Annual Leave: How To Plan & Maximise Your Time Off

Ahh annual leave, you come and go far too quickly. I’m guessing that most of you would love to maximise your time off work. Well, me too. Annual leave is precious to me, and I take it very seriously when it comes to planning it. So much so that I’ve written a whole blog post lol.

annual leave

Get ya’self a yearly planner

I literally mean a whole view of the year on one page. So maybe you don’t want to stick one of those ugly wall planners on your living room wall, but set something up on your laptop or iPad. Or just keep one of those ugly ones at home. In a cupboard. I can’t tell you how useful it is to think about your whole year when it comes to mapping out annual leave.

I use mine to stick in all of the bank holidays, any major events (weddings etc), and half terms. Ya gal’s got no babies, so I like to avoid taking any time off in the holidays. Coz ya know, expensive holidays and people everywhere.

Tag on to bank holidays, in a clever way

So we all know that booking the rest of a bank holiday week means we only take 4 days off instead of 5. But literally that. Everyone knows it, so everyone does it, and everywhere gets busy and expensive.

Think about taking 4 days off before the bank holiday weekend. Extra long weekend, but you might just miss the crowds. Try and avoid the bank holidays that fall into half term though, like Easter Monday and the late May bank holiday. This little trick may also help with flight times, to avoid having to go straight back to work on the Monday after your holiday.

Give yourself a break

Get back over to your ugly wall planner and think about what that looks like against work. Do you have a really busy period that you need a break from afterwards? Or have you taken loads of time off in the summer, leaving you with months at work through dark and dreary winter?

Think about spacing your time off across the year. I like to take off some time around spring, and then enjoy all of the bank holidays through the summer, before some more time off around October.

annual leave

A lazy long weekend

A long weekend is good for the soul. Once you have made sure you have enough chunky time off at good intervals through the year, sprinkle a few long weekends in. Whether this means you simply get one more much needed lazy morning, or you plan an action packed weekend away, I promise you that it will feel good.

Is there a big occasion you know you need to save some time for? Perhaps a birthday, or an anniversary. By planning out the whole year (more or less!) you should avoid getting near the end of the year and realising you’ve run out of annual leave, but you forgot to book your birthday off!

Seriously, how good does a 4 day week feel?!


This one is my fave. I am sure you all know this trick, but don’t forget to book off the three days in between Christmas and New Year. 3 days annual leave = 11 days off! This is my holy grail and I never want to grace the office with my presence at this “no mans land” time of year.

Now I’ve got you all organised, what are you planning to do with your annual leave? I am desperate for some travel inspo right now!

annual leave

%d bloggers like this: