A new year is right around the corner, and while this Christmas is looking pretty bleak when it comes to public holidays, at least you know that you can look forward to things being at least a little more promising in 2022. 

So, with only a handful of Dutch public holidays in 2022, how can you use up your holiday days to make the most out of the days you’ll be getting in the new year?

Public holidays in the Netherlands in 2022It’s true, the public holiday situation in the Netherlands is fairly dismal. There aren’t that many to begin with, and some days that you’d expect to be a guaranteed day off – Sinterklaas and Liberation day, we’re looking at you – don’t offer you the freedom you might hope for. 

So what days off will you have next year? Aside from January 1 (which tragically falls on a Saturday), the season of public holidays really gets going in April and comes to an end in early June: in the space of just two months, you’ll be treated to four extra days off. 

Plus, all full-time workers in the Netherlands are guaranteed at least 20 days of paid holiday a year, there are plenty of opportunities for stretching out your holidays as much as possible. Similarly to this year, the Netherlands only offers five holidays in 2022 that don’t fall on a weekend, which means that you can, for example, turn your 24 holiday days into 29. Here are some tips on how.

Over 100 days between New Years Day and Easter You’ll likely return to work on January 3, and sadly the first few months of the new year don’t offer much in the way of days off. In fact, you’ll have a wait of 104 days until the next official public holiday. 

Public holidays a-plenty in the springNext year, Easter will fall a little later than it did last year, with Good Friday on April 15, and Easter Monday on April 18. Many people work on Good Friday, but Easter Monday is a public holiday. If you have children, they most likely won’t have to go to school on April 15, so you could make it an extra-long weekend and take the Friday off as well. Alternatively, use your holiday days for the week of April 18 – with Easter Monday as a public holiday, you’ll only have to use four holiday days to enjoy a nice nine-day break!

Five-day week? How about a five-day weekend!Of course, Easter isn’t the only holiday to look forward to in April. With Easter falling quite late in the new year, you could really make the most of the days off by booking the last two weeks of April off for a nice long break. Thanks to Easter Monday and King’s Day (April 27), you’d only have to use eight of your holiday days, but you’d be off work for the full two weeks. Perfect!

Alternatively, with King’s Day falling on a Wednesday this year, you could book April 28 and April 29 off too and enjoy a very luxurious five-day weekend.

Welcome in June with Whit MondayMoving into May, there is of course Liberation day on May 5 which sadly isn’t a public holiday in 2022 (but will be in 2025). The next day off is Ascension day, which will fall on Thursday, May 26 next year. Schools generally have the Friday off too, so perhaps consider booking May 27 off work and make it a long weekend for you and the family. 

After Ascension day, you won’t have to wait too long for the next break: Whit (Pentecost) Monday falls on June 6. Want to make the most of these two public holidays? Book May 27 as well as the week of May 30 off – it’ll cost you six of your holiday days, but you’ll have 10 days off. You’ll clock off on May 25, and won’t have to return to the office until June 7!

The dry spell of the Dutch summerThe Dutch summer can be particularly tragic – and not just because of the unpredictable weather! With the bulk of the Dutch public holidays falling in three out of the 12 months of the year, after June 7 you’ll have to wait until Christmas for your next break. 

If you do want to take some time off over the summer months, school holidays in 2022 fall between mid-July and early September (depending on which part of the country you live in) so make sure you and your family check which dates apply to you before booking any time off.

Christmas holidays and the Dutch festive season in 2022The good news is that, as the December holidays all fall on a weekend this year, next year can only get better! 2022 will see Boxing Day fall on Monday, but all the other holidays will (once again) fall on a weekend. This isn’t great news for anyone who typically uses the festive period as an opportunity to squeeze as much out of their holidays as possible.

Don’t feel too sad though – Christmas 2023 is looking really great, we promise! 

Have fun planning your 2022 holidays!Okay, so it might be too early to start planning your time off for Christmas 2023, but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about ways to make the most out of the meagre Dutch public holidays next year. Whatever you plan for the next 12 months, make sure you don’t wait too long to book the time off work!

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