How to turn 27 days of annual leave into 60 days off in 2023

Updated November 15, 2022
Published October 30, 2019

Annual leave is a precious thing. If you work full-time, you’re entitled to a minimum of 28 days of paid leave (for some, this can include bank holidays). But in the grand scheme of a year, it’s not a huge amount of time for some much-needed holidays. However, if you’re savvy, you can make your annual leave go further, using 27 days to more than double your time off over the course of 2023. We'll admit that getting all these holidays in the calendar may be a challenge - if you manage it, you'll get to be away for a huge chunk of May - but it doesn't hurt to try!

To stand the best chance of using this trick and netting as many consecutive days off as possible, you’ll have to start looking ahead now, making the most of the Easter and Christmas bank holidays. Plus, with an extra bank holiday announced for the coronation of King Charles III, there’s an opportunity to make your annual leave go further. 

But, you’ll have to act fast to get what you want. Here’s when to book your annual leave to get up to 60 glorious days off in 2023.

Easter: Turn 8 days into 16 

With 16 days at your disposal, Easter is one of the best times to book an extended holiday. In 2023, an all-inclusive April sunshine break in Cancun could be a good bet. You could also try Las Vegas or Orlando for a US getaway, though you’ll have to be prepared to fork out for a theme park break at this time of year – the good weather brings local tourists as much as those from overseas.

Closer to home, look to the southern Mediterranean for warm weather without the usual summer crowds. With highs in the low-mid 20s in places such as Cyprus, Malta and Crete, the weather is ideal for city exploring and perhaps even a beach trip or two.

How to do use the Easter bank holidays: Good Friday falls on April 7 and Easter Monday on April 10. Take four days on April 3, 4, 5 and 6, then another four on April 11, 12, 13 and 14 to get 16 days off from Saturday, April 1 to Sunday, April 16.

Christmas: Turn 3 days into 10 

Many workplaces move to autopilot over Christmas, so it’s the perfect time to make the most of your holiday leave. Wouldn’t your time be better spent driving Route 1 around Iceland, sunbathing in Tenerife or celebrating the festive period Down Under in Australia, anyway?

As with Easter, you can use the bank holidays to your advantage. In 2023, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day all fall on weekdays, meaning you can use less annual leave for an extended Christmas break – turning three days into ten consecutive days off.

How to use the Christmas bank holidays: With Christmas and Boxing Day on the Monday and Tuesday, take three days on December 27, 28 and 29 and you’ll get from Saturday, December 23 to Monday, January 1, 2024.

Other bank holidays: Turn 16 days into 34

The other bank holidays in 2023 are in May and August:

If you’re able to take time off over all four bank holidays, there’s the potential to enjoy a marvellous 34 days of holiday for just 16 days of annual leave – sounds appealing, doesn’t it?

With the additional bank holiday in May, you could take two separate breaks at either end of the month, taking advantage of cheaper off-peak season prices and warmer temperatures. May and June are lovely times of year to visit the Balearics before the summer crowds descend, or if you’re after a little exploration, try a city break in sun-drenched Sicily or Corsica.

With the August bank holiday comes the chance to take a nine-day jaunt at the end of the month, perfect for that summer escape. Soak up the sunshine on a fun-filled family holiday in the Algarve, Florida or the Canary Islands, or discover a tropical paradise on an all-inclusive beach break in Bali or the Maldives.

How to use the early May and King Charles’ coronation bank holiday: Combine these two holidays, taking eight days on May 2, 3, 4 and 5 and May 9, 10, 11 and 12, to get 16 days off from Saturday, April 29 through until Sunday, May 14.

How to use the spring bank holiday: Book off May 30 and 31, and June 1 and 2 to take a nine-day break between Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, June 4.

How to use the summer bank holiday: The August bank holiday is on Monday 28. Take four days on August 29, 30, 31 and September 1 to get nine from Saturday, August 26 to Sunday, September 3.

Book early to get the dates you want

It might seem a bit keen to start thinking about 2023, but if you want to maximise your annual leave to its full potential, you’ll need to be first out of the booking blocks.

So, when your new annual leave year opens, book what you want as quickly as you can to avoid clashes with other colleagues. It might not be possible to get both Easter and Christmas off, but there’s no harm in trying.

By planning your trips early, you’re less likely to lose your annual leave at the end of the year too. Even if your annual leave year runs from April to March, start planning now – it will come around sooner than you think. Plus, it will give you something to look forward to post-Christmas.

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