If 2017 wasn't a great year for you regarding holidays, fret not, 2018 will more than make it up to you! With the New Year falling on a Monday, this year will not let your holiday travel plans down. All you need to do is list down all the sick leave you have left, club it with an extended weekend and plan a perfect getaway to a destination that you've always wanted to tick off your list. No more last minute bookings and disappointments because 2018 is all about unwinding on paid leave days! Of course, some holidays are for the concerned state, so if it applies to you consider yourself luckier than the rest.
1st January (Monday): New Year Holiday
12th January (Friday): Birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda
22nd January (Monday): Basant Panchami
26th January (Friday): Republic Day
Bringing in the New Year with a power-packed holiday? Yes. Totally. If the first month of the New Year looks this good, imagine how exciting the whole year will look.
Things To Do In January 2018
Rann Utsav, Gujarat - 30th December to 1st January Celebrate the desert's vibrant culture with folk dances and food as you watch the radiant full moon shine brightly on the desert sand.
Take an off on either a Friday, 12th or Monday 15th as you indulge in an exhilarating kite flying, making and painting competition at the Sabarmati Ashram River Front. Marking the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, bright coloured kites bathe the blue sky to celebrate life and a fertile new year.
Kick off this Rajasthani folk festival with locals as they showcase their cattle in beauty pageants, races and camel dance shows! Serene deserts of Bikaner will be the perfect holiday remedy your mind needs after a string of endless New Year parties.
A fantasyland for literature lovers, the Jaipur Lit Fest is an annual festival hosted to bring like-minded laureates together, and that too for free! Meet and hear your favourite authors from across the globe speak on topics of literature and history.
A stunning parade showcasing India's armed forces march down New Delhi's esteemed Rajpath Avenue on the 26th of January every year. This along with aerial acrobats, dance troupes, and traditional folk plays culminate the parade. Watching the Republic day parade live and not on your television is a once in a lifetime experience, which commemorates the founding day of our Indian Constitution.
13th February (Tuesday): Maha Shivratri
Isn't February the most beautiful time of the year? Pleasant weather, lush green trees, and crisp, fresh air. A beautiful time to celebrate love with your significant other as you head out for a quaint weekend far away from the clattering city life. Just a one-day break on the 12th will fetch you a four-day long weekend if you plan in advance!
Things To Do In February 2018
Sufi Spirit Festival, Nagaur - 13th February to 15th February
Held at the breathtaking historical fort of Nagaur, this annual Sufi music festival showcases artists from Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, and India. A beautiful and romantic weekend getaway in a small rural town of India, the festival captures India's vibrant and rustic culture with a blend of soothing Sufi music.
1st March (Thursday): Holi Dahan
2nd March (Friday): Holi
29th March (Thursday): Mahavir Jayanti
30th March (Friday): Good Friday
31st March (Saturday): Weekend
What a great month, March has two four daylong weekends! So if you hate spending holidays at home, here are some of the best happenings in March. However, if these don't interest you, you can always head up to the hills or even check out Bandhavgarh or Jim Corbett National Park. The pleasant weather will make your retreat a pleasurable one. India also has a never-ending love relationship with Thailand, with visa on arrival and fares being lower than Delhi-Goa, it's a real tourist magnet.
Experience the traditional ritual of Holika Dahan, celebrated on the eve of Holi, the royal way. Bedecked horses, royal bands, and even royalty themselves march down the palace roads to be a part of this stunning customary festival.
International Yoga Festival, Rishikesh - 1st March to 7th March
With over 400 people coming in from around 30 countries, the festival is organized on a massive scale. Despite the crowd, the festival is all about connecting with your inner self through yoga and meditation. A perfect holiday if you want to de-stress after a hectic work schedule.
1st April (Sunday): Bank holiday, weekend
April doesn't look so good with long weekends, but if you combine the holidays from 29th March to 1st April, you've got yourself an exciting four-day long break. Take a day off, and you can even plan a trip to Nepal! If not an international holiday, plan a trip to Kashmir or North East with friends before the heat waves strike the country. Apple orchards, crisp air and fluffy clouds that engulf you in their serene ambience, Kashmir is India's magical destination.
Things To Do In April 2018
Tulip Festival, Kashmir - First two weeks of April
There is no place in India as picturesque and scenic as Kashmir. Especially during spring, the season of tulips, blooming saliently across the vast meadow overlooking the magnificent Dal Lake. A treat to the eyes of the traveller, this festival boasts of a million blooms at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden along with traditional Kashmiri folk music and food.
1st May (Tuesday): May Day
29th May (Tuesday): Buddha Purnima
As the summer heat begins to dawn upon India, the festivals also dwindle, but there are plenty of other ways to utilize a long weekend. April end was kinder than usual, 28th and 29th being a weekend gave you a four-day long break by just calling in sick on a Monday! Do the same for Buddha Purnima, and with just two bunks you get yourself two long weekends to plan a relaxing getaway.
Plan a trip to Mussorie or Mcleodganj for a quaint ambience and cool climate. You can also stick to quintessential tourist spots like Shimla, Manali or Gangtok for some tourist undercurrent and fresh air. Endless Buddhist monasteries, ancient architecture, fluttering prayer flags and mouthwatering food will mark your holiday if you decide amongst one these tiny hill stations.
Things To Do In May 2018
Buddha Purnima, Sarnath- 29th May
Celebrated with great pomp and show, Buddha Purnima commemorates the birth and death anniversary of Gautama Buddha. Founder and leader of the Bodh religion, his followers, Buddhists, celebrate this day with divine sermons and charitable offerings. Be a part of this traditional celebration at Sarnath and attend a sermon by the Buddhist monks to begin a new journey on the path of enlightenment.
15th June (Friday): Eid-ul-Fitr
16th June (Saturday): Weekend
17th June (Sunday): Weekend
Things To Do In June 2018
June is the perfect month to escape the city heat and head off for a day's trek to the Tirthan Valley. Summers are retreating, and monsoons are paving their way in so it is best to check the weather before heading out. For a safer bet, you can also head over to a resort at Lonavala or Alibaug for a peaceful weekend retreat. These sleepy towns are in the limelight for their clean beaches and magnificent resorts, which are a reasonable substitute to Goa.
15th August (Wednesday): Independence Day
16th August (Thursday): Take an off
17th August (Friday): Parsi New year (Gujrat and Mumbai only)
22nd August (Wednesday): Idul-Zuha
23rd August (Thursday): Take an off
24th August (Friday): First Onam (Kerala only)
25th August (Saturday): Weekend
26th August (Sunday): Weekend
Things To Do In August 2018
A great month to travel across the country, August is right in the midst of India's monsoon season. With the summer heat being washed away and lush green trees encompassing the landscape, destinations like the Jog Falls in Karnataka or Alleppy in Kerala are splendid places to visit. Serene backwaters and breathtaking houseboats will rejuvenate the otherwise boring monsoon weekends. Floating houses decorated with local art and warm hosts make Kerala an ideal hideout for travellers and writers who crave solitude and comfort.
29th September (Saturday): Weekend 30th September (Sunday): Weekend
Things To Do In September 2018
September is giving us two superb long weekends, long enough to plan an international holiday to Indonesia, Australia or even Dubai. Gigantic mountains, active volcanoes, white sand beaches, picturesque sunsets and endless martinis. Can't wait to get there already, can you? However, if it is India's hidden gems and vibrant culture that you want to explore plan a road trip to Leh-Ladakh or even Spiti. Both the destinations have thrilling bike expeditions ideal for an adventure enthusiast. A festive holiday that gives you a four-day long weekend, what more could a traveller want!
1st October (Monday): Take an off
2nd October (Tuesday): Gandhi Jayanti
Things To Do In October 2018
Another four-day long weekend thanks to Gandhi Jayanti. Plus October is that perfect time of the year when the weather is pleasant, and any destination seems like a nice one to unwind. Plan a two-night three days budget trip to Dharamsala or Kasol with your friends. Both the destinations are serene, welcoming and unadulterated with the usual tourist crowd. Go for an adventurous trek to Tosh or just eat scrambled eggs and toast in a cosy café, in the end, it's all about letting nature envelope you in its beauty.
3rd November (Saturday): Weekend
4th November (Sunday): Weekend
5th November (Monday): Dhanteras (You can take an off)
6th November (Tuesday): Take an off
7th November (Wednesday): Diwali
8th November (Thursday): Gowardhan Puja (You can take an off)
9th November (Friday): Bhai Dooj
10th November (Saturday): Weekend
11th November (Sunday): Weekend
Things To Do In November 2018
Save up all your sick leaves for this month because three days of leave will give you a 9-day weekend! One of the longest weekends of the year makes November such a desirable month to plan a visit abroad. Singapore, Bhutan or even Cambodia are stunning hassle-free destinations that allow Indians visa on arrival. Traveling to serene, nature-friendly destinations will help you de-stress from your stressful job by rejuvenating the mind and body. So plan and book a retreat for your family to bond and make fresh memories.
22nd December (Saturday): Weekend
23rd December (Sunday): Weekend
24th December (Monday): Take an off
25th December (Tuesday): Christmas Day
Things To Do In December 2018
December marks the apex of the holiday season and not just in India but across the globe. So it is quite apparent that hotel and travel fares will be skyrocketing. But that does not mean you cannot find yourself some alluring winter sun within all the extravagance. If you love a good party, Goa is your place to be in December. With an array of festivals happening in both North and South Goa, it is quite a popular getaway destination in India. For something offbeat, Gokarna and Pondicherry are excellent destinations to invigorate a traveller's soul by providing the ideal amount of surprise and beguiling nature.
The warm fuzzy feeling of going on a holiday is what makes long weekends worth the wait. Planning a sudden trip is chaotic, exasperating and sometimes disappointing. This is why we have chalked out all the possible long weekends in 2018 with destinations stretching from the frozen tops of the Himalayas to the tropic greens of Tiruvanthapuram and beyond. There are also a variety of festivals happening in the early months of the year, so think ahead and have a stress free staycation!
About Sneha Virmani
With a degree in Economics and Psychology from Delhi University, my passion lies in the field of content writing. I am extremely committed to my work and love taking up a challenging project. They help me achieve more and grow as an individual. Apart from writing, I love travelling, listening to music and meeting new people. Every place I visit inspires me in an inexplicit way, which reflects in my work.