How I make the most out of my annual leave (UK)

If you have the minimum holiday allowance in the UK (that’s 20 days plus 8 bank holidays) then you spend your days wistfully thinking about your next holiday. But what if I told you that you can get more holiday? With a little bit of forward planning you can use those bank holidays to garner a few extra days off!

Disclaimer: this only applies to UK workers who have a Monday-Friday shift pattern and whose annual leave applies from April to April

There are a number of ways you can do this to work around your lifestyle, but this is how I intend to spread my trips throughout the year to visit five new countries in total. And of course, I always have the option for a speedy weekend trip if I fancy it at no extra holiday cost.

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This might get a little confusing, but stick with me.

Easter Bank Holidays
Book your leave for Friday 30th March to Sunday 8th April
Annual leave used: 4 days
Days off including weekends: 10 days
My trip destination: Italy

Early May Bank Holiday
Book your leave for Friday 4th –  Monday 7th May
Annual leave used: 1 day
Days off including weekends: 4 days
My trip destination: Austria

Second May Bank Holiday
Book your leave for Saturday 26th May – Sunday 3rd June
Annual leave used: 4 days
Days off including weekends: 9 days
My trip destination: Portugal

August Bank Holiday
Book your leave for Friday 25th August – Sunday 9th September
Annual leave used: 9
Days off including weekends: 16
My trip destination: Thailand

Christmas / New Year
Book your time off for 29th December – 1st January
Annual leave used: 2 days
Days off including weekends: 5 days
My trip destination: Bucharest

While it is a popular time to travel which usually results in a greater cost, taking annual leave around a bank holiday will give you more time off. For example, the Easter weekend gives you two bank holidays. That’s two days you don’t have to take from your annual leave, that can be put towards a longer holiday later in the year, or a extended weekend. So if you have the budget for it, it’s worth it in my opinion.

Now go and snag those days off before your co-workers!

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