The average Brit gets 25 days of annual leave to make the most of, plus bank holidays – but if you’re smart about when you use your holiday days, you can be out of the office for more than 50 days. There’s an extra bank holiday to make the most of, too. We share our top tips for when to book your leave in 2022.
JANUARY: TAKE 4 DAYS LEAVE AND BE OUT OF OFFICE FOR 9 DAYS
Extra days to take off: Tuesday 4–Friday 7 January
Start the year how you mean to go on – on holiday. In 2022, New Year’s Day is on a Saturday, which means the bank holiday rolls over to Monday 3 January 2022. Take off Tuesday 4–Friday 7 January, and you’ll be out of office for the first nine days of the year, starting back at work on Monday 10 January.
Make the most of the extended Christmas break with a skiing trip – January is one of the best months of the year for skiing, when fresh powder falls even at the lowest resorts – or a winter sun getaway – we recommend Barbados or Brazil.
EASTER: TAKE 4 DAYS LEAVE AND BE OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR 10 DAYS
Extra days to take off: Tuesday 19–Friday 22 April
In 2022, Good Friday is on Friday 15 April, with the Easter Monday bank holiday falling on Monday 18 April. Book just four days of annual leave after Easter Monday to be out of the office for 10 consecutive days. Easter falls relatively late in the year in 2022 – spring officially starts on Sunday 20 March, while the clocks go forward on Sunday 27 March, meaning the evenings are already getting longer.
Nevertheless, you can still hit the slopes for some late-season skiing – we recommend the higher North American mountains or ski touring in Scandinavia. If you’re after spring sun, hit southern Italy or Crete, or fly further afield – Bali, Cuba and Marrakech are all lovely at this time of year. Or stay closer to home to enjoy the changing seasons in the UK – much of the countryside from the Cotswolds to Cornwall is blanketed in daffodils and bluebells in spring.
EARLY MAY BANK HOLIDAY: TAKE 4 DAYS LEAVE AND BE OUT OF OFFICE FOR 9 DAYS
Extra days to take off: Tuesday 3–Friday 6 May
The May bank holiday is on Monday 2 May in 2022. One extra day off leaves enough time for a long weekend in Europe – see our edit of long weekend breaks from the UK for inspiration for trips you can squeeze into 72 hours – but you could tack on an extra four days annual leave to be out of the office for nine days.
Book Tuesday 3–Friday 6 May off work and you’ll be away for nine days – which is more than long enough for a short-haul blast of early-summer sun, or to travel a little further from home. Take a leisurely road trip around Sicily (temperatures skim 20 degrees even at the beginning of May), or book a cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. May is a brilliant time to hit the Bahamas – when the winter-sun seekers have gone, and before hurricane season sets in – as well as Botswana, where the dry season has arrived but the camps haven’t yet reached summer peaks.
PLATINUM JUBILEE BANK HOLIDAY: TAKE 3 DAYS LEAVE AND BE OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR 7 DAYS
Extra days to take off: Monday 30 May–Wednesday 1 June
Normally, the second spring bank holiday falls on the last Monday in May – but in 2022, the bank holiday will be shifted to the first weekend in June, with two days off work to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
If you book off the days leading up to the platinum jubilee bank holiday (which falls on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 June) you’ll have a full working week away from your desk. In much of Europe, summer is kicking into full swing – go island-hopping in Croatia, beachcombing in the South of France, or book into the coolest beach clubs in Mykonos. If you’re feeling particularly patriotic, June is a brilliant time to explore the UK – life in London is at its buzziest and sunniest, with much of the capital spending their evenings in the many pub gardens and terraces. Meanwhile, in Devon, you can get a classic beach holiday among the miles of sand, colourful fishing villages, and coastal paths.
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AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY: TAKE 4 DAYS LEAVE AND BE OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR 9 DAYS
Extra days to take off: Tuesday 30 August–Friday 2 September
It’s the final hit of summer before autumn falls – and the August bank holiday is one of our favourite times to travel, as those heading away once the school holidays have ended are likely to bag cheaper flights.
In 2022 the August bank holiday is on Monday 29 August. Of course, you needn’t take any extra days off to enjoy the break – city breaks in Florence, Amsterdamand Edinburgh are some of our favourite European places to visit in August. As with the early May bank holiday, if you book off the Tuesday to Friday following the bank holiday (Tuesday 30 August–Friday 2 September in 2022), you’ll be out of the office for nine days. That’s long enough for the last blast of summer in the USA (we recommend Chicago and Seattle at this time of year), a safari holiday in Tanzania or a lazy beach trip to Comporta in Portugal.
CHRISTMAS: TAKE 3 DAYS LEAVE AND BE OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR 10 DAYS
Extra days to take off: Wednesday 28–Friday 30 December
In 2022, Christmas Day is on a Sunday, and Boxing Day is Monday 26 December. That means the day after Boxing Day (Tuesday 27 December) is a de-facto bank holiday, instead of Christmas Day. Therefore, you only need to book off the following Wednesday to Friday (28–30 December) to be out of the office for the entire week. As New Year’s Day also falls on a Sunday in 2022, Monday 2 January will be the de facto bank holiday for New Year’s Day – meaning most of us all will be back to work on Tuesday 3 January 2023. So, if you book off 28–30 December, you’ll be off work for 10 days in return for just three days leave.
In December, it’s the summer on the other side of the world – in Australia and New Zealand, which we’re hopeful of being able to visit in 2022. Other winter-sun destinations are at their best, too – book trips to Madagascar or Fiji to put a new spin on the meaning of a white Christmas. Or ramp up the Christmas vibes with trips to festive destinations such as New York City or Lapland – you might even spot the Northern Lights.
By using 22 days annual leave as described above, you’ll be out of the office for 54 days in 2022 – and still have three extra days of holiday to use as you please.