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Here’s How To Turn 20 Leave Days Into 43 Days Of Travel In 2018

It can be done!

Those of us working 9-to-5-type jobs only get 20 precious days of annual leave every year, and while we know you’re taking the utmost care to ensure you use them wisely, there is a way to make your time off work twice as hard.

The folks over at Contiki are back at it again, hacking the 2018 calendar with sneaky ways you can turn those 20 days off into 43 days of travel. It’s all about efficiently combining your annual leave with Australia’s plentiful public holidays and weekends:

The best part is that you can hack a little extra downtime in most months of the year. Here’s how:

January

Public holidays: 2

Days off: 5

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By taking a single day of leave on January 29, you can treat yourself to a four-day weekend (and two four-day work weeks to boot). That’s just enough time to pop across the ditch and enjoy all that New Zealand’s north island has to offer, or treat yourself to an au naturel day spa at Queensland’s Lake McKenzie.


March

Public holidays: 1

Days off: 8

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In 2018, the many public holidays that come with the Easter long weekend have been divvied up between March and April, which means you can coast into the cooler months without putting too much of a dent in your leave balance.

As Good Friday falls on March 30, you can buy yourself just over a week out-of-office with four days of leave. Apply to take Monday 26 to Thursday 29 off, and start planning that USA  road trip you’ve always dreamed of.


April

Public holidays: 2

Days off: 17

Surprise! You’re not going back to work just yet. Because the Easter Monday public holiday just scrapes in on April 2, you can take an additional four days of leave (April 3 to 6) and go right ahead and extend that road trip. Try adding the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park or the USA’s spectacular south to your itinerary.

And, even better, you can treat yourself to another nine days of a fortnight later. Yep, the ANZAC Day public holiday (April 25) falls on a Wednesday in 2018, meaning you only need to take care of the two days either side.

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As it’s the last opportunity you’ll get to take a week off until October, jump on a plane to Peru and discover Machu Picchu’s spectacular northern cousin or head west and uncover Perth’s incredible cultural renaissance.


June

Public holidays: 1

Days off: 3

Winter got you down? Sick of seeing all your “friends” frolicking in the Greek islands? Kick the FOMO and recreate some of those  European summer experiences in your own backyard.

The Queen’s Birthday long weekend means you don’t even need to apply for leave to make the most of it!


October

Public holidays: 1

Days off: 7

Right on time, the October long weekend rolls around to provide some much-needed respite before the festive season sets in.

The public holiday falls on October 1 in 2018, so take everything from Tuesday 2 to Friday 5 off and spend a luxurious week getting in touch Bali’s spiritual side or exploring Iceland’s incredible ice caves (and its equally excellent capital, of course).


December

Public holidays: 2

Days off: 9 (or 11)

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You did it! As the year comes to a close, go ahead and enjoy all that the festive season has to offer.

The Christmas and Boxing Day public holidays fall on a Tuesday and Wednesday respectively in 2018, so finish up at work on the 21st, take Monday, Thursday and Friday off, and enjoy it with your family, wherever they may be.

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Bonus tip: If you’ve saved an extra day here and there, spend it on New Year’s Eve, which falls on a Monday in 2018. As January 1 is a public holiday, you can enjoy a whopping 11 days off over the festive season, with only four days of annual leave coming off your balance.

Why not head to the USA for the ultimate white Christmas?

(Lead image and chart courtesy of Contiki)

Check out Qantas flights and begin your 2018 adventure.