So, if you’re anything like me you’re a wanderluster at heart. You probably dibble dabbled in some back packing action in your heyday (mine was soon after I graduated) and then you probably entered the ominous world of work.
This first one is the big one. The Moby Dick of all advice and I’m giving it to you first so that you can leave here straight away with something to save those precious nuggets of annual leave.
1. Maximise your bank holidays
In the UK we have 8 bank holidays over the year. Add that to your 25 days and suddenly you have 33 days leave to play with. That is 1 month off each year. Now that I no longer have a job that requires travel I am planning all my trips around bank holidays. Especially that beautiful Easter Friday and Monday.
Bank holidays are a great way to squeeze in some travel time. For example, for the last bank holiday in May I went to Nice. Flying out on Saturday we came back on Thursday and I took Friday off for added enjoyment. Doing these short trips have been an effective way for me to maintain the level of travel that I like without running out of annual leave days.
I know all the bank holidays have pretty much gone for this year but here are some tips from Thomson Cook on how to make the most of the coming Christmas bank holidays if like me you haven’t booked anything yet. In this post, they show how you can take a mere 3 days annual leave and get 10 days off.
2. Travel over the weekend
This may feel a bit like a duh point but it’s easy to overlook. I recently booked a flight to Canada leaving on Saturday at 11 am morning so I land in Canada at 2:15 pm on the same day (Don’t you just love when a time zone works with you) and land back in London the following Sunday morning. The point is it means I only have to take 5 days off but I’m getting a 9-day break. If you can try and travel after work on a Friday, that’s even better!
Here is a post I found by Debrief who worked out exactly how to turn 25 days of annual leave into 53 by combining bank holiday and weekends.
3. Do day trips
If you are in the UK like me, or Europe, there are plenty of new pastures to explore just 45-90 minutes away. Here a list compiled by Metro of 15 destinations you can see in a day from the UK. I am more of a stay for a few days and get the lay of the land kind of gal, so day trips aren’t my go to. I’d rather go for a weekend. But if you’re short on days then this could be a great alternative. If you want to do day trips a little closer to home check out this list of 20 day trips to take from London by Nudge.
4. Combine destinations
Too often people go on a 2 week holiday and stay in one place. I understand wanting to chill but I always look nearby to see if I can tag on a trip to another country. For example, if planning a trip to Canada why not combine it with a trip to New York or Cuba. Or for a trip to Indonesia, get a flight to Malaysia spend a few days and then pick up an Air Asia flight to Indonesia. I have found more often than not you can pick up cheaper flights to these places from other destinations, and even cheaper return flights.
5. Make the most of your country
Now, this may not apply to all but I am 100 per cent guilty of living in England and not having seen much of it at all. Sometimes the next adventure is a mere 2hr train ride away. Plan a trip to Oxford, Brighton, The New Forest, Cambridge etc. Find interesting and exciting things to do in your home country and do them on the weekends. If you’re struggling with where to start have a look at the Telegraph’s 29 things to do in the UK before you die. A bit of a dramatic heading but some good suggestions nonetheless.