Everyone looks forward to taking time off work but that holiday break never seems long enough.
But with some careful planning in your diary, you can maximise your annual leave without using a huge chunk of your yearly balance.
By booking days off strategically around public holidays, Australian workers can turn 17 days of scheduled annual leave into 45 days off.
But you’ll have to get in there quick to beat your colleagues so here is how to ensure a relaxing 2019.
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By booking strategically around the public holidays, employees can turn eight days of scheduled leave into 17 consecutive days of break time – but you’ll have to get in there quickly to beat your colleagues (stock image)
With the first long weekend coming up, employees can turn the Australia Day public holiday, which is scheduled for Monday, January 28, into a 10-day break.
If you can make any last-minute plans, you will need to combine the public holiday with two weekends – meaning you need five days of annual leave, from Friday, January 25 to Friday, February 1.
But the best time to save on leave is between Easter and Anzac Day.
The Easter long weekend starts from Friday, April 19 to Monday, April 22 in all states, falling just two days before Anzac Day on Thursday, April 25.
If you’re strategic with the days you book, you can extend your break to 10 days just by taking three days of annual leave because the two public holidays occur in one week.
The trick is you need to book Tuesday, April 23, Wednesday, April 24, and Friday, April 26 off – so you won’t have to return to your desk until April 29.
If you’re living in Queensland or Northern Territory, you can stretch eight days of annual leave into an 18-day holiday between April and May.
Both states are spoiled with public holidays on Monday, May 6 – Labour Day in Queensland and May Day in Northern Territory – meaning workers can turn their Easter break into an extended holiday.
With Labour Day (October 7) and Queen’s Birthday (June 10) public holidays both falling on a Monday, you can turn those long weekends into four-day breaks by taking the Friday off.
The biggest leave gain to be made in 2019 is by booking leave around Christmas where with seven days of leave, it’s possible to create a stunning 17 day break (stock image)
And if you do miss out on booking your days off because your colleagues have got in there first, there’s another opportunity ahead.
For all Australians, booking eight days of annual leave over the festive season will give you a 17-day stretch out of the office from Friday, December 20 to Monday, January 6.
Christmas Day will fall on a Wednesday this year, so if you can book time off on Monday, December 23 and Tuesday, December 24 and perhaps even on Friday, December 20, you can maximise your holiday.
During this holiday period, employees can take advantage of Boxing Day, which falls on a Thursday and New Year’s Day the following Wednesday.
How to maximise your holiday
The 10-day Australia Day hack: The Australia Day public holiday falls on Monday 28 January in all states. With January usually the quietest working month, it can be a good time to extend that long weekend to a longer break and head overseas. Enjoy a 10-day holiday by combining the public holiday with two weekends and five days of annual leave from, say, Friday 25 January to Friday 1 February inclusive.
The four-day weekend hack: With the Labour Day and Queen’s Birthday public holidays each falling on a Monday, you can turn those long weekends into four-day interstate holidays by simply taking the Friday off. Residents in Victoria, the ACT, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory can do this more often, as they have additional public holidays on a Monday or Friday.
The 10-day Easter holiday hack: The Easter long weekend will be from Friday 19 April to Monday 22 April in all States. Anzac Day follows two days after – on Thursday 25 April. With two public holidays occurring in one week, this is an opportunity to extend your holiday to 10 days – from Friday 19 April to Sunday 28 April inclusive – just by taking three days of annual leave. School holidays take place during this period in all States.
The 18-day April-May holiday hack: Residents in Queensland and NT wanting to extend their 10-day Easter holiday can combine their Monday May 6 public holiday with the Easter holiday hack, to give them an extended holiday from Friday 19 April to Monday May 6. Eighteen days off to travel abroad, with just eight days of annual leave off work.
The 17-day May-June holiday hack: ACT residents enjoy a public holiday on Monday 27 May (Reconciliation Day). With two public holidays in around two weeks and three weekends around those days, ACT workers can enjoy a 17-day holiday (Saturday 25 May to Monday 10 June inclusive) with just nine days of annual leave. That’s almost double the amount of time off for half the annual leave.
The mid-week public holiday hack: When public holidays fall mid-week, why not take annual leave on the days before or after, combine it with the weekend, and take a mini getaway. For instance, Victorians can take Monday 4 November off work – right before Melbourne Cup Day – to enjoy a four-day weekend. Brisbane residents could take two days of annual leave before or after Ekka Day on 14 August to enjoy a five-day holiday. For those that have more annual leave to spare, why not take all four days off to have a nine-day break in total.
The 2019 Christmas holiday hack: Australians can create a 17-day holiday – from Friday 20 December to Monday 6 January by taking just eight days of annual leave. With Christmas Day falling on a Wednesday in 2019, why not take Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th – and perhaps even on Friday the 20th – off work, when it’s very likely to be quiet at work. This holiday also takes advantage of Boxing Day falling on a Thursday and New Year’s Day the following Wednesday.
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