Have you made your plans for 2024‘s bank holidays yet? In the UK, bank holidays are different from those in many other countries. For one thing, many of them have no religious significance or even any political reason. Instead, they’ve just been chosen to give people a well-deserved day off work. Given the UK’s notoriously bad weather, most bank holidays fall in the summer months, with the hope that the country might be blessed with a spot of sunshine.
Also, UK bank holidays almost always fall on a Monday. Many of them aren’t attached to a specific date. Instead, the holiday will be, say, the first Monday in May or the first Monday in August. This gives savvy travellers an easy chance to plan a long weekend away. Check out this travel guide and start organising your bank holiday trips for 2024!
New Year’s bank holidays
The first of the UK’s bank holidays in 2024 comes right at the start of the year. The entire UK gets New Year’s Day 2024 off work. Meanwhile, up in Scotland, the lucky devils get an extra day off, with no work on 2 January. To be honest, many people might spend the first bank holiday in bed, nursing a hangover from the night before (or down at the gym, getting an early start on that resolution. Well, maybe). However, you might still want to plan a New Year’s getaway.
Here’s some good news: in 2024, New Year’s Day falls on a Monday. That means you can easily enjoy a getaway over the New Year’s period. This is the perfect time for a city break — why not welcome the New Year in style, watching the ball drop in New York’s Times Square or enjoying the fireworks that light up the Sydney Opera House?
Easter bank holidays
After New Year’s Day, there are no bank holidays until Easter 2024. If you live in Northern Ireland, you’ll enjoy a bonus bank holiday on 17 March for St Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, the rest of the UK will need to wait until Good Friday rolls around on 29 March. Luckily, both Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays, so you can enjoy a break from 29 March to 1 April. Since kids are off school at this time, many businesses close down for a few extra days over the Easter break.
The Easter holidays are a great time to go travelling. The weather’s often still pretty miserable at home, so why not escape to the exotic sunshine of Costa Rica, Colombia or Indonesia? For something closer to home, you can enjoy good weather and even better scenery in Egypt. The Valley of the Kings is uncomfortably hot in the summer months, but spring is the perfect time to see it at its best, enjoying Egypt’s ancient monuments without drowning in your own sweat.
Want to really push the boat out? Try a trip to South Africa, Australia or New Zealand. In these southern hemisphere countries, Easter falls in autumn, but the weather is usually good enough for you to enjoy your bank holiday getaway. Plus, the British influence in these former colonies means you’ll be able to pick up some chocolate eggs in every supermarket — just what you need if you start feeling homesick during your Easter break on the other side of the world!
Early May bank holiday
In many countries around the world, 1 May is a public holiday, as people celebrate the International Workers’ Day. However, things are a little different in the UK. The first May bank holiday in 2024 arrives on the first Monday of May, which will be 6 May. Like most UK bank holidays in 2024, it does not have any particular religious or historical significance.
This is a great time to go travelling around southern Europe or North Africa. The weather will be far better there. You’ll often find that this is a quiet time for a city break, as most European visitors will have already done their travelling on 1 May. Check out some May bank holiday trips to amazing destinations like Morocco, Italy’s Amalfi Coast or Portugal. It’s still too early for sea swimming, but you’ll get some much-needed Vitamin D.
Spring bank holiday
The late May bank holiday in 2024 falls on the last Monday of May, which will be 27 May. Also known as the spring bank holiday, this is a good time to travel before the summer holiday crowds start descending. Again, many southern European destinations are at their best this time of year: warm but not outrageously hot and with far fewer tourists than in the summer. Cities like Venice, Barcelona and Athens are all excellent choices for your spring getaway.
Truly dedicated travellers might want to plan a long trip that takes up most of May. This way, you can take advantage of the two May bank holidays, which have just three weeks between them. Why not take that trip of a lifetime to Japan, Indonesia or Mexico?
Summer bank holiday
Once again, the Northern Irish get a bonus bank holiday, with 12 June off work to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. However, for the rest of the UK, there’s no break until the last Monday in August. There’s no particular reason behind the August bank holiday 2024 — it’s not a religious day, and it doesn’t mark any historic events. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth celebrating. This is one of the best bank holidays in 2024 for a getaway, as it falls on 26 August, giving you one last summer hurrah before schools open again and the days start getting shorter.
August is a great time to visit the Far North, especially since it’s buried under a layer of snow most of the year. Why not take a trip to Iceland? Other great destinations for your August bank holiday trip include Bali, Turkey and Ecuador. If you don’t want to stray so far away, wander off the beaten track with bank holiday trips to lesser-known European destinations. Albania may not yet be on your radar, but its glorious Prokletije Mountains, known as the Albanian Alps, are well worth a visit. It’s also one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit, making it a great choice for a bank holiday weekend getaway if you’re on a budget after a busy summer!
Christmas and Boxing Day 2024
After the August bank holiday has passed, things look pretty bleak on the calendar. There’s a long stretch with no official days off to enjoy until, finally, the December bank holiday week rolls around. In every part of the UK, people get both Christmas and Boxing Day 2024 off work. That’s a double bank holiday, which will fall on a Wednesday and Thursday in 2024.
If you don’t feel like spending the festive season at home pulling crackers, the Christmas period is a great time for a long trip. Many companies close down between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, giving you a nice, long break from work. Some businesses even close early in 2024, giving Christmas Eve as a day off, too. The back-to-back bank holidays in 2024 are the perfect opportunity for you to travel.
Since winter in the UK isn’t the most cheerful time of year, this is a good time for a bank holiday getaway to sunnier shores. Thailand and Mexico are great choices for a winter break, especially if your idea of the perfect holiday involves a swimsuit and lots of sunscreen. As you lounge on the beach in a tropical paradise, you’ll forget all about the grim weather back home. Drizzle? What drizzle?
If you’re more of a city slicker, head to Tokyo for a Christmas you’ll never forget. Japan isn’t a Christian country, but people really get into the festive spirit there. As you wander down Tokyo’s streets, you’ll see elaborate Christmas cakes in every shop window and cute Santa toys waving at you. You may be surprised by Japan’s choice of traditional dinner on the 25th, though. There’s nothing more popular than a bucket of fried chicken from KFC. It may seem surprising in the land of sophisticated sushi, but you’ll probably see queues around the block outside the fast-food giant at Christmas time. Stay for New Year’s Eve if you can, as the Tokyo fireworks are some of the best in the world.
Where will you go for your bank holiday getaways in 2024? Start planning now because the long gaps between holidays can be hard to get through. If you’ve got an exciting trip abroad to look forward to, the days will go by a little bit faster. Well, maybe they will. We can’t make any guarantees about that, but we do promise you a good time if you join one of our fantastic bank holiday adventures!