Guide: Annual Leave

Quick Tips:

  • Don’t use all your leave at once – spread it out across the year
  • Use leave around weekends and bank holidays to maximise your time off

I wish I could get up every morning eagerly saying “let’s get this bread”, but I’m not a morning person at all. Even so, like most of us, I have to do the daily grind in order to be able to do important things like eat and go on holiday every month. Much like budgeting for a holiday, I also have to budget my annual leave allowance in order to be able to take time off work to go on holiday every month.

There are various tricks you can use by working around weekends and bank holidays in the UK to maximise your time off, without using up all your annual leave in one go. I try to plan all my trips around a weekend and aim to use no more than 2 annual leave days a month.

Almost everyone working is entitled to at least 28 days paid holiday a year which can include or not include bank holidays. Where I work we are entitled to 25 days leave a year (plus 8 bank holidays and closure days at Christmas) which works out at about 2 days a month I can take if I evenly split the days. This isn’t to say I will use both of them each month and sometimes only use 1 meaning I have more for other months if I wanted to take a longer trip.

My advice would be to not save them all until the summer or use them all at Christmas etc. Try and take a long weekend or a few days or a week every few months at least. Think about travelling in off seasons or if you’re planning a bigger trip, get your dates down early to plan and get the best possible prices.

If you are lucky enough to get bank holidays, think about booking time off around these by using less amount of holiday days but getting the maximum time off. If you’re thinking of travelling around these times, prices (mainly airfares) will be higher however since holidays are different in other countries, it might not effect accommodation prices as much.

Easter is very late this year but you can still get 16 days off work by using 8 days of annual leave and be out of work from 13th April until 28th April thanks to the weekends before and after.

If you really wanted to max out that time off then taking off the days after Easter Monday and the first week of May would mean 18 days off for 9 days of annual leave from Good Friday to the first May bank holiday or 24 days off for 13 annual leave days from 13th April to 6th May

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For both May bank holidays and in August, you can get 9 days off by using 4 annual leave days by booking the days after the bank holidays off and getting the weekends before and after meaning you’d be off 4th -12th May.

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Book off the 4 days after the bank holiday and be off from 25th May to 2nd June.

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The same works in August by booking off the 4 days after and being off from 24th  August to 1st SeptemberScreenshot 2019-03-17 at 20.27.03

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