Combining annual leave with public holidays is one of the simplest life hacks there is. However, most people only take one or two days off to extend the long weekend. With a little strategic planning, it's possible to take over six weeks off work without resorting to unpaid leave. Here's how to pull it off in 2019.
The following tips come from travel insurer InsureandGo which is trying to get more Aussies to take their full allotment of annual leave. Combined, their suggestions total 45 days of holidays using just 17 days of annual leave. Here's the full list:
The 10-day Australia Day hack: "Want to extend your January holidays with minimal annual leave? This year, the Australia Day public holiday falls on Monday 28 January in all states. With January usually the quietest working month, it can be a good time to extend that long weekend to a longer break and head overseas. Aussies can enjoy a 10-day holiday by combining the public holiday with two weekends and five days of annual leave from, say, Friday 25 January to Friday 1 February inclusive. Why not head to Fiji, Hawaii or Bali?"
Four-day weekend hack: "With the Labour Day and Queen’s Birthday public holidays each falling on a Monday, you can turn those long weekends into four-day interstate holidays by simply taking the Friday off – often the least busy day of the week. Lucky residents in Victoria, the ACT, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and NT can do this more often, as they have additional public holidays on a Monday or Friday."
10-day Easter holiday hack: "This year, the Easter long weekend will be from Friday 19 April to Monday 22 April in all States. Anzac Day follows two days after – on Thursday 25 April. With two public holidays occurring in one week, this is an opportunity to extend your holiday to 10 days – from Friday 19 April to Sunday 28 April inclusive – just by taking three days of annual leave. School holidays take place during this period in all States. Chances are, many people will be making the most of it and going on a family holiday. Time for another overseas trip?"
18-day April-May holiday hack: "Residents in Queensland and NT wanting to extend their 10-day Easter holiday can combine their Monday May 6 public holiday with the Easter holiday hack, to give them an extended holiday from Friday 19 April to Monday May 6. Eighteen days off to travel abroad, with just eight days of annual leave off work."
17-day May-June holiday hack: "ACT residents enjoy a public holiday on Monday 27 May (Reconciliation Day). With two public holidays in around two weeks and three weekends around those days, ACT workers can enjoy a 17-day holiday (Saturday 25 May to Monday 10 June inclusive) with just nine days of annual leave. That’s almost double the amount of time off for half the annual leave."
Mid-week public holiday hack: "When public holidays fall mid-week, why not take annual leave on the days before or after, combine it with the weekend, and take a mini getaway. For instance, Victorians can take Monday 4 November off work – right before Melbourne Cup Day – to enjoy a four-day weekend. Brisbane residents could take two days of annual leave before or after Ekka Day on 14 August to enjoy a five-day holiday. For those that have more annual leave to spare, why not take all four days off to have a nine-day break in total."
2019 Christmas holiday hack: "Aussies can create a 17-day holiday – from Friday 20 December to Monday 6 January by taking just seven days of annual leave. With Christmas Day falling on a Wednesday this year, why not take Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th – and perhaps even on Friday the 20th – off work, when it’s very likely to be quiet at work. This holiday also takes advantage of Boxing Day falling on a Thursday and New Year’s Day the following Wednesday."
Not bad, eh? I'll definitely be taking advantage of the Easter holiday hack - which happens to coincide with my birthday. The only thing you need to do now is convince your boss to approve your leave (we advise getting in quick before your colleagues attempt the same trick!)