By now we’re well into 2019, and the most organised among you will have had all your annual leave and bank holiday breaks planned out since well before Christmas.
But those of us who spent all our money during December are only just digging ourselves out of that particular financial hole and, with the winter blues well and truly set in, are now starting to look forward to the year ahead and the return of summer, and planning all the adventures that we’re going to have.
There’s no getting around it. 25 days of leave a year might be standard, but it’s most definitely not enough. Especially for those of us who’ve been bitten by the travel bug. But, the most seasoned travellers of us know that there’s a way of playing the system.
If you haven’t yet figured out how to escape the 9 to 5 forever and are confined to annual leave, then you need to know how to make the most of the days off everyone gets, and grab a few bank holiday deals.
But luckily, there’s no need to spend hours figuring out exactly which days you need to take off to squeeze the very most out of your holiday days and enjoy a couple of bank holiday getaways. The kind folks over at the Sun were the first ones to figure this out.
Bank holiday break offers: the big days
First things first. If you want you need to make sure you’ve got all the key dates written in your 2019 diary, preferably in permanent marker, circled with hearts and stars. This stuff is gold dust for cheap bank holiday breaks!
19th April – Good Friday
22nd April – Easter Monday
6th May – May Day
27th May – Spring Bank Holiday
26th – Summer Bank Holiday
25th December – Christmas Day
26th December – Boxing Day
1st January – New Year’s Day
Finding cheap bank holiday breaks: the dates to book off
Now you know all the days you’ll have off automatically, here are the dates that you need to secure off work to enjoy the longest holidays possible and take advantage of a few bank holiday hotel deals.
– Easter – 8 days off become a 16-day holiday.
To enjoy the 13th-28th April off, book holiday on the 15th-18th April and 23rd-26th April. Perfect for bank holiday family breaks.
– Early May – 4 days off become a 9-day holiday
For a glorious 9-day bank holiday break between the 4th and the 12th of May, book 7th-10th May off work.
– Late May – 4 days off become a 9-day holiday
Just as above, for 25th May – 2nd June off work, book the 28th-31st May as annual leave.
– August – 4 days off become a 9-day holiday
And again! Treat yourself to a summer break between 24th August – 1st September by booking 27th – 30th August off work. Ideal for bank holiday trips to the beach.
– Christmas – 5 days off become a 12-day holiday
To escape work 21st December-1st January, just book off the 23rd, 24th, 27th, 30th and 31st December. The perfect way to round off the year.
Bank holiday deals: destination inspiration
After a long hard winter, Easter is the perfect time for some sunshine. With this being the longest period on our list with a luxurious 16 whole days in a row, it’s the perfect time to head a little further afield, taking advantage of some bank holiday break offers.
Our top pick for this time of year is the mind-blowing Riviera Maya. It’s just a hop skip and a jump across the pond, and it’s the stuff dreams are made of.
Think Mayan ruins clustering on cliff tops with white, sandy beaches stretching out below, fresh water sinkholes to swim in and to-die-for food. Just over two weeks is the perfect time to discover this area of magical Mexico.
– Early May:
For us, spring is the perfect season for last minute city breaks. At this time of year, whilst it’s still a little too chilly for the beach, cities in Europe are basking in spring sunshine but the temperatures are still ideal for sight-seeing. And, as it’s not yet high season, you can often pick up some bank holiday bargains.
We love Italy in the springtime, and a road trip between some of Italy’s most beautiful cities is the perfect way to spend these nine days. Pick the spots that interest you most and dream up your own itinerary, visiting amazing places like the Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Sienna, and maybe even rounding things off in Rome.
Or, take the stress out of the planning and sign up for one of the many bank holiday packages on offer, then just sit back and enjoy that precious time off.
– Late May:
If you’re already craving a bit of sun, sea and sand, the Canary Islands are always a great bet for good weather before Europe really warms through.
With nine days at your disposal, you might want to stick to one of the larger islands, like Fuerteventura or Tenerife, or you might prefer to do a bit of island hopping to discover more of the delights of the archipelago. Take advantage of one of the many all-inclusive bank holiday deals out there, or design your own bespoke trip.
If you haven’t managed to plan ahead, then this might be a great destination for getting your hands on last minute bank holiday deals.
It’s the height of summer, and the beach is calling your name. Portugal might be the perfect place to spend these nine days of freedom. The bank holiday escape to end all bank holiday escapes. It’s beautifully warm, but the ocean breezes stop you from overheating like you might on the Mediterranean at this time of year.
From the stunning (but fairly busy!) beaches of the Algarve to the wilder, emptier beaches of the west coast, beach lovers of all kinds will be enchanted. Road trip, anyone?
Christmas at home with the family can be absolutely magical, but if you’re thinking of mixing things up this year and escaping the cold, why not completely tear up the rule book, send a note of apology to the in-laws and spend the 12 days you could have off for the price of five discovering Dubai?
You’ll have never been anywhere quite like it, and if you’re a fan of architecture or retail therapy then you’re sure to fall in love. The turkey and the tinsel will soon be forgotten! Keep your eyes peeled for bank holiday getaway deals, and it’ll be a Christmas to remember.