SINGAPORE - With 2014 soon coming to a close, it's not too early to be planning next year's vacation. The year 2015 will bring a bumper crop of seven long weekends, the most since 2009.
Public holiday dates for 2015 show that seven out of the 11 holidays fall on Friday, Sunday or Monday.
When a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day - Monday - will be a public holiday as well.
The seven holidays falling on these days are the second day of Chinese New Year, Good Friday, Labour Day, Vesak Day, Hari Raya Puasa, National Day and Christmas Day.
In comparison, there are only four such long weekends this year, one fewer than last year. There were four in 2012 and two in 2011. However, there were six in in 2010 and a record eight in 2009.
Another piece of good news is that workers can potentially enjoy 10 long weekends if they take three days of leave - one each around New Year's Day, Hari Raya Haji and Deepavali, which fall on a Thursday or Tuesday.
Deepavali next year is slated to be on Nov 10, a Tuesday, though that is subject to change when the Hindu almanac is released.
Workers said they are looking forward to spend the long weekends with their families and go on overseas vacations.
Civil servant Faith Kong, 29, said: "I don't get to spend much time with my parents as I am busy with work. I may use the break to take my parents to Melbourne which is one of their favourite holiday destinations."
Bank executive Tricia Lim, 28, said she will take a few days of leave before or after the public holidays so that she can get a full week off.
"I am planning to go to Seoul. I will need a week to explore the place properly," she added.
However, human resource experts said not all workers will be able to take extended breaks over the long weekends. Many firms have been hit by a manpower crunch and cannot afford to let many staff members go on leave at one go.
Mr David Leong, managing director of recruitment firm PeopleWorldWide, said those in the services sector especially, are not likely to get a break over the long weekends as their bosses need them around to serve customers who will be out shopping and eating.
"Bosses can offer special payments to encourage workers' to work over long weekends," he added.
A version of this story first appeared on Apr 8, 2014