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How to Make the Most of Your Annual Leave

Taking your annual leave and taking advantage of paid time off is a highly anticipated part of your career’s benefits. After all, you spend all year-round working hard to better yourself and your work atmosphere. It is important to make the most out of your annual leave to be sure you are completely satisfied with your time off, and it also helps you beat those “back to work blues” knowing that you accomplished everything you wanted to.

Here are a few tips to make your annual leave worthwhile.

  • Set goals. This is the very first thing you need to do before taking any time off. This list needs to specifically state what you plan to accomplish while your off work this year and even years to come. Make a list of where you want to go and what you want to do while your there. To help you plan financially, also write out estimated costs.
  • Make a detailed plan. Once you decide your destination, make a detailed timeline and specific itinerary to find out how to best use your time. Research travel websites and reviews and find out the best time to do certain activities and what they cost. This itinerary and timeline will make sure you accomplish everything you want to accomplish and find out what time you have left.
  • Take advantage of every paid time off day on the calendar. Make sure you are aware of every day you receive a paid day off—whether it is for a holiday or any day your employer is closed and still paying you. Knowing these dates can help you better plan trips and spontaneous getaways. Long weekends are great times to take close, cheap getaways and relax.
  • Be aware of when you are scheduling your annual leave. It is natural to schedule annual leave in the summer months or during the holiday season, however, scheduling your annual leave in the vacationing “off season” can mean more convenient traveling for you at more affordable prices.
  • Rethink your departure and arrival traveling times. Most travelers are traveling as soon as they get off work so they can still have time to work that day. It is also common for travelers to leave on Fridays and Saturdays, meaning more higher transportation rates with more people. Work a half day and leave at lunch, or try traveling on Tuesdays or Wednesdays—a lowly populated travel day with cheaper rates.

Since you have worked hard to take this annual leave and you are paying to go on your vacations, it is essential to make the most of your time off. Making sure you have a well-planned trip with room to be spontaneous is very important at achieving your travel goals. Being thorough and detailed in vacation planning can only help you have the best and most affordable trips possible.


Feature image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

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