1 Year, 13 Trips, 25 Days Annual Leave – How I did it & My Tips to Help You Use Yours Well!

I am a big advocate of the fact that it is possible to travel and go on a lot of trips when you have a Full Time job using your annual leave! It’s good to quit your job to travel the world at least once in your life (and more than once if that’s what you want to do, I’ve done it quite a few times!) but unfortunately it’s not realistic to always do this and you may not even want to!

2017 for me, pretty much proved my own point! The year started off slow but by the end of the year I had been on 13 trips in total whilst working a full time job all year using 25 days Annual Leave plus bank holidays, and that doesn’t even include the many day trips I did to places in the UK too!

(Check out my 2017 Round-up post if you want to see more!)

My situation was definitely helped by the fact that I live in London meaning I have access to 5 airports so I have many flight options, and the fact that my blog has really taken off in the last year meaning quite a few of the trips I did were press trips which helped me financially.

However with that being said, if you’ve ever spoken to an Aussie, Kiwi, or Canadian etc expat living in London you’ll know that they love to make use of how close Europe is and they go away all the time whilst working a full time job so you don’t have to have a travel blog to travel a lot!

{{If you are a blogger you may enjoy this post that I wrote in 2017 – The Positives to being a Travel Blogger who Works Full Time.}}


First off, here are my top tips for making the most of your annual leave:

  • Use your bank holiday weekends to go away, yes it might be a bit more expensive and busier but it really enhances your opportunities for time off!
  • Look out for times when the bank holidays fall close together (specifically Easter and the 1st May bank holiday in the UK). Often you can get 2-3 weeks off with 2-3 of those days being bank holidays meaning less days taken from your AL allocation.
  • Make the most of your weekends! As you’ll see below I’ve done a lot of trips this year over a weekend with no AL taken!
  • Keep your trips short and sweet so you don’t use a lot of AL in one go – 2x 1 week trips and multiple weekend & long weekend trips are the way to go!
  • Visit places with a shorter travel time meaning you extend the time in your destination and it means you can go after work to save a day off travelling there. You’ll notice below that I only went to European destinations in 2017, plus Egypt.

{How to Plan, Book and Have a European City Break on a Budget! may help you out if you’re looking to visit a lot of Europe like me!}

  • I’m also a big advocate of resting and enjoying down time but unless you reallyy need to don’t use your AL for a day at home or for an appointment. Work this around your day at work.
  • Unless you’re going away over Christmas, don’t take annual leave apart from the Bank Holiday days!
  • Above all – travel is costly, time consuming and often tiring. It’s totally worth it but you need to make travel your priority in order to travel a lot!


My Trips in 2017!

Here are the trips I did in 2017 along with how long I went for and what Annual Leave I took to hopefully help you plan your trips this year, and to show you that you can travel with a full time job!

(P.S each pink link below will take you onto my blog posts from that trip in case you want to visit too!)

Dublin – January – 3 Day trip

1 Day AL

Egypt – April – 9 Day Trip

5 Days AL & 1 Bank Holiday Day

Georgia – May – 7 Day Trip

5 Days AL

Zaragoza, Spain – June – 4 Day Trip

2 Days AL

Wales – July – 5 Day Trip

3 Days AL

Ireland – August – 3 Day Trip

No AL, 1 Bank Holiday Day

Berlin – September – 3 Day Trip

1 Day AL

Jersey – September – Friday Evening – Sunday


Belgrade, Serbia – November – 2 Day Trip

1 Day AL

The Netherlands – November – 4 Day Trip

2 Days AL

Riga, Latvia – December – 3 Day Trip

1 Day AL

Cotswolds – December – Friday Evening – Sunday


Basel, Switzerland – December – 3 Day Trip

2 Days AL

Plus – 1x Day to attend World Travel Market & 1x Rest Day (which was well needed!)

= 25 Annual Leave Days!

Well, there you have it! Here’s to another awesome year of travel! 

**Please let me know if you found this post useful! Drop me a line in the comments below or tweet me @wandering_quinn!**

Did I make you want to book a trip?? I’m a total Skyscanner addict and find some great deals through their site. Why not look up some flights on Skyscanner now!?

To look on their app instead, click here!

annual leave pinterest pin

Why not Pin this to refer back to later?













    • January 4, 2018 / 7:20 pm

      I did do a lot and thank you!
      Thanks for reading & commenting x

  1. January 4, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    Love this post so much, Ellie! These tips are going to help when I eventually go back to a full time job.

  2. Taylor
    January 4, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    I loved seeing Europe through your eyes this year! I know you think it was not alot of travel, but it was! Especially for working a full time job that you love! XX

    • January 4, 2018 / 9:36 pm

      Ah that’s good to hear! It definitely felt a lot at times but I also felt I could do more haha. X

  3. January 5, 2018 / 9:59 am

    Good work Ellie! Shows it is possible xxx

  4. Kristine
    January 6, 2018 / 5:10 pm

    I love your blog. So many of these tips can be applied regardless of where we are in the world. I use these same strategies and it works (even as a working single mom). It’s all about strategy! I’m in the USA so I really enjoy reading about your adventures in Europe.

    • January 6, 2018 / 5:20 pm

      Thank you so much Kristine, this is so nice to read! I’m glad you find it useful in the US, and you have so many places to visit there too it’s just a case of staying in the USA a bit more I guess due to travel time for short breaks!
      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. January 8, 2018 / 3:53 am

    The ease of travel is definitely one of the major draw cards for most Kiwis/Aussies moving to the UK – and the thing I miss most about living in London!

    It’s going to be an interesting year for me on the opposite side of the world that’s for sure. While I won’t be taking any weekend trips to Europe for a while I am still going to find ways to make the most of my annual leave this year!

    • January 8, 2018 / 8:57 am

      Yes you guys love Europe for that! It’s definietly harder in oz & New Zealand but you have so many amazing places on your doorstep/ a few hours flight away! Plus I felt like we had so many public holidays when I lived in oz! Lol. Good luck with it! 🙂

    • January 8, 2018 / 10:57 pm

      Little do they know it’s not THAT hard and they’re missing out big time!!

  6. January 24, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    This is amazing! You went to so many places!!! I was hoping to have done something similar this year but with a small budget it’s not going to happen. Maybe next year 🙂 How do you find taking everything in, seeing new places so often?

    • January 24, 2018 / 9:59 pm

      I did do well!
      Hopefully next year and it’s definietly worth keeping an eye on good flight deals or even doing trips closer to home! I have a post about how to do a city break on a budget and I say there to reduce the trip by a day so it saves you money but in this posts case, it uses up less annual leave!

      I feel I deal with it ok and still appreciate what is around me. On my last trip to Basel I did keep thinking, which country am I in?? As I had visited a lot that month but generally I travel well like that 🙂

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  7. February 20, 2018 / 9:25 am

    Lovely post .I also travel with full time job
    can relate to

    • February 20, 2018 / 10:27 am

      I’m glad you can relate!! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  8. September 17, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    Bank holiday trips are the only way to make sure you don’t use up all of your annual leave on one destination!

    • September 18, 2018 / 7:57 pm

      So true! The prices are higher but if that’s how you manage to fit in more trips between work then it’s worth it I think! 🙂

  9. September 18, 2018 / 10:45 am

    Wow! Such awesome vital information in regard to traveling, I love traveling in different places, I remember there were awesome days when I’d just travel for the fun of it and it was fantastic, I wonder where the spark went? I glad to have a blog to accompany me in my quest.

    • September 18, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      I’m glad you do too, good luck and hope the spark comes back 🙂

  10. October 7, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing this helpful information. You are inspiring me for traveling. I’m sure most people can take notes from this article. One thing most people lack experience while traveling. I have a couple of young friends that are going to get travel soon. Well, this post gives me some good ideas for our travel.

  11. October 9, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    I haven’t been to that many places in my lifetime, let alone in a year! Color me impressed!

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