We all know that feeling we get at the end of a few days off. Just as you’re slipping into a state of relaxation, where pages of a book are finally turned, midday naps go uninterrupted, and cocktails are shaken and stirred before 2pm, the morning alarm sounds its unwelcome buzz and you’re forced to go back to the daily grind.
But what if we told you there was a little trick to turn those long weekends into a temporary glimpse of life-without-work, and transform four weeks of annual leave into seven?
Making the most of annual leave is so 2019. But that’s all about to change for 2022. So, how do you turn 20 days into decent holidays? It all comes down to strategy and early planning.
Of the 11 national holidays throughout the year, Christmas, New Years and Easter are the obvious choices, but you’ll be contending with the rest of the workforce to book annual leave over these periods.
As a base, here’s how you can maximise your leave just through the major national public holidays, which thankfully also all fall within the warmer months of most states:
- Friday 24 December 2021 to Mon 3 January 2022: Book four days of leave and get 11 consecutive days off.
- Saturday 22 January to Sunday 30 January: Book four days of leave and get nine consecutive days off.
- Friday 15 April to Monday 25 April: Book four days of leave and get 11 consecutive days off.
- Friday 23 December 2022 to Monday 2 January 2023: Book four days of leave and get 11 consecutive days off.
When we take into account the public holidays on a state level, opportunities for vacay really start to look up. Here are the additional dates you should book based on where you live:
Let’s start with the state with the most public holidays, Tasmania. If you remove public holidays that fall on a weekend or those that are region-specific—like AGFEST which is a holiday for just the Circular Head region—Tassie offers 12 extra days off a year.
While that means there are plenty of opportunities for long weekend getaways in the island state, the Royal Hobart Show holiday on Thursday, 20 October, offers an opportunity for an extra-long break in the far south.
- Thursday 20 October to Sunday 23 October: Book one day of leave and get four consecutive days off.
Since 2018, the capital of Australia has commemorated Reconciliation Day. This year, it falls on 30 May, with just one week between it and the Queen’s Birthday holiday on 13 June.
- Saturday 28 May to Monday 13 June: Book nine days of leave and get 17 days off.
Victorians have had a rough trot through the pandemic-era, and probably deserve a few extra holidays thrown into the 2022 calendar year. Unfortunately, we don’t get to dictate the days deemed a public holiday (otherwise every Friday happy hour would start at 9am). We are pleased to find, however, that the Melbourne Cup holiday falls on a Tuesday (1 November) in 2022, which means taking even one day of leave allows for a four-day weekend at the very least.
But hey, let’s throw three days on to that for a well-deserved opportunity to get out of the house.
- Saturday 29 October to Sunday 6 November: Book four days leave and get nine days off.
Aside from Labour Day in May and the Queen’s Birthday weekend in October, there are not too many opportunities for the collective of Queensland to enjoy a mid-week public holiday. For those in Brisbane, Moreton Bay and Scenic Rim regions, Ekka Wednesday on 10 August brings about the biggest leave savings, if you book two days leave either side of the holiday.
- Saturday 6 August to Sunday 14 August: Book four days leave and get nine consecutive days off.
New South Wales
It seems the business state is all, well, business, with New South Wales showing the least opportunity to maximise annual leave. Excluding weekend public holidays, the state clocks just 10 extra days off in the year.
Of course, the Bank Holiday on 1 August is listed, but this is exclusive to employees working with the banking and financial sectors. Thankfully, NSW workers still get Labour Day on 3 October.
- Saturday 1 October to Sunday 9 October: Book four days leave and get nine consecutive days off.
South Australia is the festival state, so it’s only natural it has plenty of opportunities to celebrate. Unfortunately for the southern state, not every festival is rewarded with a holiday celebration. Adelaide Cup, which falls on Monday, 14 March, provides an opportunity to make the most of the warmer months before the cool southern change sets in.
- Saturday 13 March to Sunday 20 March: Book four days leave and get nine consecutive days off.
The Territory is known for its laid-back attitude. Arguably, every day is a holiday up north. The Territory records a whopping 21 public holidays for 2022, although many of these are limited to show days within particular regions throughout July, starting with the Alice Springs Show Day on Friday, 1 July and finishing with the Darwin Show on 22 July.
It’s Picnic Day on Monday, 1 August that really spreads the mayo on the opportunity for leave, especially for those in Darwin who have an excuse for a sleep in on its Show Day that falls just one week before.
- Friday 22 July to Monday 1 August for Darwin: Book five days leave and get 11 consecutive days off.
- Saturday 30 July to Sunday 7 August for the rest of the NT: Book four days leave and get nine consecutive days off.
Western Australia Day is held on Monday, 6 June, and would have worked in the favour of the western state if they celebrated the Queen’s Birthday a week later in line with the rest of the country. Unfortunately, the state celebrates the monarch’s birthday in September instead, which leaves them with a similar opportunity to maximise their leave as the rest of the country.
- Saturday 4 June to Sunday 12 June: Book four days leave and get nine consecutive days off.
Need some inspo for where to use up all that annual leave you've saved? Check out these incredible surf beaches around Australia.
Image Credit: Guillaume Bleyer/Unsplash