We’re going to go right on ahead and skip 2020 because it’s zapped the fun out of a lot of things. Instead, we’re going to think positively and assume some sort of domestic travel will be possible in 2021. If that’s the case, you’re going to want to get the most out of your holiday leave and we’ve got a few easy tips to do just that.
Let’s start off with the December and January holiday period. There are three public holidays in close proximity to each other and by taking off another three days in annual leave, you’ll score yourself 10 days off.
Christmas Day falls on a Friday so that means the Boxing Day holiday will happen on the following Monday. Take off the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (29th to 31st) in annual leave and you’ll get that Friday off thanks to New Year’s Day. Three annual leave days for 10 days off between 25 December to 3 January sounds like a dream right now.
January also offers another opportunity to take a much-needed break. It’s admittedly not as strong as the Christmas period offer but it’ll suffice if you’re competing with work colleagues for that time off. Book in Monday 25 January as well as Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 January to get yourself a nine-day break for four days of holiday leave.
Western Australians get the first day of March off, thanks to Labour Day. You could take the Friday off to make it a four-day weekend or cash out four days to get yourself a nine-day break too.
Tasmanians, Canberrans, South Australians and Victorians all get the 8 March off so that’s a cracking time to pop in some much-needed rest.
April, or as we know it, the month with lots of public holidays. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a long-ish holiday that won’t decimate your holiday leave balance. You just have to remember to get in early.
The Good Friday holiday falls on 2 April this year with Easter Monday on 5 April. If you take off five days — Thursday 1 April and Tuesday 6 April to Friday 9 April — you’ll get yourself 11 days off work for the price of five.
Later in the month is ANZAC Day, but it’s not great news. Like this year, ANZAC Day is only a public holiday when it falls on a weekday. If it lands on weekend day, most of Australia won’t get the day off.
This time it’s on a Sunday so those in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania will miss out. Because the legislation provides a bit of leeway if it falls on a Sunday, but not a Saturday, those in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory will get the Monday off.
For Western Australians and ACT, your sacred holiday was never in doubt.
May’s a big eh for public holiday lovers. The Northern Territory and Queensland both get 3 May off, a Monday, while the ACT celebrates Reconciliation Day on Monday 31 May.
So, if you’re one of the lucky ones, you know what to do.
June is good news for anyone desperately needing a mid-year break. The Queen’s Birthday holiday lands on Monday 14 June for the country minus Western Australia and Queensland.
Take off the rest of the week to trade four annual leave days for nine days off.
Western Australians get their own long weekend on the previous Monday on 7 June.
Northern Territorians will get Monday 2 August for Picnic Day but the rest of Australia is out of luck.
Western Australians will get their turn at the Queen’s Birthday weekend, which lands on Monday 27 September.
Queenslanders also get their Queen’s Birthday holiday when it finally arrives on 4 October. It’s a good opportunity to take some time off with the four-for-nine-days hack we mentioned earlier.
November presents a last minute holiday chance for some southern Australians in the lead up to the December-January period.
For Victorians, if the Melbourne Cup holiday goes ahead, it’ll land on Tuesday 2 November. Taking off the Monday will give you a nice four-day weekend but you may as well take off the Wednesday too to give yourself a two-day working week. Treat yourself.
Finally, we’ve rounded out the year to December. The 2021 Christmas period is a little less favourable but can still save you a few days of valuable holiday leave.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on a Saturday and Sunday, meaning Monday and Tuesday become public holidays. Taking off the Wednesday through Friday, three days of leave, means you’ll score yourself 10 off in total. That’s because New Year’s Day lands on Saturday 1 January 2022, giving you a sneaky extra public holiday on the Monday 3 January, 2022.