‘Where do you find the time to travel?’

This is one of the questions people ask me about travel. In the past, I’ve written a post that talks about this. However, this time, I want to highlight one of the points in that post. I mentioned that I try to get my vacation days close to a public holiday. This is perhaps the biggest hack to travelling smarter, especially if you have a full-time job.

2020 calendar with public holidays in Nigeria

Public Holidays in Nigeria (2020)

There are approximately 14 federal public holidays in Nigeria this year. This means that, if you play your cards right, you can get up to 50 days of travel time – including weekends and assuming that you have an average of 20 paid annual vacation or leave days.

As a travel writer with a full-time day job, this is music to my ears! Currently, I get about 30 vacation days annually. So, I have up to 70 days to travel in a year!

I typically tend to travel further during the 2-day holidays. We have a number of those this year in the months of April, May, July, October and December. And when it’s a single-day holiday or one that falls within the week, I either take shorter trips or plan a staycation.

You don’t necessarily have to travel during every public holiday – I don’t. However, you can choose one and work your vacation or leave days around it to get more time off. April is one of such months that would be best for travel.

Abuja-Kaduna Train

Best months to travel in Nigeria (2020)

If you take as little as 2 days off work, you get 6 days of travel (including weekends), 5 days off gives you 11 vacation days, 10 gives you 18 and the maximum of 13 days gives you 24 days including the May 1st holiday.

Similarly, you can apply the same logic to the public holidays in Nigeria that fall within the months of May, July and October. But be aware that these days can vary slightly. So, plan your vacation to accommodate these changes.

Red - Public holidays in Nigeria (2020)
Blue - Weekends
Green - Possible days to request for a vacation
Orange - Holidays that fall on a weekend and are taken on a weekday

As for single-day holidays like the Worker’s day on May 1st, June 12th and October 1st, you can plan to take a shorter trip.

Taking a day off work gives you about 4 days of travel. If you live Lagos, this may be a good time to take a quick trip to places like the Benin Republic or across the country. By the way, isn’t it lucky how most of these days fall on a Friday?

Lagos to Cotonou Road Trip 2019 (8)
So, if you are looking for a smarter way to travel more in 2020, you should work towards optimising your public holidays and vacation time this year and beyond.

public holidays in nigeria 2020

What other hacks to travelling smarter in 2020 do you have? Share them with me in the comment section below.

I love to hear from you, Leave a comment here!


  1. you have worked it out! Ahhh but I like longer trips, which is harder to squeeze in 🙂 great post!

    • Thanks Andy! Yeah, it’s kinda hard to take really long trips when one has a full time job with limited vacation days. One month long vacations are probably the best deal we can get 🙂

  2. Apart from planning short or long hauls for the holiday seasons, it’s quite important to keep an eye on discounts for flights, parks, monuments etc. A lot of them come up during holidays and festivities.