August Long Weekend Civic Holiday Las Vegas Sign

What to do on the August Long Weekend?

Yes, we know it’s smokin’ hot down there, but Viva Las Vegas! trivago data shows that hotel rooms in Vegas are at their cheapest this month.

Whether you want to save on a hotel or go all out, we have the Sin City hotels you’re looking for…

Labour Day 2018

Statutory Holiday: Monday, September 3, 2018 is Labour Day

Ask for: Tuesday, September 4th or Friday the 1st

It’s the end of summer and the last long weekend to wear your shorts and flip-flops. Before the kids head back to school, squeeze in one last vacation together to hold onto that ‘endless summer’ feeling.

Statutory Holiday Labour Day Tulum Cancun mexico beach

What to do on the Labour Day Long Weekend?

Summer is still in full swing down in Mexico and lucky for you, the resort havens of Cancun and Puerto Vallarta have no shortage of hotel deals in September. Book yourself into an all-inclusive escape — whether it’s just the two of you or with the kids — and we’ll hold you a piña colada at the swim-up bar.

 

Thanksgiving 2018

Statutory Holiday: Monday, October 8, 2018 is Thanksgiving

Ask for: Tuesday, October 9th or Friday the 5th

It may be turkey time across the country but we’re also feeling the “knit sweater, pumpkin spice” vibe in a quiet respite away from a shared dinner with your crazy uncle. A four-day weekend away is your ticket out of there.

Statutory Holiday Thanksgiving cape breton lighthouse

What to do on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend?

We’re going to check out the fall colours along the Cabot Trail. Get yourself to Cape Breton where the deciduous autumn foliage explodes into shades of crimson, tangerine and bronze. This otherworldly scenic drive has its fair share of memorable stops from hiking around the Keltic Lodge to feasting on lobster in Pleasant Bay to beach strolls in Chéticamp.

Our guide to Baddeck, Ingonish and beyond…

 

Remembrance Day 2018

Statutory Holiday: Monday, November 12, 2018 is the stand-in day for Remembrance Day across Canada except ON, QC, NS and NL

Ask for: Tuesday, November 13th or Friday the 9th

Poppies are fastened on lapels as Remembrance Day comes around. Remembrance Day is spent in contemplation and commemoration, but should also be the opportunity to learn about the role of Canadians in wars abroad.

What to do on Remembrance Day?

Home to the Canadian War Museum and the National War Monument, the mood in Ottawa at this time of year is reflective while layered with educational happenings. Take this four-day long weekend as a chance to learn more about Canada’s history and its role on the global stage.

 

Christmas 2018

Statutory Holiday: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 is Christmas while Wednesday, December 26 is Boxing Day in Ontario

Ask for: Monday, December 24, 2018

Get your holiday shopping done early and say sayonara to crammed mall parking lots and congested roads. If you follow our lead and take the Monday off, a four- or five-day long weekend awaits you at year’s end. Set a little aside from your shopping budget and treat yourself to one last trip away.

What to do on Christmas Day?

Time to get to T.O.! Toronto’s hotel rooms are at the cheapest at this time of year and sights around the city are decked out for the holidays. Don’t miss the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District, the winter wonderland displays at Casa Loma and a performance of the Nutcracker. We can already hear Michael Bublé carolling away…

 

New Year’s Day 2019

Statutory Holiday: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 is New Year’s Day

Ask for: Monday, December 31, 2018

Give yourself a full pampering after the bubbles of a late night/early morning New Year’s Eve 2019 by kicking off the new year with a four-day long weekend. Let’s face it, after dedicating your New Year’s Day to a beautifully long brunch (and hangover rehabilitation), spend your Tuesday in full rest and relaxation.

Fuzzy lights thr3 eyes unsplash

What to do on the New Year’s Day Long Weekend?

Odds are you’re going to be near your loved ones for New Year’s Eve, so why not make it a staycation?  We’ve curated the best hotels for NYE 2018 and you can expect some savings and the possibility for a last-minute hotel deal for the night of the 1st in Niagara Falls, Toronto and Montreal.

 

Carry Over Vacation Days?

If you were a true work martyr in 2018, take those rolled-over vacation days and book yourself into a longer trip abroad. A summer Eurotrip may see you passing through London, or you may want cash in big time with a private villa in Bali.

Statutory Holiday Pro Tip: In 2018, take off December 24, 26, 27, 28, 31 (a total of five days) and hack your way to 11 days out of the office!

 

There you have it! How to maximize on your statutory holidays in 2018. Let us know which trips you already have yourself pencilled into.