Home Travel Tips How To Make The Most Out Of Your Annual Leave!

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Annual Leave!

by TheWanderingQuinn

Some links in this post contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you use the links at no extra cost to you.

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!

Making The Most Out Of Annual Leave

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 ex-pat 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!

Tips for Planning Annual Leave

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.

Related Post: How to Plan, Book and Have a European City Break on a Budget!

I’m also a big advocate of resting and enjoying downtime but unless you really 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!

How I Used My Annual Leave to Maximise My Travels!

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

Basel, Switzerland – December – 3 Day Trip

2 Days AL

Plus – 1x Day to attend a Travel Conference & 2x Rest Day (which was well needed!)

= 25 Annual Leave Days!

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












You may also like


Chloe January 4, 2018 - 7:12 pm

Wow, you went on so many incredible trips this year! Can’t wait to see where you get to in 2018!

Chloe ❤ http://www.anomalouschloe.com

TheWanderingQuinn January 4, 2018 - 7:20 pm

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

Aftab Pathan 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.

TheWanderingQuinn January 4, 2018 - 9:29 pm

Thanks Aftab! I hope they do help you! 🙂

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

TheWanderingQuinn 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

Sophie Davis January 5, 2018 - 9:59 am

Good work Ellie! Shows it is possible xxx

TheWanderingQuinn January 5, 2018 - 10:03 am

It really does!!

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.

TheWanderingQuinn 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!

Emma 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!

TheWanderingQuinn 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! 🙂

Liv from Liv on a Shoestring January 8, 2018 - 7:04 pm

I always feel like I’m winning at life when I cram in so much in one year! I love when the people at work always say ‘jet setting again?! Good for you!’


TheWanderingQuinn January 8, 2018 - 10:57 pm

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

Jennie 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?

TheWanderingQuinn 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!

mayuri patel February 20, 2018 - 9:25 am

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

TheWanderingQuinn February 20, 2018 - 10:27 am

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

TheWanderingQuinn February 22, 2018 - 7:33 pm

Thats so good to hear! Thank you for reading!

Chloe 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!

TheWanderingQuinn 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! 🙂

Sébastien 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.

TheWanderingQuinn September 18, 2018 - 7:56 pm

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

Marty Deemst 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.

TheWanderingQuinn October 7, 2018 - 7:32 pm

Glad you liked it 🙂

Amanda 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!


Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.