Forget gold and myrrh, there are few things as sacred as annual leave. So, understandably, we were gutted when Prince Harry and his bride-to-be Meghan announced they’d be tying the knot on a Saturday – throwing another potential Bank Holiday out of the window. But, don’t fear. We’ve compiled all of the hacks you need to know to max that annual leave and turn long weekends into week long soirées. We’re calling it a great hol-i-tunity – see what we did there?
Jet off at Xmas
The sneakiest tip of all for 2018 is jetting off at Christmas. The days before Christmas and New Year in 2018 fall on weekends, meaning you’ll automatically get them off work. Booking December 23rd to Janurary 1st will give you a nifty ten days off. Dreamy. Avoid all the drama over whose family you’ll visit this year, and step away from arguments over burnt Turkey. Instead, warm up in the Canaries, swap snowmen for sandcastles in Goa, or munch on Christmas Day on the beach in Cyprus.
Days to book off: 23rd December – 1st January
Holiday gained: 10 days using 3 days of annual leave
If you’re looking for a whopper of a summer holiday, May’s your month. It’s a haven for bank holidays, and if you use them wisely, you can bag an extra two weeks off work. Yep, that means you’ll be off for pretty much the entirety of May. With all that time on your hands, it’s worth going further afield. Book the break you’ve always dreamed of in Mauritius, explore monkey-filled jungles in Sri Lanka or swim between the pitons in St Lucia.
Dates to book off: 5th May-28th May
Holiday gained: 24 days off using 14 days of annual leave
Head off over Easter
Forget about chocolate eggs (trust us) and focus on the real prize – two days off at Easter. This gives you the chance to take 16 days off, for just eight days of hard earned annual leave. If it’s sun you’re after, go further afield to guarantee a hit of Vitamin D. Pitch up on Thailand’s beaches, turn up the heat with freshly made salsa in Mexico, or head to Morocco to stock up on sunrays and trinket-filled bazaars.
Dates to book off: 26th March-13th April
Holiday gained: 16 days off using 8 days of annual leave
Sun it up in August
If you’re all about those summer getaways, August bank holiday is made for you. Just four skimpy days off can bag you a hearty nine days of holidays. Pretty much everywhere will be sunny then, so you won’t have to fly far. Dabble in Santorini, party in Ibiza or put your feet up in the Costa Dorada – Spain’s idyllic golden coast.
Dates to book off: 25th August-2nd September
Holiday gained: 9 days off using 4 days of annual leave
Dates for your diary
Monday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
Friday, March 30 – Good Friday
Monday, April 2 – Easter Monday
Monday, May 7 – May Day
Monday, May 28 – Late May Bank Holiday
Monday, August 27 – August Bank Holiday
Tuesday, December 25 – Christmas Day
Wednesday, December 26 – Boxing Day
Ready to max that annual leave? Go All-Inclusive and bag a great deal before your work mates catch on to all those Bank Holidays. Ps. If you liked this, you’ll probably also like discovering holiday hacks for the January sales.