Many travellers work the public holiday calendar to their advantage, managing to book extra getaways that don’t require too much time away from home or the office. Seychelles has been billed as a hot destination for 2020. Picture: Supplied.

Many travellers work the public holiday calendar to their advantage, managing to book extra getaways that don’t require too much time away from home or the office, and you can, too.Experts advise people to take advantage of these public holidays and long weekends. 

With 10 public holidays and five long weekends in the bank, it’s time to start planning.

Here's how to plan your 2020 holiday and the destinations to book: 

New Years Day, Wednesday, January 1 

Well done to the early birds who’ve already planned for New Year’s Day. If not, Sharmila Ragunanan, Marketing Manager for Dream Hotels & Resorts advises taking two days of leave on January 2 and 3, which rewards you with five relaxing days off, including the weekend. She recommends a mini-getaway at Finfoot Lake Reserve, just a 90-minute drive from Johannesburg.

Good Friday, Friday, April 10/ Family Day, Monday, April 13

The Easter holiday offers a 4 day weekend. Sue Garrett, General Manager Marketing and Product at the Flight Centre Travel Group, suggests Cape Town as a getaway.
“The weather is temperate, the beaches and Winelands less crowded, and there is always a bumper events calendar to look forward to,” she said.

Freedom Day, Monday, April 27 and Workers’ Day, Friday, May 1

The end of April is another great opportunity to take leave. With Workers’ Day on that Friday, request time off from April 28 to 30, and you’ll have yourself a nine-day holiday. 

If you long for the days of summer, Flight Centre suggests a quick hop over to the Seychelles islands. April, May, October and November are some of the best months to visit Seychelles. There are plenty of family-friendly resorts across the region and 118 islands to visit and explore. Start with Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, all within easy reach of the airport and each other.

Youth Day, Tuesday, June 16 2020

Take leave on Monday, June 15, for 4 days of leave to enjoy at home or nip across the border. Maputo is an ideal option, said Natalie Tenzer-Silva, Director of Maputo-based Dana tours. “The destination is a hotspot for young travellers, bursting at the seams with culture, art, music and food - really good food! It is raw, authentic, and often filled with the unexpected, but that’s precisely why we love it,” she said.

Women’s Day, Sunday, August 9

The Monday public holiday rolls over from Sunday, August 9. A good holiday option is the Garden Route. 

“Make the Garden Route your base for a range of adventures over this long weekend, from strawberry picking (year-round) to ziplining, cruising on the Knysna lagoon and lazy afternoons on your patio,” said Peter Dros, Fancourt Director Sales and Marketing. 

Heritage Day, Thursday, September 24

With Heritage Day on Thursday, take leave on Friday, September 25 off for 4 days of leave. Jeanneret Momberg, the general manager of Visit Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, suggests a visit to Stellenbosch is an option. 

Day of Reconciliation, Wednesday, December 16

Look out for authentic experiences to celebrate this holiday. 

Christmas Day, Friday 25 December 2020

Jane Davidson, the director of Development Promotions, said if you prefer to save most of your leave for December, a cruise holiday in Asia or the Caribbean is a good option. 
2020 is set to be another great year for cruising, with Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Spirit due to visit Cape Town from Dubai. It heads to Singapore with stops in Nosy Be in Seychelles and other Indian Ocean islands. Oceania is also running a Cape Town to Singapore route aboard its Insignia in April.