How to turn 24 days of annual leave into 53 in 2021

Caroline Allen
·Contributor
·3-min read
We could all do with a break. (Getty Images)
We could all do with a break. (Getty Images)

With the Foreign Office still warning against all but essential travel, many of our 2020 holiday plans are still up in the air.

There have been no definite decisions made about 2020 summer holidays yet, but with health secretary, Matt Hancock, admitting that “big, lavish international holidays” are unlikely to be possible in the coming months, there’s no harm in planning ahead.

If you’ve got serious no-holiday blues, you’ll be pleased to know that you can turn just 24 days of annual leave into 53 days of holiday fun in 2021.

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Even if you’re not planning a big getaway, making up for lost time with your loved ones with an extra 29 days of annual leave is a nice treat after the challenges of 2020.

First up, we need to take into consideration the placement of next year’s bank holidays.

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

Tuesday 28 December - Boxing Day

That means that if you get smart about the placement of your annual leave days, you can bag a cheeky 29 days of extra annual leave. Here’s how.

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Easter holidays

The Easter holidays always provide us with a good return on annual leave investment and 2021 proves to be even more lucrative than usual.

You can take just nine days of annual leave off in March and April to enjoy 16 days of holiday.

Two bank holidays fall during this period: 2 April (Good Friday) and 5 April (Easter Monday).

That means by booking off 29 March to 1 April and 6 to 9 April, you can enjoy 16 days away from your workplace all for the price of nine.

May bank holidays

If the 16 days away from your desk in April weren’t quite enough, May is also a good time to book some more (well deserved, we’re sure) time off.

You simply need to take four days of annual leave to get nine days off (twice). That’s right, two separate nine day breaks in one month. We could get used to this life.

The first May bank holiday falls on Monday 3 May. To get your first nine days off, take 1 May to 9 May.

Then, go back to work for a couple of weeks before your next nine days off.

The next May bank holiday falls on 31 May, so if you take off 1 June to 4 June, you can have 29 May to 6 June off with just four days’ annual leave.

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August bank holidays

Much like the bank holidays in May, the extra day off in August can be used to full advantage to gain nine days off for just four days’ annual leave.

The bank holiday falls on 30 August so if you book 31 August to 3 September off work you could travel to any far flung part of the world for an extended break by just using four of your allotted days off.

December bank holidays

Rejuvenated from all of your summer time off, December is the perfect time to take off some extra days to spend with family and friends.

You only need to take off three days of annual leave to get a massive ten days off from work.

As Christmas day falls on a Saturday in 2021, 27 December and 28 December (Monday and Tuesday) are both bank holidays.

If you take off 29 December to 31 December, you can have off 25 December until 3 January 2022. That’s plenty of extra eating and drinking time.