How to Get 55 Days off Work by Booking Only 25 Days of Annual Leave in 2024

How to Get 55 Days off Work

Photo by Lance Asper on Unsplash

In 2024, England and Wales will have the lowest number of bank holidays since 2021. So PayingTooMuch, a travel insurance price comparison site, has put together a list of dates to help you plan your annual leave ahead of time.

PayingTooMuch has also gained insights from Wellbeing Coach, Lorna Wilkins, and Holistic Nutritionist, Simone Venner, to explore the health-boosting benefits of going on holiday and taking time off from work.

How to maximise your annual leave in 2024

Most full-time employees who work a 5-day week, have a minimum of 28 days (5.6 weeks) of paid annual leave each year.

Here’s how you can turn 25 days of your annual leave into a total of 55 days off (including weekends):

including weekends

January: Saturday 30 December 2023 to Sunday 7 January 2024

Extend your New Year celebrations by booking 4 days off at the start of the year for a total of 9 days off.  

Easter: Saturday 23 March to Sunday 7 April 

With Good Friday falling on the 29 March next year, you can enjoy a long Easter break of 16 days by only booking 8 days off.   

May: Saturday 4 May to Monday 12 May or Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June 

Thanks to the two bank holidays in May, there are two ways for you to enjoy 9 days off in a row by only using 4 days of annual leave. 

August: Saturday 24 August 2024 to Sunday 1 September

You can book 4 days off in August to gain 9 days off for a summer holiday.

December: Saturday 21 December to Tuesday 1 January 2025

To end the year and enjoy the festive period with family and friends, you can book 5 days off to gain a total of 12 days off.

Wellbeing experts reveal the top 4 health benefits of annual leave for employees

1. Annual leave helps prevent burnout and improves your work life balance

A work life balance can sometimes be difficult to manage, but understanding the ideal duration for a break can make a world of difference. 

Simone suggests, “If you’re looking to fully unwind, a longer break would be recommended. The health benefits extend to physical health, mood and overall satisfaction.

“While longer breaks offer more extensive health benefits, even a single day off can provide respite from stress, if it allows for a complete break from work-related responsibilities.” 

Simone recommends, “Opting for a Monday or a Friday off to create an extended weekend and maximise the time you spend away from your desk! Striking a balance between more extended vacations and periodic shorter breaks is crucial to recharge and avoid burnout.”

2. Annual leave can reduce stress and improve your sleep quality 

According to Lorna, the stress-relieving effects of a holiday can have a very positive impact on your overall wellbeing. “One of the key health benefits of going on holiday is that it reduces stress,” she says. “Having a break from your daily routine can make you feel more relaxed and therefore improve your mental wellbeing.”

“A change of environment and getting away from the pressures of day-to-day life not only helps you to clear your mind but can also help to improve your sleep quality as you’ll be feeling more relaxed.”

3. Annual leave can boost creativity and motivation 

Lorna highlights: “Disconnecting helps you to be present in the moment. You’ll even find that taking a break can benefit your work as time away from your usual environment encourages creativity, so when you return to work you feel more motivated and inspired.”

4. Maximising your annual leave in the winter months can help combat seasonal affective disorder

While a change in scenery can give your mind a world of benefits, the winter months can be a tough time of year. Lorna comments on the benefits of chasing the winter sun, “By going away to sunny and warm climates during the winter, it can boost your levels of vitamin D, which is important for bone health, immunity and mood regulation. And if you experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), this can make a huge difference. Exposure to sunlight can help with symptoms of depression that are associated with the dark winter months.”


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