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 affect accommodation prices as much.

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