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How to double your 2019 holiday allowance

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
It may not be the end of 2018 yet, but it can pay to think about your annual leave for next year now. Here's how you can turn 16 days leave into 34 days off.

If you work full-time, you’re entitled to a minimum of 20 days paid leave, in addition to eight bank holidays, meaning you have an annual allowance of 28 days.

While we’ve still got Christmas to get through, it can really pay to think about how to use your 2019 holiday dates now, especially before your work colleagues catch on too.

A bit of strategic planning means you can turn 16 days leave into 34 days off. Here’s what you need to do…

Easter and early May bank holiday

Taking nine days holiday means you can get 18 consecutive days off.

This is because of the way Easter falls next year (between Friday 19 and Monday 22 April), and the date of the early May bank holiday on Monday 6.

To take advantage, take the following days as leave:

  • Tuesday 23 April
  • Wednesday 24 April
  • Thursday 25 April
  • Friday 26 April
  • Monday 29 April
  • Tuesday 30 April
  • Wednesday 1 May
  • Thursday 2 May
  • Friday 3 May.

In total, this means you’ll be on holiday from Friday 19 April (Good Friday), until May bank holiday, so you’ll be back in the office on Tuesday 7 May after a refreshing 18 days holiday, but only needing to take nine days of your annual leave.

Christmas and New Year

Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday in 2019. Over this festive period you’ll be able to take seven days leave but get a cosy 16 consecutive days of holiday – as long as your employer allows you to book holiday from 2020.

To take advantage, book the following days as leave:

  • Monday 23 December
  • Tuesday 24 December
  • Friday 27 December
  • Monday 30 December
  • Tuesday 31 December
  • Thursday 2 January 2020
  • Friday 3 January 2020.

In total, this means you’ll be on holiday from Saturday 21 December until Sunday 5 January 2020, back in the office on Monday 6 January 2020.

Other bank holidays to take note of include Monday 27 May and Monday 26 August.

Joey Tyson, travel editor at TravelSupermarket, said: “It might seem a bit keen to start thinking about your 2019 holidays in October, but if you want to maximise your annual leave to its full potential, you need to be first out of the booking blocks.

“So as soon as your new annual leave year opens (most businesses run December to January or April to March), book the dates you want as quickly as you can to avoid clashes with other colleagues. It might not be possible to get both Easter and Christmas off, but there’s no harm in trying.

“By planning your trips early, you’re less likely to lose your annual leave at the end of the year too. Of course, it’s good to have a few days saved for emergencies, but there’s no sense forfeiting 8.4 days (the average set to be lost per person this year), when you could use it for a holiday instead.”

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