11 Long Weekends In Malaysia For 2018: Here’s How To Maximise Them

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Pic: Malaysian DigestPic: Malaysian Digest

We already know that Malaysia has a reputation as a country with among the most public holidays in the world.

Well, for 2018 we can add to that the fact that we have a bumper crop of long weekends as well.

As soon as the official public holiday list for 2018 was released, Malaysians have already started planning their weekend getaway for the year ahead.

To help our readers stretch those many public holidays even further, Malaysian Digest has compiled a list of long weekends for the year 2018 that will surely benefit our readers when they plan out their next island getaway or a road trip to the Pearl of the Orient.

A Rundown Of This Year’s National And State Holidays

But how often have we overlooked the window of opportunity (i.e. the long weekend that beckons) due to our busy schedule coupled with our need to catch up on our sleep?

Lifestyle portal pamper.my was way ahead when it reported on how to stretch an initial 5 long weekends into a total of 11 by taking leave on the gap days which falls on corresponding Mondays.

Pic: pamper.myPic: pamper.my

With a little more ingenuity and careful planning, Malaysian Digest also discovered that by taking advantage of the various state level holidays, Malaysians can even stretch a three day weekend into a massive five day break!

With majority of these holidays falling on Friday, Sunday or Monday, Malaysians can look forward to these long weekends with glee provided they properly plan their annual leaves, as per the holidays below:

December 30 (Saturday), December 31 (Sunday) and January 1 (Monday):  New Year’s Weekend

  • Applicable to Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan)

January 14 (Sunday): Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan’s Birthday ( only applicable to Negeri Sembilan)

January 21 (Sunday): Sultan of Kedah’s Birthday ( only applicable to Kedah )

January 31, (Wednesday): Thaipusam

  • Applicable to Johor, Perak, Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Federal Territories
  • TIP: Individuals in the relevant state can apply leave on February 1 (Thursday) and February 2 (Friday) to enjoy a five-day weekend

February 1 (Thursday): Federal Territory Day ( only applicable to Federal Territories )

  • TIP: Individuals in Federal Territories can apply leave on February 2 (Friday) to enjoy a five-day weekend

February 16 (Friday) and February 17 (Saturday): Chinese New Year (all states)

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on February 15 (Thursday) or February 19 (Monday) to enjoy a five-day weekend OR apply leave on February 19 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

March 4 (Sunday): Anniversary of Installation of Sultan of Terengganu ( only applicable to Terengganu )

March 17 to March 25: School Holidays (all states)

March 23 (Friday): Sultan of Johor’s Birthday ( only applicable to Johor )

  • TIP: Johoreans can apply leave on March 22 (Thursday) or March 25 (Sunday) to enjoy a three-day weekend OR on both dates to enjoy a four-day weekend

March 30 (Friday): Good Friday ( only applicable in Sabah and Sarawak )

April 14 (Saturday): Israk and Mikraj ( only applicable to Kedah, Negeri Sembilan and Perlis )

April 15 (Sunday): Declaration of Malacca as a Historical City ( only applicable to Malacca )

April 26 (Thursday): Sultan of Terengganu’s Birthday ( only applicable to Terengganu )

May 1 (Tuesday): Labour Day (all states)

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on April 30 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend OR apply leave on April 29 (Sunday) and April 30 (Monday) to enjoy a five-day weekend

May 7 (Monday): Hari Hol Pahang ( only applicable to Pahang )

May 17 (Thursday): Ramadhan ( subject to change; only applicable to Johor, Malacca and Kedah )

May 29 (Tuesday): Wesak Day (all states)

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on May 28 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend, while individuals in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu can apply leave on May 27 (Sunday) and May 28 (Monday) to enjoy a five-day weekend

May 30 (Wednesday), May 31 (Thursday): Harvest Festival ( only applicable to Sabah and Sarawak )

  • NOTE: Individuals in Sabah and Sarawak will enjoy a six-day weekend, from May 29 (Tuesday) up to June 2 (Saturday)
  • TIP: Individuals in Sabah and Sarawak can apply leave on May 28 (Monday) to enjoy the week off

 

June 1 (Friday), June 2 (Saturday): Hari Gawai ( applicable to Sabah and Sarawak )

  • NOTE: Individuals in Sabah and Sarawak will enjoy a six-day weekend, from May 29 (Tuesday) up to June 2 (Saturday)
  • TIP: Individuals in Sabah and Sarawak can apply leave on May 28 (Monday) to enjoy the week off

June 2 (Saturday): Nuzul Al-Quran ( only applicable to Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu and Federal Territories )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on June 3 (Sunday) or June 4 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

June 9 to June 24: School Holidays ( all states )

June 15 (Friday), June 16 (Saturday): Hari Raya Aidilfitri ( Subject to change; applicable to all states )

July 7 (Saturday): Georgetown World Heritage City Day ( only applicable to Penang )

  • TIP: Penangnites can apply leave on July 6 (Friday) or on July 9 (Monday) to enjoy a three-day weekend OR both to enjoy a four-day weekend

July 14 (Saturday): Yang di-Pertuan Penang’s Birthday ( only applicable to Penang )

  • TIP: Penangnites can apply leave on July 13 (Friday) or on July 16 (Monday) to enjoy a three-day weekend OR both to enjoy a four-day weekend

July 17 (Tuesday): Tuanku Raja of Perlis’s Birthday ( only applicable to Perlis )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on July 16 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

July 22 (Sunday): Sarawak Independence Day ( only applicable to Sarawak )

  • TIP: Sarawakians can apply leave on July 23 (Monday) to enjoy a three-day weekend OR on July 20 (Friday) and on July 23 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

August 18 to August 26: School Holidays ( all states )

August 22 (Wednesday): Hari Raya Aidil Adha ( subject to change; applicable to all states )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on August 20 (Monday) and August 21 (Tuesday) OR on August 23 (Thursday) and August 24 (Friday) to enjoy a three-day weekend OR all four dates to get the week off

August 23 (Thursday): Second day of Hari Raya Aidil Adha ( subject to change; only applicable to Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on August 19 (Sunday) / August 20 (Monday), August 21 (Tuesday) and August 24 (Friday) to enjoy the week off

August 31 (Friday): Malaysia Independence Day ( all states )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on August 29 (Thursday) or September 3 (Monday) to enjoy a three-day weekend

September 9 (Sunday): Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s Birthday

  • Applicable to all states
  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on September 10 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend (or five-day weekend in some states)

September 11 (Tuesday): Awal Muharram ( all states )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on September 10 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend (or five-day weekend in some states)

September 16 (Sunday): Malaysia Day ( all states )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on September 17 (Monday) to enjoy a three-day weekend

October 6 (Saturday): Sabah Governor’s Birthday ( only applicable to Sabah )

October 12 (Friday): Yang di-Pertua of Malacca’s Birthday ( only applicable to Malacca )

October 13 (Saturday): Sarawak Governor’s Birthday ( only applicable to Sarawak )

October 15 (Monday): Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskandar ( only applicable to Johor )

  • TIP: Johoreans can apply leave on October 14 (Sunday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

October 24 (Wednesday): Sultan of Pahang’s Birthday ( only applicable to Pahang )

  • TIP: Individuals in Pahang can apply leave on October 22 (Monday) and October 23 (Tuesday) or on October 25 (Thursday) and October 26 (Friday to enjoy a five-day weekend OR on all four dates to enjoy the week off

November 2 (Friday): Sultan of Perak’s Birthday ( only applicable to Perak )

November 6 (Tuesday): Deepavali  ( subject to change; only applicable to Peninsular Malaysia )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on November 4 (Sunday) and November 5 (Monday) to enjoy a five-day weekend OR apply leave on November 5 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

November 11 (Sunday), November 12 (Monday): Sultan of Kelantan’s Birthday ( only applicable to Kelantan )

November 20 (Tuesday): Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday ( all states )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on November 18 (Sunday) and November 19 (Monday) to enjoy a five-day weekend OR apply leave on November 19 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

November 24 – December 31: School Holidays ( all states )

December 11 (Tuesday): Sultan of Selangor’s Birthday ( only applicable to Selangor )

  • TIP: Individuals in Selangor can apply leave on December 10 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

December 25 (Tuesday): Christmas ( all states )

  • TIP: Individuals can apply leave on December 23 (Sunday) and December 24 (Monday) to enjoy five-day weekend OR apply leave on December 24 (Monday) to enjoy a four-day weekend

Now that we have presented you with a list of potentially long holidays, we reckon our readers mark those dates on their calendars and thoroughly plan out your next couple, group or family holiday.

Malaysians Share Their 2018 Weekend Getaway Plans

Pic: Malaysiasite.nl (Frasers Hill, Penang)Pic: Malaysiasite.nl (Frasers Hill, Penang)And while some heave a sigh of relief to have been graced with the above list, a handful of Malaysians have started planning their holidays even before 2018 arrived.

For newlyweds Mariah and Rayyan, the couple shared that they will be going on a road trip to Ipoh, Perak and Penang in April during the labour day weekend, and emphasised that they have been fantasising about the trip since last November.

“The moment we clock out the office on Friday, 27 April, we’ll drive straight to Ipoh, Perak – where we will be spending two nights – before we journey on to Penang on Sunday, 29 April,” the 26-year-old couple shared.

“And then on Tuesday (May 1) morning, we’ll drive back to Kuala Lumpur, but might consider stopping by Ipoh for breakfast.”

The plan may same simple to some, but Mariah revealed that her husband’s schedule, which syncs with the Australasian calendar instead of Malaysia’s, often hinders them from going on a holiday.

Speaking of calendars, 36-year-old Suraya Malik relayed to Malaysian Digest that it is difficult for the family to plan a trip as her husband is often outstation, though is looking forward to the school holidays in March.

“Whenever it’s holiday season, we think more about the kids than us. So in March, my husband and I will be taking our five kids to Colmar Tropicale in Bentong, Pahang and in November, we might consider taking them to Universal Studios Singapore – depending on how well-behaved they are in the next few months,” the mother joked.

Meanwhile, 34-year-old Aryana Teoh conveyed that she and her siblings have been planning a family getaway since October last year, and underlined that the early planning is necessary due to it involving 22 people from four separate families.

“My siblings and I planned on spending the August school holidays in Janda Baik, Pahang,” the second out of five siblings stated.

“It was difficult for us to decide on when, but we finally decided to prioritise my nieces and nephews’ schedule and our younger brothers’ schedule, seeing how we (working) adults can easily apply for annual leaves and they can’t.”

Pic: Pinterest (Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Terengganu)Pic: Pinterest (Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Terengganu)Aryana expressed that she is filled with gratitude that her family is willing to make the trip a reality, considering that the last time the family went on a holiday was in March 2004.

“It’s long overdue in my opinion. We often go on separate holidays, and I think we all can use the trip to bond and to relax.

“Though, I can’t deny that finding the right time and ensuring that our schedule syncs has been challenging. In fact, challenging is an understatement, especially when you have medical practitioners in the house,” the financial analyst opined.

But it appears that a group of friends encounter the similar predicament when planning their holiday as Herlindra Mansor communicated that she and her friends have been discussing a girls’ trip for a year now, yet find it difficult to materialise the plan.

“Planning a group trip is easier said than done, but I think it has something to do with the fact that all five of us are workaholics,” Herlindra lamented.

“But we finally agreed to take a break in March, and enjoy the sand and sun at Pulau Perhentian. But the thing is, the location and accommodation are settled – now we need to figure which is more financially conducive: driving to Terengganu or flying there.”

The long weekends are typically synonymous to a getaway, but for all those prospective brides and grooms hoping to tie the knot this year, the long weekends can also be a perfect opportunity for them to make it happen.

Wedding Planner Reveals When Is The Best Time To Get Married This Year

Pic: The National (The groom Dutchman Dennis Muhammad kissing his wife, Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan)Pic: The National (The groom Dutchman Dennis Muhammad kissing his wife, Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan)Speaking with a wedding planner who is based in Kuala Lumpur, she relayed that ‘the best time to get married’ is dependent on the couple as her experience has shown that Malaysians are willing to travel the distance to attend the wedding of their loved ones.

“While school holidays and national holidays are seen as the prime time to get married, I noticed that the trend is slowly losing it sizzle as it is seen as the common go-to plan.

“Because it’s such a norm to get married during school holidays or national weekends, couple have now taken a different route by looking at purely weekends (not a national holiday) as well as some nights on the weekday for solemnisation, especially Thursdays and Fridays, depending on the state,” the 28-year-old revealed.

The woman who has been in the wedding industry for five year theorised that the change in trend is due to the fact that Malaysians would much rather spend their national holidays and school holidays with their respective families, on top of avoiding the possibility of clashing dates with their fellow peers or relatives.

“But in my humble opinion, the best time to get married for this year is after Ramadhan as the General Election has made all of my clients, for are planning to get married between January to April of this year, unrest.

“However, couples should also take into consideration of our Malaysian weather, especially for those who are planning to get married towards end of the year,” she opined.

Pic: Says.com (Tanjung Rhu Resort, Luxury Resort Langkawi, Malaysia)Pic: Says.com (Tanjung Rhu Resort, Luxury Resort Langkawi, Malaysia)While the mother of two deduced that weddings on the long weekends are slowly losing its spark, she added that every 18th that falls on Friday or the weekends and the month of August will be the preferred time to tie the knot as Malaysia has seen an increase in trend of selecting the dates of their wedding according to the dates, rather than selecting the dates based on convenience.

“18th August 2018 falls on a Saturday and from last year, we have had a total of 11 couples asking for our availability on that date,” she revealed, and listed 18th February 2018 (Sunday), 18th March 2018 (Sunday), 8th September 2018 (Saturday) and 18th November 2018 (Sunday) as the other dates that potential customers have enquired.

“So to answer when exactly is the best time to get married is difficult, as we have to look into the weather (or seasons), local happenings (such as General Elections, Ramadhan and so forth) but for me personally, I’ve always believed between June and August is the best time to get married.

“For some reason, the mid-year is perfect as it is a time when Malaysians have already settled in the New Year, and it’s just right before monsoon season.”

Here’s How You Can Maximise Those Long Weekends

Pic: goasiaplus.comPic: goasiaplus.comOur curiosity led us to query random Malaysians on their holiday plans and to our surprise, majority of them revealed that they are uncertain on how to maximise their long weekend – specifically, to avoid feeling any sense of regret for not enjoying the holidays.

Malaysian Digest caught up with Celine Tan, who previously worked as a Travel Executive at Mitra Tours and Travel for two years, and assured that the feeling is a norm and often the result of improper planning.

“I think it’s important for Malaysians to set a purpose when going on any holiday. We often hear clients or customers say they want to ‘relax and unwind,’ and while that is a good reason to go on a holiday, the question is how do you plan to do so?

“Sometimes people would come back from a holiday feeling just as tired, if not more, because they didn’t take the opportunity to relax, but instead subconsciously worry about what’s happening at work, being glued to their digital devices or cooped up in the hotel room,” the 27 year old stated.

Celine elaborated further by stressing that she noticed most Malaysians often planned for the trip and their journey home, but not necessarily the trip itself, and henceforth leading to some wasting their holidays.

On that note, the avid traveller recommended a few suggestions as per the groupings below:

Prepared by Malaysian DigestPrepared by Malaysian Digest

Prepared by Malaysian DigestPrepared by Malaysian Digest

“But the location and activities are not the only criteria that Malaysians should take note off,” she warned.

“They also have to take into consideration the budget, the weather and above all the timing. Personally, I would never go on a holiday during school holidays or national holidays because I know how packed some places can be.”

So instead, the former travel executive suggested Malaysians to select a long weekend to not only rejuvenate, but to avoid the massive crowd; especially when one plans on travelling to hotspots such as Legoland, in Johor, or Frasers Hill in Penang and many more.

Table prepared by Malaysian DigestTable prepared by Malaysian Digest

Sharing that she has had clients who travelled to Australia for a two-night trip, Celine opined that it is possible for Malaysians to travel abroad for a three to five day weekend, but advised to travel within South East Asia as a means to allow ourselves ample time to rest upon our return.

“Malaysians can opt to venture to Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia or even Vietnam for an overseas travel; or maybe the Philippines if they’d like to travel slightly further.

“But when planning such a short trip, it’s best to not be impromptu with the agenda because keep in mind that you are in a foreign land and on top of that, meticulous planning (from travelling, to budgeting) is required.

Pic: Discover KL (Tanah Aina Fahad in Ulu Dong, Raub, Pahang)Pic: Discover KL (Tanah Aina Fahad in Ulu Dong, Raub, Pahang)“Because travelling abroad requires detailed planning, especially for those who are inexperienced, I reckon domestic travel would be best,” and added that Malaysia is blessed with an abundant of island and glamping locations.

Speaking of glamping, Celine added that going on a holiday does not necessarily require one to hop on a plane and leave the country, as she revealed that Malaysia has seen an increase in a trend known as glamping (or staycation), and recommended a few places Malaysians can consider here.

As she emphasised that the important aspect of the holiday is to enjoy it, Celine advised Malaysians to be willing to break away from the norm and get in touch by nature by visiting the parks, islands and recreational places throughout the country.

“Sometimes what we actually need is a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, or a break from what we have perceived as a norm.

“So instead of booking your flight ticket to Europe, why not give yourself permission to go camping in Ulu Langat or river rafting in Perak? Because I promise you, you will definitely have fun and won’t regret it one bit,” she assured.

- Malaysian Digest