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Annual leave 2022: how to get 30 days off work next year (using just 10 days of annual leave)

And for our next trick, we’ll turn 10 days of paid annual leave into almost a month’s worth of time off…

Holidays have become something of a distant memory thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, and things don’t look likely to get much better anytime soon. Indeed, this week saw ministers remove Portugal – the only mainstream tourist destination to which Britons could travel without quarantining on return – from the travel “green list.”

Addressing what he called “a difficult decision,” transport secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News that Portugal was downgraded because the government wants to give the UK “the best possible chance of unlocking domestically” on 21 June.

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It is worth noting that another seven countries have been moved from the “amber list” to the “red list”: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sri Lanka. 

All of these changes will come into effect at 4am on Tuesday 8 June, and… yeah, they’ve put paid to many holidaymakers’ dreams. So it’s understandable that so many are looking ahead to 2022 when it comes to booking vacations and time off.

Close up of a group of friends on the beach taking a selfie together
A lot of people are saving up for a holiday in 2022.

Now, before we jump forward in time to 2022, we’d like to stress that it’s important to use your annual leave this year, even if you can’t jet off somewhere sunny. Because, just as psychotherapist Lucinda Gordon Lennox explains to Stylist, we still need to sit back, relax, recharge, and stop treating life like a sprint. 

“We’ve been making everything work exactly as it would have done had we not been in a pandemic. That works for a sprint period, but it’s now becoming evident that perhaps we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. And what’s the first thing we change when we’re in a marathon instead of a sprint? We slow down,” she says.

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With this in mind, then, we have some very good news for you: thanks to a perfect alignment of bank holidays in 2022, you can transform just 10 days of annual leave into a whopping 27 days off.

Even better? That’s not including your extra bank holidays on 3 January, 2 May, and 29 August, which brings the grand total up to 30 days. That’s 30 days to slow down, 30 days away from the stresses of the workplace, and 30 days of rest and recovery.

Above all else, though that’s 30 days of sweet, sweet freedom. 

Woman working on holiday
Airbnb says that more people are remote working while on holiday in the UK.

So, what do we need to do to achieve this?

Let’s break it down.

How to maximise your Easter break in 2022

Next year sees Good Friday fall on 15 April, and Easter Monday on 18 April. If your employer closes on weekends and bank holidays, this means that you can land yourself 10 days off work – using just four days of your allotted annual leave allowance.

How? By booking off 19, 20, 21 and 22 April, of course.

Check it out:

  • Friday 15 April: Bank holiday
  • Saturday 16 April: Weekend
  • Sunday 17 April: Weekend
  • Monday 18 April: Bank holiday
  • Tuesday 19 April: Annual leave
  • Wednesday 20 April: Annual leave
  • Thursday 21 April: Annual leave
  • Friday 22 April: Annual leave
  • Saturday 23 April: Weekend
  • Sunday 24 April: Weekend

Lovely stuff, right?

How to make the most of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday

A four-day bank holiday weekend will mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee next summer to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years on the throne. So, yes, booking in three days of annual leave means you can max that out to a sweet week off work.

Queen Elizabeth II tours Queen Mother Square on October 27, 2016 in Poundbury, Dorset
Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations mean that we will get a four-day bank holiday in 2022.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Monday 30 May: Annual leave
  • Tuesday 31 May: Annual leave
  • Wednesday 1 June: Annual leave
  • Thursday 2 June: Bank holiday
  • Friday 3 June: Bank holiday
  • Saturday 4 June: Weekend
  • Sunday 5 June: Weekend

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How to boost your Christmas holiday allowance

We’re not done, folks; 2022 sees Christmas Day fall on a Sunday, which means we get a substitute bank holiday the following Tuesday (just after Boxing Day on the Monday). This, combined with the fact New Year’s Day is on a Saturday, means that all you need to do is book off 28, 29, and 30 December.

A woman looking at Christmas lights
Christmas falls on a weekend in 2022, which means we get a substitute bank holiday to make up for it.

This will grant you a pretty nifty 10 days off in a row (for the price of three): you’ll head home for the holidays after work on Friday 23 December, and you won’t need to be back at your desk until Tuesday 3 January.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Saturday 24 December: Weekend
  • Sunday 25 December: Christmas Day (weekend)
  • Monday 26 December: Bank holiday (Boxing Day)
  • Tuesday 27 December: Bank holiday
  • Wednesday 28 December: Annual leave
  • Thursday 29 December: Annual leave
  • Friday 30 December: Annual leave
  • Saturday 31 December: Weekend
  • Sunday 1 January: Weekend
  • Monday 2 January: Bank holiday 

Perfect for some much needed R&R after the decadence of the festive season, eh?

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A word of caution; before you rush to book all these days off (and you should rush, because we bet plenty of your co-workers will want to take advantage of these bank holiday bonanzas, too), please do check your employer’s policies on annual leave.

It’s worth remembering that they don’t actually have to give you paid leave on bank or public holidays. Find out more about what you’re entitled to on the Gov.uk website now.

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