As we enter into the New Year, many families start excitedly heading for either their local travel agency to book their next break or begin their search for their next dream holiday online.

One thing which is quite often overlooked when beginning a holiday search are the public holiday dates of the destination.

Many people are aware of their own countries bank holidays and will quite often book days off either side of a public holiday so not to use too much of their own annual leave allowance.

However what many don’t realise is that the demand and cost of a holiday could be equally affected by public holidays of the place you are visiting.

Public holiday’s in most countries around the world can potentially have an adverse knock on effect in the following areas:

  • Less choice being available as less accommodation and transportation options to choose from
  • Increase in costs of accommodation and transportation due to higher demand
  • Less attractions and shops being open at destination
  • Limited access to public services and healthcare

Family at sunset on pier

To give you a flavour of the differing Bank Holiday dates globally and to potentially assist with your holiday research for 2019. Please see below the Public Holiday dates of the following countries:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Ireland
  • USA
  • Spain
  • France

England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland Bank Holidays 2019

Holiday Date England Scotland Wales Ireland
New Year’s Day 01.01.2019 Yes Yes Yes Yes
02.02.2019 02.02.2019 Yes
St Patrick’s Day 18.03.2019 Yes
Good Friday 19.04.2019 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Easter Monday 22.04.2019 Yes Yes Yes
May Bank Holiday 06.05.2019 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Spring Bank Holiday 27.05.2019 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battle of the Boyne 12.07.2019 Yes
Summer 05.08.2019 Yes
August Bank Holiday 26.08.2019 Yes Yes Yes
St Andrew’s Day 02.12.2019 Yes
Christmas Day 25.12.2019 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Boxing Day 26.12.2019 Yes Yes Yes Yes

USA

Holiday Date USA
New Year’s Day 01.01.2019 Yes
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 21.01.2019 Yes
Presidents Day 18.02.2019 Yes
Memorial Day 27.05.2019 Yes
Independence Day 04.07.2019 Yes
Labor Day 02.09.2019 Yes
Columbus Day 14.10.2019 Yes
Veterans Day 11.11.2019 Yes
Thanksgiving Day 28.11.2019 Yes
Christmas Day 25.12.2019 Yes

Fireworks on Independence Day

As you can see from the above all of the Public Holidays in the USA and much of the UK are nationwide however this isn’t the case for much of the world.

Spain

In many countries their public holidays are regionalised and this is the case for Spain. Many of the regional public holidays for Spain are shown below and it is well worth noting whether any holidays are taking place in your intended region of travel ahead of your trip:

Holiday Date Spain Comments
New Year’s Day 01.01.2019 Yes National
Epiphany 06.01.2019 Yes National except Basque and La Rioja
Epiphany Holiday 07.01.2019 Yes Many Regions including Andalusia, Aragon, Canary Islands, Castile & Leon, Ceuta, Extremadura, Madrid, Melilla & Navarre
Andalusia Regional Holiday 28.02.2019 Yes Andalusia Only
Balearic Islands Holiday 01.03.2019 Yes Balearic Islands Only
St Joseph’s Day 19.03.2019 Yes Basque Country, Castile-La, Mancha, Galicia, Murcia, Navarre & Valencia
Maundy Thursday 18.04.2019 Yes Nationwide except Cantabria, Catalonia & Valencia
Good Friday 19.04.2019 Yes Nationwide
Easter Monday 22.04.2019 Yes Most Areas Nationwide
Aragon, Castille & Leon Regional Holiday 23.04.2019 Yes Aragon, Castille and Leon
Labour Day 01.05.2019 Yes Nationwide
Madrid Regional Holiday 02.05.2019 Yes Madrid
Galician Literature Day 17.05.2019 Yes Galicia
Canary Islands Regional Holiday 30.05.2019 Yes Canary Islands
Murcia Regional Holiday 09.06.2019 Yes Murcia
La Rioja Regional Holiday 10.06.2019 Yes La Rioja
St John’s Day 24.06.2019 Yes Catalonia & Valencia
National Day of Galicia 25.07.2019 Yes Galicia
Saint James’ Day 25.07.2019 Yes Basque Region
Assumption of Mary 15.08.2019 Yes Nationwide
Our Lady of Victories Holiday & Extremadura Regional Holiday 09.09.2019 Yes Melilla & Extremadura
National Day of Catalonia 11.09.2019 Yes Catalonia
Valencian Regional Holiday 09.10.2019 Yes Valencia
Fiesta Nacional De Espana 12.10.2019 Yes Nationwide
All Saints Day 01.11.2019 Yes Nationwide
Constitution Day 06.12.2019 Yes Nationwide
Immaculate Conception Day 08.12.2019 & 09.12.2019 Yes Nationwide except Basque Country, Canary Islands, Catalonia, Ceuta and Navarre
Christmas Day 25.12.2019 Yes Nationwide Except Murcia
St Stephen’s Day 26.12.2019 Yes Catalonia

If you are looking for cheapest flights available on any of the dates above it is well worth checking out our article on how to find the cheapest flights available at Skyscanner by clicking here.

France

Holiday Date France
New Years Day 01.01.2019 Yes
Good Friday 19.04.2019 Yes
Easter Monday 22.04.2019 Yes
Labour Day 01.05.2019 Yes
V.E. Day 08.05.2019 Yes
Ascension Day 30.05.2019 Yes
Whit Monday 10.06.2019 Yes
Bastille Day 14.07.2019 Yes
Assumption Day 15.08.2019 Yes
All Saints Day 01.11.2019 Yes
Armistice Day 11.11.2019 Yes
Christmas Day 25.12.2019 Yes
St Stephen’s Day 26.12.2019 Yes

What Can We Learn About Public Holidays

From the snapshot of public holidays shown above you can see that every country has its own distinctive public holiday dates which are usually heavily dictated by the religious beliefs and history of the country itself.

It is also worth noting that many countries such as Spain have many regional public holidays throughout the year which are nationwide. This is well worth taking into consideration if travelling to a specific area of a country or you are travelling around a country of region.

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On a positive note visiting a country on a public holiday can be quite an exciting experience as there are quite commonly exciting events planned around public holidays which are worth looking out for.

You may also find that the overall mood of an area is likely to be quite cheerful and friendly as many people will be off work. Therefore as you now know when the public holidays are for the above countries in 2019 the choice of when and when not to travel is completely down to you.

If you have any comments or queries regarding the above article, please leave them below and we will endeavour to come back to you.

One thought on “Global Public Holidays – When and What to Consider

  1. Kenny says:

    Hi as a parent if 2 kids I can definitely appreciate the great advice you give here on this post. I have travelled to Australia and to Thailand on their new year and national days and without knowing. It was ok but incredibly busy at the time. So yes it is important to consider thirst things, especially the cost of accommodation. Thanks, Kenny

  2. Caldero says:

    If anything this would just necessitate travelling days before the major holiday celebrations so that you can get to where you’re going before the issues associated spring up. I remember that I went to America around Winter time a few years ago to visit relatives for Christmas. And we specifically traveled there like 10 days before Christmas and stayed at a friends house beforehand rather than showing up really close to Christmas partially because of the issues stated.

  3. Alvaro says:

    Me and my wife love to travel 3-4 times every year and your post is a great reminder when to go (or not) visit a specific place or country. We were thinking about going to Spain this year but we don’t know which cities we will visit. Knowing now that spanish people have their own holidays depending on the region. I didn’t know that. US is our big brother (I live in Canada) and it is also good to know what we should expect. I appreciated your that set up holidays in a table. It is easy to read and will keep it in mind for the future. All the best and happy traveling! Alvaro

    1. Richard Leaver says:

      Thank you for comment Alvaro,

      Yes, I believe it assists with preparation when you know the public holiday dates of the places you are visiting. I also believe that Canada is also quite regionalised when it comes to public holidays.

      Happy travelling

  4. Eran Bucai says:

    Hi Richard, thanks for sharing this simple article and observation. 

    I am literally planning a travel overseas (expensive) in a few months and this gave me some things to consider in terms of scheduling and pricing etc. 

    I travelled in 2018 to 3 countries (US, Mexico, Fiji), all the way for Australia, and each had a purpose (a business conference), but a straight holiday like the one I am planning to go shortly is something I actually not done so your outlook was helpful.

    I’ll be sure to check things out better before asking time off from work and booking a $2K flight…. 

    What’s your favourite holiday destination?

    1. Richard Leaver says:

      Thank you for interesting comments Eran,

      I have many destinations I like visiting around the globe and my preference will largely depend on whether travelling independently or with family. 

      Therefore I would say I have quite an eclectic taste as independently I love touring around South East Asia or alternatively with children I love a busy sunny destination with plenty going on to keep them entertained such as Florida or Benidorm in Spain.

      Your trips to US, Mexico, Fiji and Australia sound equally as exciting and exhaustive plus potentially quite expensive given the distance covered. If you would like some ideas on how to potentially save money on your flights then it maybe worth checking out the following article Skyscanner – How To Get A Cheaper Flight.

  5. Deric Merz says:

    I really like the holiday list you have in this article. I have a young family and will be looking to do more traveling in the near future and like the points you make.

    I didn’t even know there was Disney Land in Paris!

    I have always wanted to visit Germany and the Christmas markets look spectacular. I’ve heard that Germans are put off by pushy sales people , what is the shopping experience like?

    Overall a very nice website that has wonderful information.

    1. Richard Leaver says:

      Thank you for your comments Deric,

      Yes, there is a Disneyland as well as a Hollywood studios in Paris. I find the shopping experience quite pleasurable and have personally found that the people are very friendly.

  6. Vwegba says:

    Hello Richard! I’m pretty much not aware of most of these global public holidays you have taken your time to list on those tables and I must say you did well in writing this article. I totally agree with you that traveling on any of these days would have great effect on us both financially and otherwise. Thanks for sharing this information as it would be of help to me if I’m planning to travel to any of these countries.

  7. Lyat says:

    Public holidays can really have an affect when planning your holidays and it’s very useful to know the dates in advance… But your post got me thinking… Every holiday can be a bit different – some holidays might mean most of the city is closed and tourists have nothing to do, some holidays might mean bigger markets and special festivals or sales. Some holidays are a time to stay away from the city and others are the best time to visit.. That information could also be very helpful when planning your next trip!
    Thanks, Lyat

  8. Lyat says:

    Public holidays can really have an effect when planning your holidays and it’s very useful to know the dates in advance… But your post got me thinking… Every holiday can be a bit different – some holidays might mean most of the city is closed and tourists have nothing to do, some holidays might mean bigger markets and special festivals or sales. Some holidays are a time to stay away from the city and others are the best time to visit.. That information could also be very helpful when planning your next trip!Thanks, Lyat

    1. Richard Leaver says:

      Thank you for your thoughts Lyat,

      Yes, there is much to consider when planning your next holiday. However by having as much knowledge as possible ahead of your trip can allow you to further your research and plan for most eventualities.

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