Happy Monday! There’s nothing like a Monday morning to get me thinking about applying for time off. I like to use December to put all the public holidays for the next year into my calendar and starting planning my time off.
Some years are really straight forward if we’re having a big holiday overseas then I’ll save all my leave for one block (usually three or more weeks), other years – like this one, we don’t have any big trips planned so I have to be more strategic with my time off. I work in a big team, so it’s first in best dressed, and I’m also conscious of not trying to take extra days off around all public holidays – that’s just a bit of a dick move.
This year, we have a few holidays centred around big birthdays and friends visiting from overseas so it’ll be weeks here and there scattered throughout the year.
Here are some things to consider when planning your holidays for the year.
Compulsory office shut down
My office has a compulsory shut down between Christmas and New Year’s Day; we’re also lucky to get an extra holiday day at that time (so three public holidays), so I need to factor in leave or time in lieu for this period. I personally think this is a good policy, because working between Christmas and New Year’s is really boring.
This is a tricky one depending on your situation. I am childless so personally prefer to avoid school holiday times: half the team is off because of looking after their kids, costs are through the roof and everywhere you go is crowded. However my partner recently went back to uni and uni holidays often coincide with school holidays, so now it’s something I need to consider.
Events throughout the year
Calendars are my thing – I live in mine. I know everyone’s birthdays and also plan all my big events throughout the year. Hence I made sure to schedule time off at two of my friend’s landmark birthdays this year where the expectation was they’d be destination birthdays. Other things I might schedule time off for is if I’m going to a concert on a work night, I might take the next day off, tack on a day for a long weekend or schedule in days around public holidays that fall mid-week.
There’s loads of resources out there that talk about making use of public holidays to beef up your holiday leave without having to use up all your recreational leave days. This is especially good around Easter time where in Queensland we have Easter, Anzac Day and Labour Day all falling within weeks of each other. It’s the time of year were we sometimes get a run of five short weeks in a row (great and frustrating from a work perspective at the same time).
This year I have one week off in April to spend time with our friends visiting from the UK and also spending time on Moreton Island for our friend’s 40th birthday. Later in the year it also looks like we might have a couple of weeks in New Zealand for another friend’s 40th birthday. New Zealand has been on my list for a long time and it’s only a three hour flight away!
We’re also due for some family visits around the country, stay tuned for those adventures.
Do you plan ahead for your holidays? Or did you plan as you go?