If you’re a full-time permanent employee in Australia, you’re entitled to 20 days minimum of annual leave.
But if that doesn’t feel like enough for you, there are ways to get around it. If you’re strategic with the dates you pick for annual leave and combine them with some public holidays, you can nearly triple your amount of time off.
Here are the dates you should pick for annual leave to get the most bang for your buck, with the help of analysis from Finder:
January: The New Year Hack and the Australia Day hack (National)
Make the most of the Christmas/New Year public holidays. Taking two days’ annual leave would give you a few days to recover from the festivities before the new working year begins.
As always, the Australia Day public holiday gives you a chance to go on a staycation or a short road trip for the long weekend.
February: The Australia Day/Royal Hobart Regatta hack (TAS)
Tasmanians wanting to enjoy as much of summer as possible can knock out nine days of annual leave at the end of January and the beginning of February for a total of 17 days off.
March: The month of many long weekends (VIC, WA, SA, TAS)
VIC, WA: You get a three-day weekend thanks to Labour Day, which falls on Monday 2 March for Western Australians and Monday 9 March for Victorians.
SA, TAS, ACT: 9 March also means South Australians get to knock a day off for March Day; Tasmanians take it easy for Eight Hours Day; and those living in Australia’s capital celebrate Canberra Day.
April: The Easter break hack (National)
You’re probably not going to be the only one in the office with the idea of taking some days off around the Easter public holidays: bookended by weekends, taking eight days’ annual leave will give you double the amount of days off.
May: Labour/May Day long weekend (QLD, NT)
Queenslanders will have a short working week in early May thanks to Labour Day on Monday the 4th. Northern Territory residents will, too, as the state celebrates May Day on the same day.
June: The Queen’s Birthday long weekend (NSW, VIC, SA, TAS, NT)
WA: Enjoy Monday 1 June off to celebrate Western Australia Day.
ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, TAS, NT: Queen’s Birthday falls on Monday 8 June for these Australians, meaning another long weekend without taking any annual leave at all.
ACT: Canberrans might have it best of all: combining Reconciliation Day (Monday 1 June), the Queen’s Birthday, the weekends and four days’ annual leave gives them 10 days off in total.
August: The Royal Queensland Show hack (QLD)
QLD: Brisbanites will gain a day off on Wednesday 12 August for the Royal Queensland Show; take the chance to have the whole week off and get nine days off for four days’ leave.
NT: Those in the Northern Territory will have Monday off thanks to Picnic Day on Monday 3 August.
September: Long weekend (WA)
If you’re in WA, the Queen’s Birthday public holiday falls on Monday 28 September, so enjoy the long weekend.
October: The long weekend month (NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, TAS, ACT)
NSW, ACT, QLD: If you plan ahead, the Labour Day (NSW, ACT) or Queen’s Birthday (QLD) public holidays means taking three days’ annual leave will score you six days’ off. If you opt to take an extra day on Friday the 9th, that’s four days of annual leave for nine days off.
VIC: Those in Victoria will get a public holiday on a Friday for the AFL grand final (the specific date is yet to be announced).
TAS: After celebrating the Royal Hobart Show on Thursday 22 October, take off the following Friday for four days off at the cost of one day of annual leave.
November: The Melbourne Cup Day hack (VIC)
If you’re in Victoria, why not take advantage of the Melbourne Cup public holiday and turn it into a full-blown holiday? Take the week off, and the added weekends on either side will give you nine days off (including Saturday 31 October) for four days of annual leave.
December: The Christmas holiday hack (National)
If your company or your department doesn’t have a Christmas/New Year shutdown, you’ll have to take annual leave on the days that aren’t weekends or public holidays.
But provided you flag your break with your manager early, you might be able to score a whopping 16-day break (this includes New Years Day and Saturday-Sunday 2-3 January) by using only seven days of annual leave.
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