Home Leisure & Lifestyle Travel Hack: Turn 25 Days of Annual Leave into a Total of 55 Days Off in 2024

Travel Hack: Turn 25 Days of Annual Leave into a Total of 55 Days Off in 2024

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In 2024, England and Wales will have the lowest number of bank holidays since 2021. So PayingTooMuch, a travel insurance price comparison site, has put together a list of dates to help you plan your annual leave ahead of time.

PayingTooMuch has also gained insights from well-being coach Lorna Wilkins, and holistic nutritionist Simone Venner to explore the health-boosting benefits of going on holiday and taking time off from work.

How to maximise your annual leave in 2024

Most full-time employees who work a five-day week have a minimum of 28 days (5.6 weeks) of paid annual leave each year.

Here’s how you can turn 25 days of your annual leave into a total of 55 days off (including weekends):

  • January: Saturday, 30 December 2023, to Sunday, 7 January 2024. Extend your new-year celebrations by booking four days off at the start of the year for a total of nine days off.
  • Easter: Saturday, 23 March, to Sunday, 7 April. With Good Friday falling on 29 March next year, you can enjoy a long Easter break of 16 days by only booking 8 days off.
  • May: Saturday, 4 May, to Monday, 12 May, or Saturday, 25 May, to Sunday, 2 June. Thanks to the two bank holidays in May, there are two ways for you to enjoy nine days off in a row by only using four days of annual leave.
  • August: Saturday, 24 August 2024, to Sunday, 1 September. You can book four days off in August to gain nine days off for a summer holiday.
  • December: Saturday, 21 December, to Tuesday, 1 January 2025. To end the year and enjoy the festive period with family and friends, you can book five days off to gain a total of 12 days off.

Well-being experts reveal the top four health benefits of annual leave for employees

1. Annual leave helps prevent burnout and improves your work-life balance

A work-life balance can sometimes be difficult to manage, but understanding the ideal duration for a break can make a world of difference and help you choose between a short and extended stay.

Simone suggests, “If you’re looking to fully unwind, a longer break would be recommended. The health benefits extend to physical health, mood, and overall satisfaction.

“While longer breaks offer more extensive health benefits, even a single day off can provide respite from stress if it allows for a complete break from work-related responsibilities.”

Simone recommends, “Opting for a Monday or a Friday off to create an extended weekend and maximise the time you spend away from your desk! Striking a balance between more extended vacations and periodic shorter breaks is crucial to recharge and avoid burnout.”

2. Annual leave can reduce stress and improve your sleep quality 

According to Lorna, the stress-relieving effects of a holiday can have a very positive impact on your overall well-being. “One of the key health benefits of going on holiday is that it reduces stress,she says. “Having a break from your daily routine can make you feel more relaxed and therefore improve your mental well-being.”

“A change of environment and getting away from the pressures of day-to-day life not only helps you to clear your mind but can also help to improve your sleep quality as you’ll be feeling more relaxed.”

3. Annual leave can boost creativity and motivation 

Lorna highlights: “Disconnecting helps you to be present in the moment. You’ll even find that taking a break can benefit your work, as time away from your usual environment encourages creativity, so when you return to work, you feel more motivated and inspired.”

4. Maximising your annual leave in the winter months can help combat seasonal affective disorder

While a change in scenery can give your mind a world of benefits, the winter months can be a tough time of year. Lorna comments on the benefits of chasing the winter sun: “By going away to sunny and warm climates during the winter, it can boost your levels of vitamin D, which is important for bone health, immunity, and mood regulation. And if you experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), this can make a huge difference. Exposure to sunlight can help with symptoms of depression that are associated with the dark winter months.”

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