How to make the most of your annual leave in 2024

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“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

So said the great Ferris Bueller and his words still ring true today – which is why it’s so important to sit back, relax, and recharge with a holiday. 

Discovering how to maximise your annual leave in 2024 opens up opportunities to make the most of Bank Holidays. It’s the ideal way to slip in a short break overseas or embark on an extended adventure across the globe if your schedule allows it. 

If this resonates with you, read on to uncover the ultimate annual leave hack of 2024. Before you know it, you’ll be planning that much-needed beach holiday or bucket-list adventure

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Making the most of your annual leave in the UK

If you’re lucky enough to get paid bank holidays off, you’ll be happy to know that you can use this to your advantage when booking in your annual leave. All you have to do is work out when the year’s bank holidays fall and calculate your time off around them, to stretch one long weekend into a week – or even several weeks – of holiday time.

Why is this annual leave hack so useful? Well, because it helps you to make the most out of your holiday entitlement; enabling your paid days off to go even further. It’s also worth noting that Flash Pack solo adventure trips are especially designed to take the hassle out of travel planning, with all details organised for you. This means you don’t have to spend time worrying about logistics; simply rock up and enjoy your annual leave. Find out more about how it works.

How to calculate your annual leave

In the UK, almost all people classed as workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year. So if you fall within this category, you can work out your basic leave allowance per year by multiplying the number of days you work on average each week by 5.6. Most full-time employees get around 28 days of holiday per year. This allowance may or may not include bank holidays.

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How to maximise your annual leave in 2024

If you’re based in the UK and hoping to make the most out of your annual leave in 2024, a perfect alignment of bank holidays means that you could in theory get a whopping 49 days off by requesting just 21 days of annual leave. UK bank holidays in 2024 are as follows:


Everyone has Good Friday (March 29) and Easter Monday (April 1) off work, but you can transform a long weekend into a 10-day break by taking off four days: opt for either March 25-28 or April 2-5. If you fancy a longhaul 16-day trip, book all eight days off. Sweet.

May Bank Holidays

As usual, there are two bank holidays in May this year: the Early May Bank Holiday (May 6) and Spring Bank Holiday (May 27). Again, booking off just four days for each of these dates will give you a luxurious nine days of rest: ask for May 7-10 and May 28-31.

August Bank Holiday

If you want to feel the last of the summer sunshine, book your annual leave on August 27-30 (just after the Bank Holiday weekend) to stretch another four days off work into nine (including two weekends).

Christmas and New Year

For the finale in this box of tricks that is the annual leave hack 2024, we’ll magic five days of annual leave into 12. All you need to do is book off December 23, 24, 27, 30 and 31 to hit the jackpot on your Christmas break – making the most of bank holidays on Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. 

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Additional dates to consider for Scotland and Northern Ireland

St Andrew’s Day (Scotland)

If you live in Scotland, you can take advantage of an additional bank holiday at the start of December (December 2). Booking December 3-6 off will give you an extended break before the Christmas festivities begin.

St Patrick’s Day and Battle of the Boyne (Northern Ireland)

For those in Northern Ireland celebrating St Patrick’s Day, you can extend the celebrations across the week by booking March 19-22 off. 

You can also get an additional week off in summer by booking off July 8-11, thanks to the Battle of the Boyne bank holiday. 

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When does annual leave reset?

Before you start booking time off work, it’s important to work out when your annual leave resets: it’ll most likely be January 1, the start of the financial year (April), or the anniversary of the date at which you started your job. Confirming this is key to maximising your annual leave in 2024, as it will help you figure out exactly how many days you have to play with.

So, in summary, here are the dates you should consider booking to maximise your annual leave in 2024:

  • March 19-22 (Northern Ireland) and 25-28
  • April 2-5
  • May 7-10 and 28-31
  • August 27-30
  • December 3-6 (Scotland), 23-24, 27 and 30-31
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Trips to inspire your next adventure

Life is short but wide, meaning there’s every excuse to max out your time off with an adventure abroad. If you’re planning a long weekend, Flash Pack has plenty of short breaks to fit the bill; from five days ice-hiking and jeeping in Iceland to four sweet days on a Finnish private island. Longer trips, meanwhile, are your best bet for multiple Bank Holiday stretches; think 15 days exploring the wilds of Antarctica, David Attenborough-style, or 12 days discovering the cultural delights of Japan.

By using this annual leave hack, and scheduling time off around bank holidays, you’re guaranteed a calmer, more life-enhancing year – not to mention plenty of time to stop and look around once in a while, Ferris Bueller-style. And you’ll have more scope for planning your next great escape, too; be that a date with the wildlife of Rwanda, sensational street food in South Korea, island-hopping in the Philippines or a mosey around the many highlights of Europe. The world is waiting for you…

Flash Pack is a group travel company that specialises in small group adventures for solo travellers in their 30s and 40s. Find out more about how we work, and our mission to build a global community of friendships.

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