share this article

e all dream of having a job with more days off than actual working ones, not to mention a big fat paycheck. Until that job comes knocking, you have to play it smart and make do with whatever little days off you have. To do this, you need a plan and some art-of-war tactics, not to mention flawless execution. So here are some tips on how to make the most of your annual leaves, and how (and when) to take extended vacations around the year.

Let's set some ground rules:

  • For any Monday that happens to be off, you automatically take Sunday as well.
  • For any Wednesday that happens to be off, you automatically take Thursday as well.
  • For any Tuesday that happens to be off, you have two options: you can either take two days before or after, and link the Tuesday to the weekend.
  • For any occasion that happens to come on a weekend, you sit and pray your company makes it up to you during the weekdays.


Now, let's cut to the chase.

January 7th is Coptic Christmas and it's happening on a Monday. You can take Sunday and make it 4 days off in the first week of the year – Santa has been kind. The 25th is Revolution Day, but that happens to be on a Friday, so just pray they give you Sunday instead. Don't worry; the year's just getting started.

February and March will go by quietly with no vacations, but not to worry, April is what you're looking for. April 25th (Sinai Liberation Day) is a Thursday, and the following Monday (the 29th) is Sham El Nessim, which means you need to take Sunday the 28th off for a five-day break. It gets better; the following Wednesday (May 1st) is Labor Day, so if you take Tuesday and Thursday off you end up with a 10-day vacation starting on Thursday, April 25th and ending on Saturday, May 4th. This is the perfect chance to get out of the country for 10 days and explore somewhere new.

The first aside, May is another vacation-free month (eternity?), but with June you get Tuesday the 4th through to Thursday the 6th off for Eid El Fitr. Since there's no such thing as too many vacations, you can take the Sunday and Monday before Eid and end up with a 9-day vacation. June leaves us with another long weekend as a farewell gift; Sunday the 30th is off in honor of the 2013 demonstrations.

The 23rd of July (Revolution Day, again) is a Tuesday and, according to the rules, you know what to do – go for Sunday/Monday or Wednesday/Thursday for a 5-day weekend.

As usual, August is slower than a snail but Saturday the 10th is Wa2fet Arafa, so you'll get 4 days off. Plus, you can take the Thursday after Eid to make your vacation 9 days – from Friday the 9th until Saturday the 17th. This is another excellent chance to add another stamp to your passport. August tries to atone for its sinful duration with yet another holiday, the Islamic New Year on the 31st, but it ends up being on a Saturday. So, let's hope we get that day off on the following Sunday.

September has nothing in store for us, but October kind of tries to make up for September's sins. The 6th of October is a Sunday, so that's a nice long weekend. For November, the 9th is the prophet’s birthday on a Saturday and we can only hope they give the us Sunday instead for another nice long weekend. And for December, you have only the task of making ends meet and coming up with new year's resolutions about where you're travelling during 2020's bridges.

If you put this plan into action, you will only have used 9 days out of your original 21, leaving you with another 12 days to do with whatever you damn well please. Play your cards right and you might end up with more days off than you know what to do with.