How to Maximise Your Annual Leave in 2020

Want to know how to turn 21 days of annual leave into 49 days of world travel in 2020? Read this article to learn how to maximise your annual leave throughout 2020.

How many times have you wished you could maximise your annual leave, even double it, to spend more time travelling? In this post we’ll show you how to do that! We’ll tell you exactly which days to book off work to have much more time to do the things you love.

If you live and work in the UK you’re in an advantageous position when it comes to annual leave. Did you know that in the UK, most full-time workers are entitled to receive at least 28 days’ paid annual leave a year? It’s actually a statutory annual leave entitlement (which means that it’s the law). That’s so much better than somewhere like the USA where there is no legal entitlement to paid holiday.

Here at Use That Leave we want to help all of you who work to see as much of the world as possible. If you’re clever about how you use your annual leave you can spend more time travelling. In this article we will show you how you can maximise your annual leave in the best possible way to increase the number of days you have off work to travel the world. All you need is a bit of forward planning (and maybe a boss who understands your travelling passion!).

Guess what…in 2020 you can turn 21 DAYS OF ANNUAL LEAVE into 49 DAYS OF HOLIDAY!

So, how do you maximise your annual leave?

How to Maximise Your Annual Leave in the New Year

Most people’s leave year starts on the 1st of January. In 2020, New Year’s Day falls on a Wednesday and is a Bank Holiday. If you book the Thursday and Friday off work (2nd and 3rd January), you can have 5 days off (including the Saturday and Sunday) and start back again on Monday 6th January.

This means with only 2 days’ annual leave you can get 5 days off work to go on a short holiday. This is a perfect amount of time for a city break and why not go somewhere a bit different? There are so many wonderful small towns around the world just waiting to be explored!

But if it’s a city you want, how about a city break in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia? Marrakech is Morocco’s most visited tourist destination and the warm weather in the winter makes for a much more pleasant trip than the stifling heat of the summer. Or what about one of our favourite cities – Cadiz in Spain? Europe is generally cold in January but the weather in Cadiz is pleasantly mild and rainfall is low. To learn more about a wonderful city break in Andalucia read 24 Hours in Cadiz – A Perfect Spanish City Break.

How to Maximise Your Annual Leave at Easter

Days to book off at Easter to maximise your annual leave

Option 1: Use 8 days leave for a 16 day holiday

Bank holidays10th April
13th April
Weekdays to book as leave6th to 9th April
14th to 17th April
Holiday dates4th to 19th April
16 days in total

This option gets you 100% more travelling days than the number of annual leave days you’ll book. That’s double the number of annual leave days to travel! Talk about maximising annual leave.

With so much of the world to see but with so little time to do it in, our favourite way to travel is to combine a number of countries in one trip. With over two weeks, you can have a fantastic multi-country trip. For example, we spent two weeks exploring the mountains, coasts, caves, wine regions, cities, and lakes of Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia. Read about this trip here: Two Week Itinerary: Slovenia, Croatia & Italy

Visiting multiple countries in a short time period takes planning. Not least because you want everything to run smoothly so you can spend your leave enjoying your trip. We’ve put together a guide to help you plan the perfect trip: Top Tips for Planning a Multi-Country Itinerary

Option 2: Use 4 days leave for a 10 day holiday

Bank holidays10th April
13th April (Not in Scotland)
Weekdays to book as leaveEither 6th to 9th April OR 14th to 17th April
Holiday dates4th to 13th April OR 10th to 19th April
10 days in total

10 days is the perfect amount of time to travel deeper into a place. Europe is starting to warm up in April and Easter festivities take place in a number of countries. However, if you fancy venturing a little further afield we highly recommend Panama City. This is the cosmopolitan capital city that has it all…vibrancy, history, lush tropical rainforests, national parks, and, of course, the Panama Canal.

It is usual for city breaks to last 2-4 days, but Panama City is no ordinary city! 10 days is a good amount of time to really get under the skin of the city. Or why not take the opportunity to explore more of Panama? Want to know more about Panama City? Read: 10 Reasons Why You Must Visit Panama City

How to Maximise Your Annual Leave to Make the Most of the May Bank Holidays

Days to book off in May to make the most of the May Bank Holidays

Use 4 days leave for a 9 day holiday

Bank holidays8th May
25th May
Weekdays to book as leave4th to 7th May OR 26th to 29th May
Holiday dates2nd to 10th May OR 23rd to 31st May
9 days in total

May is a glorious time of year to explore the UK. As spring turns into summer the air is filled with a wonderful expectation of the balmy days to come. The trees are green, the flowers are in full bloom, and blue sunny skies become more and more familiar.

Call us biased but we think that the best place to holiday in the UK is our home county, Dorset. Why? Well, how does world-class beaches, the Jurassic Coast, picture-perfect villages, castles, rolling countryside, and ancient hill-forts sound?

To learn more about this spectacular part of the UK read our Ultimate Guide to Things To Do in Dorset

For more on Dorset go to

How to Maximise Your Annual Leave for the August Bank Holiday

Days to book off in August to maximise your annual leave around the August Bank Holiday

Use 4 days leave for a 9 day holiday

Bank holidays31st August (3rd August in Scotland)
Weekdays to book as leave1st to 4th September (4th to 7th in Scotland)
Holiday dates29th August to 6th September (1st to 9th August in Scotland)
9 days in total

Thanks to the school summer holidays, August is peak travel time in the UK. Whilst it is possible to find some good deals, it generally costs significantly more to go on holiday in August than any other time of the year. With so many family-friendly events taking place around the country, lots of people opt to have a ‘staycation’.

Where better to spend time off work in the summer than in Cornwall? In the south-west corner of the UK, Cornwall’s beauty will astound you. And that’s a promise! Glorious beaches, dramatic clifftops, the South West Coast Path, historical sites, literary and cultural highlights, mouth-wateringly delicious food…and that’s just a taste of all that Cornwall has to offer.

Although you will undoubtedly wish you had longer, with up to 9 days to holiday you will be able to explore Cornwall properly. Why not use our Guide to the Perfect Week in Cornwall to help plan your trip? And to make it a longer break, follow the additional recommendations in the article to turn a 7-day holiday into a 9-day extravaganza!

For more UK holiday inspiration go to

How to Maximise Your Annual Leave at Christmas & New Year

Days to book off over Christmas and the New Year to maximise your annual leave

Use 3 days leave for a 10 day holiday

Bank holidays25th December
28th December
1st January
Weekdays to book as leave29th to 31st December
Holiday dates25th December to 3rd January

Thanks to the way Christmas falls in 2020 you can book 3 days of annual leave and get more than triple the amount of time to travel! If this isn’t maximising your annual leave we don’t know what is.

In Scotland – Use 7 days leave for a 17 day holiday

If you’re in Scotland you can use 7 days of annual leave to get a whopping 17 days holiday!

How is this possible?

The 2nd of January is usually a bank holiday but as this falls on a Saturday in 2021 the 4th of January is a substitute day. Therefore, in addition to what we suggest above, if you book the 5th to the 8th of January as annual leave you will have from the 25th of December right through to the 10th of January off work!

Where to go on holiday at Christmas

So if you’re not going to spend Christmas at home, where should you spend it? If you fancy escaping the weather in the UK for guaranteed winter sun the Caribbean is an excellent option. With temperatures reaching the high 20s (Celsius), the weather is perfect for swimming, sunning, lounging, and exploring. We’re betting Santa will be very happy to visit you in the Caribbean!

For winter sun destination ideas read Top Winter Sun Destinations Around the Globe.

One of the best holidays we’ve ever had was in Barbados and we’d love to spend Christmas there [*Googles flight prices whilst typing*]. The beaches are incredible, but there’s lots of things to see and do in Barbados beyond the beaches. The winter is one of the best times to visit Barbados.

Alternatively, if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas a skiing holiday is guaranteed to make it a festive season to remember. All that fresh mountain air and exercise will work up an appetite for a Christmas feast. And you’ll definitely be getting a head start on your new year fitness goals!

If you’ve never skied before and are not sure how to go about planning your first ski trip read our post Your First Time Skiing Questions, Answered.

Two weeks is quite a long time to spend skiing in one place so why not combine a couple of ski destinations? Oh go on, throw in a city break too! We did exactly this when we combined time in Vancouver with skiing in Whistler and Sun Peaks. Whether you fancy flying long-haul or short-haul, there are so many wonderful ski resorts around the world to choose from.

See how, with a little strategic planning, you can use your annual leave to get double the number of days to travel! Who says you can’t work AND travel the world?!

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