When was the last time you had a really good holiday? If you’re currently scratching your head, take note: With a little strategic planning, it’s possible to score five luxurious vacations totalling more than eight weeks off work without resorting to unpaid leave. Here’s how to pull it off.
Despite loving a good holiday, Australians aren’t great at taking annual leave.
A recent study by online travel site Expedia discovered that in 2016, full-time Aussie workers left 20 per cent of their annual leave on the table. In addition, we currently rank third in the world for going a full working year without taking a single holiday, second only to UAE and Brazil.
Clearly, most Aussies are failing to strike a good work/life balance, particularly when it comes to taking holidays.
In 2017, Expedia is urging Aussies to use their full annual leave allotment in a bid to improve our overall happiness and health.
While a long, extended holiday is great for unwinding, convincing your employer can be tricky: many businesses prefer employees to take annual leave in two or three separate batches so as to minimise disruptions. Thankfully, it’s possible to do this while still enjoying a decent break from work – the trick is to group your leave around specific public holidays.
We asked Expedia to break down some annual leave/public holiday combos for our readers to follow. Here are their suggestions. They’ve also helpfully included some holiday destinations.
“Fast approaching, but you’ve still got some time to squeeze in a few days off. Thursday 26 January is the public holiday, so take the Friday and Monday off: you’ve now got five days for a mini break.
Take: Two days off (Friday 27 and Monday 30 Jan.)
Get: Five days off.
Where to go: “No one celebrates Australia Day like the Balinese. Okay, the Aussies in Bali are the ones celebrating, but expect special brunches, beach parties and dinners at hotels and beach
clubs around Seminyak and Nusa Dua.”
“It comes around fast, but savvy travellers book their Easter accommodation well in advance because the combination of Easter public holidays and ANZAC Day gives you the potential to skip town for an extended period.”
Take: Five days off between 14 and 25 April (18, 19, 20, 21, 24.)
Get: 12 days off.
Where to go: “Paris. Who doesn’t love Paris in the spring time? The city comes to life after the long and dreary winter with trees around the Tuileries in full blossom, new greenery, everyone stripping off their coasts for new-season Breton stripes and eating croissants on the streets by the Canal Saint-Martin.”
“The June long weekend is an excellent time to shell out a few more days of leave. It’s winter, so a hit of heat and sunshine will go a long way to keeping you feeling fresh for the back half of the year. Monday 12th June is the public holiday, falling outside of the school holidays so accommodation will be cheaper and less child-filled.
Take: Four days off (13 – 16 June) and the weekends either side (10-11, 17-18.)
Get: Nine days off.
Where to go: “With nine days off, that’s ample time to say ‘Bula’ to Fiji or ‘Aloha’ to Hawaii! Just a few hours flight time will have you sipping cocktails at a resort in Fiji, or go a bit further afield and be wriggling your toes in the white sand of Waikiki.”
NSW Labour Day
“Turn this long weekend into a short getaway. You’ll get a nice six day break, but remember it is school holidays, so steer clear of kid friendly spots unless of course, you’ve got kids and want to spend some time with them!”
Take: Three days off (27–29 Sept.)
Get: Six days off.
Where to go: “The tail end of the ski season is a great time to head to Queenstown. Once there you might be able to catch the last few days on the lifts at super discounted prices, but either way, there’s still a nice chill in the air that’s perfect for evenings by the fireplace with a glass of Pinot Noir.”
“The festive season! Regretting not taking more time off this year? Don’t make the same mistake in 12 months’ time.”
Take: Four days off (Friday 22, Wednesday 27, Thursday 28 and Friday 29.)
Get: 10 days off.
Where to go: “Dreaming of a white Christmas? Take the whole family to North America for an extra special festive season. Ski fields like Vail and Aspen pull out all the stops. Expect to see Santa on the slopes and carolers roaming the hotel corridors.”
Not bad, eh? Using the above tactics, you’ve effectively more than doubled your holiday allotment and are no poorer for it. Or to put it another way, you score 42 days away from work by using just 20 days of annual leave.
Of course, there’s one notable flaw to this strategy – accommodation and travel expenses tend to be pricier during public holidays. Nevertheless, even if you just plan to bum around the house, this is a pretty clever way to stretch your leave out.
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