Travel 2020: how to get 26 days off work this year (using just 11 days of annual leave)

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray

If you are planning a holiday for this year, we have some good news: thanks to a perfect alignment of bank holidays in 2020, you can transform just 11 days of annual leave into a whopping 26.

Everybody loves a holiday, there’s no doubt about it – but research has shown that hardly any of us are actually using our full annual leave allowance. That’s right: a recent study by YouGov, commissioned by London Stansted Airport, has revealed that a whopping two out of five Brits are losing out on their paid holiday days.

Why? Well, it’s all down to the enormous challenges the workplace has been putting on the UK’s workers. 15% of those polled said that they had been unable to find suitable days to take off work – while another 9% admitted that they’d been forced to miss out on a break due to the fact that there was nobody to cover their role while they were away. Fearing their workload would pile up to almost impossible levels during their absence, they succumbed to the UK’s toxic culture of overtime and put themselves at risk of burnout in the process.

Others, though, cited “forgetfulness” as the number one reason for failing to take holiday – which means that, yeah, they literally forgot to take a break. So, in order to help people plan their annual leave in advance – and help them maximise the paid holiday they do manage to take (although it should go without saying that we’re given a certain amount of paid annual leave for a reason) – we’ve taken a look at 2020’s upcoming bank holidays. 

And guess what? We have some very good news for you: thanks to a perfect alignment of bank holidays in 2020, you can transform just 11 days of annual leave into a whopping 26.

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In 2020, Good Friday falls on 10 April, and Easter Monday falls on 13 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 14, 15, 16 and 17 April, of course.

Let’s break it down:

  1. Friday 10 April: Bank holiday
  2. Saturday 11 April: Weekend
  3. Sunday 12 April: Weekend
  4. Monday 13 April: Bank holiday
  5. Tuesday 14 April: Annual leave
  6. Wednesday 15 April: Annual leave
  7. Thursday 16 April: Annual leave
  8. Friday 17 April: Annual leave
  9. Saturday 18 April: Weekend
  10. Sunday 19 April: Weekend

Pretty sweet, right?

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Of course, April isn’t the only time you can make your annual leave allowance work as hard as possible. We need to talk about Christmas, too. 

That’s right: as Christmas Day is on a Friday, Boxing Day is on a Saturday (meaning the bank holiday falls on a Monday), and New Year’s Day is on a Friday, all you need to do is book off 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, and 31 December.

This will grant you a pretty nifty 16 days off in a row (for the price of seven): you’ll head home for the holidays after work on Friday 18 December, and you won’t need to be back at your desk until Monday 4 January.

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

To make that a little clearer for everyone at the back:

  1. Saturday 19 December: Weekend
  2. Sunday 20 December: Weekend
  3. Monday 21 December: Annual leave
  4. Tuesday 22 December: Annual leave
  5. Wednesday 23 December: Annual leave
  6. Thursday 24 December: Annual leave
  7. Friday 25 December: Bank holiday
  8. Saturday 26 December: Weekend
  9. Sunday 27 December: Weekend
  10. Monday 28 December: Bank holiday
  11. Tuesday 29 December: Annual leave
  12. Wednesday 30 December: Annual leave
  13. Thursday 31 December: Annual leave
  14. Friday 1 January: Bank holiday
  15. Saturday 2 January: Weekend
  16. Sunday 3 January: Weekend


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However, 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 holiday bonanzas, too), 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 website now.

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Image: Getty


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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