Back-to-work blues? How to turn 12 days’ leave into 38 days off

Returning to the recycled air-conditioned air of the office is guaranteed to make you daydream about your next holiday.

The trick is not to let your drained leave balance dampen the optimism of those dreams.

With some deft strategic moves, you can quite easily turn even a limited number of days into a far longer holiday.

In exchange for 12 days’ annual leave, you can reap a massive 38 days out of office.

It’s time to get planning – before your co-workers put their leave requests in.

Waitangi Day

Take one day of leave, get 4 days off

February 6 is a Saturday this year, meaning Waitangi Day gives us an additional long weekend. Why not take the opportunity to use an additional day’s leave to lengthen the weekend to four days, and push your travel plans a little further afield.

But wait! There’s bonus day off for Auckland and Nelson regional anniversary days, on Monday, February 1. Jafas and those in Nelson should consider taking the rest of the week off to reap an impressive 10 days off for just four days of leave.

Easter

Take four days of leave, get 10 days off

The four-day Easter weekend spanning from Good Friday, April 2 to Easter Monday is a predictable favourite for spending leave. Taking the week off from April 6-9 is an easy win and a 10-day break.

However, Southlanders are in luck. Easter weekend aligns with Southland Anniversary day on Tuesday, April 6,meaning you can get 10 days off for a paltry three days of leave.

Anzac Day

Take one day of leave, get four days off

The Monday closest to Anzac Day is traditionally a public holiday. This year that falls on April 26.

For the more ambitious planner, you may have noticed how there’s very little public holiday between now and June. Take an extra day off on Friday, April 23 and make the most of the crisp autumn weekend.

Queen's Birthday Weekend

Take one day of leave, get four days off

The Queen’s Birthday is being observed on Monday, June 7. A last hurrah before a big drought in public holidays, you’ll want to make this one count. Why not take a four-day weekend from June 4 and pull out the stops for HM?

Labour Day

Take one day of leave, get four days off

Spring is on the horizon and, after a long holiday-free winter, you’ll be in need of a decent break, so take October 22 off ahead of the Labour Day Monday to get a precious four-day weekend.

A couple of regional anniversary days give the opportunity to turn the long weekend into a 10-day break. Marlborough gets November 1 off, so consider taking the four days off after the long weekend. Hawke’s Bay has October 22 off, so why not lead into the long weekend with four days extra leave from October 18?

Christmas and New Year

Take four days of leave, get 12 days off

Although it felt like Christmas 2020 might never arrive, next year will be upon us quicker than you think.

Take the opportunity to book Christmas Eve off for a long Christmas weekend. Then – if you have any leave left – it might be worth saving three days to take off the “in-betwixt-mas” period. As New Year and New Year’s Eve gives us the Monday and Tuesday off already, get your leave in for December 29-31 to make up a festive 12-day block in exchange for four days booked holiday.

And don’t worry if the stars didn’t align for you this year – from 2022 there will be a newly created public holiday. After a successful petition, Matariki in June will become the first new public holiday in 50 years.

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