Here's how to double your annual leave in 2021

Roshina Jowaheer
·4-min read
Photo credit: Thomas Barwick - Getty Images
Photo credit: Thomas Barwick - Getty Images

From Red Online

We're only halfway through January but that hasn't stopped us from thinking ahead to later in the year when we'll hopefully be in a position to make better use of our national public holidays than we could at Christmas.

Whether you're dreaming of using your days to travel somewhere new or make the most of the extra time with the family, you'll want to know how to maximise your annual leave by choosing the days close to the UK bank holidays for more time off this year.

In the UK, we're pretty lucky to have an annual leave entitlement of 28 days per year, which includes bank holidays, while Americans have zero and Singaporeans have 18.

When are the bank holidays in 2021?

There are eight bank holidays in 2021:

Friday 1 January - New Year's Day

Friday 2 April - Good Friday

Monday 5 April - Easter Monday

Monday 3 May - Early May bank holiday

Monday 31 May - Spring bank holiday

Monday 30 August - Summer bank holiday

Monday 27 December - Christmas Day (substitute day)

Tuesday 28 December - Boxing Day (substitute day)

How can I tactically double my leave in 2021?

By being strategic about the annual leave you book this year, you can essentially double your days off. Here's how...

April bank holiday 2021: Take nine days of annual leave for 16 consecutive days off

Easter is when many of us are ready for an extended break and you can enjoy almost double the time off by booking nine days' annual leave. As we have two bank holidays (Friday 2 April and Monday 5 April), if you take 29 March to 1 April and 6 to 9 April off work, you'll have a total of 16 consecutive days away from your desk.

Photo credit: Maskot - Getty Images
Photo credit: Maskot - Getty Images

That's Saturday 27 March to Sunday 11 April on holiday thanks to the three weekends and two bank holidays within the period.

May bank holidays 2021: Take four days of annual leave for nine consecutive days off (twice)

Think you could get used to the time off? Do it again a month later by using the May bank holidays to take two separate nine-day breaks in the month. The first May bank holiday falls on Monday 3 May, so if you take Tuesday 4 to Friday 7 as annual leave, you'll have nine consecutive days off from Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 May.

You can do the same with the Monday 31 May bank holiday by booking 1 to 4 June and enjoying nine consecutive days, from Saturday 29 May to Sunday 6 June - all with just four days' leave from work.

August bank holiday 2021: Take four days of annual leave for nine consecutive days off

By the summer, you might be ready for another break (and hopefully we'll be free to jet off to somewhere by the beach). You can make the most of nine days off in a row by booking only four days' annual leave.

Photo credit: Peter Cade - Getty Images
Photo credit: Peter Cade - Getty Images

The summer bank holiday falls on Monday 30 August so if you book Tuesday 31 August to Friday 3 September, you could escape somewhere sunny from Saturday 28 August to 5 September - that's nine consecutive days.

December bank holidays 2021: Take three days of annual leave for 10 consecutive days off

Christmas is when we can all do with a good rest and with the big day falling on a Saturday in 2021, it means you can put your feet up during the bank holidays of Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 December.

For a few extra days of gorging on mince pies, you can book Wednesday 29 to Friday 31 December to have Saturday 25 December until Monday 3 January 2022 (the New Year's Day substitute) off work. This means you'll have 10 consecutive days away from your desk at the end of the year.

So, there you have it: how to turn 24 days' annual leave into 53 days off.

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